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A fresh approach
to remote IoT Connectivity
Past Future
Sensors Connectivity
Bandwidth and
New ways to
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A fresh approach to remote IoT Connectivity by Podsystem


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There are a huge number of IoT devices, often roaming across countries and continents, that are located outside urban areas.

This poses significant challenges to both the design and connectivity of the device, the biggest concern being that there is no room for error, as troubleshooting and maintenance of remote and roaming devices is complicated and costly.

As part of the Internet of Things North America conference in Chicago Illinois (April 13th – 14th 2016), Podsystem Inc. CEO Sam Colley will be presenting ‘A Fresh Approach to Remote IoT Connectivity’ at 11:30 on April 14th.

Sam will address the challenges faced by remote IoT applications developers and discuss ways of overcoming them.

His presentation is centered around an infographic which outlines the main issues involved in developing remote IoT applications and explains how to make the correct choices in terms of device design, connectivity and future proofing to prolong the lifespan of the application and avoid costly mistakes.

Published in: Devices & Hardware
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A fresh approach to remote IoT Connectivity by Podsystem

  1. 1. A fresh approach to remote IoT Connectivity Past Future Sensors Connectivity Bandwidth and Processing New ways to analyze data Reduction in prices Massive roll out of IoT Apps 328 million devices connected to the internet per month Huge growth 27.8 - 50 billion devices connected by 2020. Nearly $6 trillion High cost Hardware Analysis of data M2M applications for specific requirements Widespread roll out 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Cars Cities Health Industry Living and Working In total Machina Research forecast that there will be 29 billion M2M connections by 2024, up from 4.5 billion in 2014. 0.5 0.0 1.5 1.0 2.5 2.0 Global cellular M2M connections 2014-2024 Logistics Automotive Smart homes Consumers Government Business Manufacturing Energy 1 2 3 Drivers and growth markets will be spent on IoT solutions over the next 5 years Present Top IoT solutions adopters Connected Cars BI Intelligence estimates that 92 million cars shipped globally in 2020 Built with internet- connection hardware Growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 45% — 10 times as fast as the overall car market. Other 75% x 10 Consumer devices IoT devices Distributed deployments in rural areas create additional demand in areas with less infrastructure. Devices connect on a best-effort basis. Consumers accept the limitations. Devices use more data less frequently. Mission critical IoT applications require real-time feedback greater demand for more robust systems with lower latency. IoT devices generate traffic with different patterns. Often small, regular data use (e.g. a network ping). Devices are generally located in populated areas (cities, towns etc.) Most cell towers are located in these areas. Global When we think of the IoT, we often think of the more consumer focused smart home applications, connected fridges, alarm systems etc. But many IoT applications are located much further afield. Rural areas (e.g. agriculture, energy, environment) Remote applications Roaming applications (e.g. connected cars, one of the fastest growing sectors in the IoT) Mission critical and real time applications (e.g. Industrial IoT and healthcare) By 2024, in certain network cell sites, Machina Research predicts a data traffic uplift of 97% due to large amounts of connected cars. These peaks have obvious implications for QoS Cell A Cell B Cell C Cell D 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Trafficuplift 2014 2024 Huge growth in IoT apps Many different connectivity options, varying levels of standardization No one option currently provides the technology needed to scale to the massive opportunity offered by the IoT In the current market, how do I design my devices to be future proofed, especially for mission critical and remote applications? Wifi Cellular LPWA Technologies Bluetooth Satellite + NEW TECHNOLOGY, NEW INFRASTRUCTURE Multi-IMSI: Multiple independent core networks on the same SIM Open connectivity is the answer, the connectivity needs to enable remote control and back-up Cellular applications should avoid dependency on any one connectivity provider Open application on the SIM to swap between core networks automatically if connection is lost Avoids dependency on one network infrastructure and provides a “No Single Point of Failure” solution Platform to enable Over The Air updates to the SIM, remotely controls the roaming profile New IMSIs can be added OTA to respond to changing market conditions (pricing, roaming agreements...) Future proofs connectivity as the profile of the SIM can be adapted remotely Remote device requirements Remote and roaming devices are difficult to troubleshoot or maintain. They must be designed to allow remote updates to avoid costly truck rolls and downtime. Allow interaction with different types of cellular connectivity via the SIM card (multi-network, multi-IMSI) Devices should include an STK (SIM Application Toolkit) and ability to use multi-IMSI SIMs and receive OTA messages for remote configuration The printed circuit board design should be compatible with 3G and 4G modems even if the current requirement is only for a 2G modem. The modem should be compatible with with different connectivity options. For example, non-steered multi-network SIMs are key to avoiding coverage blackspots. To keep connectivity costs to a minimum, session lengths must be optimized to allow for data billing increments. Must accept the correct AT commands OTA to ensure that SIMs can be updated when market conditions change. Since devices cannot be easily accessed and re-configured, they should avoid dependency on any one network. The connectivity should be remotely controlled and access to multiple independent operators is paramount. FIRMWARE STK HARDWARE INDEPENDENCE CONFIGURATION COMPATIBILITY EMBEDDED DEVICES DEVICE DESIGN MNOs MVNOs Due to the roaming agreements they have in place, tend to steer data to specific networks, which may not be beneficial in terms of coverage. Do not generally have the knowledge of individual sectors to allow them to make recommendations in terms of hardware, firmware or software development. Cannot guarantee uptime 100% of the time, network outages can and do happen, which can be disastrous for mission critical IoT applications Are independent, so they can make agreements with individual networks around the world Can layer networks on top of one another to provide redundancy and back-up in case of technical or commercial issues Have a greater understanding of the vertical sectors in which many of these applications work and the way devices, firmware, software need to be configured Many MVNOs are now adding their own virtual infrastructure, software and platforms on top of the network connectivity, providing more control and future proofing e.g. virtual HLR, multi-IMSI applications on the SIM, OTA platform for remote control Which connectivity partner can provide the best options for future-proofing? Have their own infrastructure, but in terms of the IoT this can be restrictive since this has been developed initially to service consumer demands The IoT is everywhere... ADVANTAGES Highest throughput DISADVANTAGES Spectrum utilization, power requirementsWifi Bluetooth beacons Low application throughput Bluetooth LPWA Cellular No power requirement Low cost Global coverage, application profile standards Higher reliability for mission critical applications CAT 1 and CAT 0 LTE for low cost, and ultimately NB-IoT high range data transfer Power requirements, coverage “black spots” Low data throughput Less reliability for mission critical and real-time applications Satellite Breadth of coverage even in areas with limited infrastructure e.g. at sea or in developing countries Price and interference due to weather conditions Near range Near range Wide range Global Ethernet IoT frameworks map higher-level protocols, stable service for SLAs, mobile backhaul, security Limited range, devices don’t work until they have a method of communication with the network W I R E D W I R E L E S S Connectivity Options Cellular connectivity offers many advantages for remote, roaming and mission critical applications 1- Global nature of cellular infrastructure 2- Defined standards for 2G, 3G, 4G 3- Multi-Network and roaming capability 4- Rapid throughput of data for real time applications 5- Future 3GPP standards (Cat 1, Cat M, NB-IoT) will offer optimized, lower cost connectivity for IoT Networks are not currently designed to support the growth in traffic forecasted for the IoT Networks have traditionally been designed to manage mobile traffic from consumer devices. IoT devices put very different demands on the network Open connectivity requires open devices... WHY? BUT Global + = + = = Consumer and IoT device behavior Cellu roam Where do we go from here? Open Connectivity... Satellite Applications: Very remote such as at sea or developing countries with no mobile infrastructure GPRS Cellular (GSM, 3G, 4G) Also 3GPP (Cat 1, Cat 0, Cat M, NB-IoT) Applications: Mission critical such as Industrial IoT, healthcare, Roaming real-time such as Connected Car LPWAN (LoRaWAN, Neul, Nwave, UNB e.g. Sigfox, Weightless etc.) Applications: Utilities, smart cities, smart buildings, consumer, logistics and some agricultural Wifi, Bluetooth, Thread, Zigbee, Z-Wave Applications: Smart Home, intelligent buildings