Choosing right: technology means business

How you device will communicate is one of the most important decisions you need to make. Nowadays, you can choose from a wide range of different connectivity protocols. Each having its own pros and cons.

Choosing between trade-offs

One thing you know for sure when choosing is that none of the available options is perfect.

The cellular technologies 2G, 3G and LTE are mature and capable of high bandwidth and low latency. But the downside is the communication modem requires a lot of energy. So no problem if there is a constant supply of power to the device, but not when you need 10 years without recharging.

It's reliability and great coverage lacks the aspect of energy efficiency. This is why new evolutions arrived to solve this problem. LTE cat-M and NarrowBand-IoT can save energy at lower bandwidth. Making it suitable for battery-driven use-cases while having indoor coverage and reliability. These technologies are still in it's early days but here to stay. Not all mobile networks in the world support it yet and new device launch daily.

If battery is the most important factor in your use case, there are other low power alternatives as well. LoRa and Sigfox use license-free radio frequency bands to operate separate networks. This networks only support very small data packages suitable for IoT sensors.

All business considered

Even when you found the technology that suits your technical needs, it now has to fit your business case as well. The latest technology may sound like the best option. But legacy technology comes at a great price. It's clear that 2G is not a future proof technology. Some mobile networks stopped the 2G network already. But knowing when and where it will stop can offer a great opportunity.

There is also a misperception that new technologies like Sigfox or LoRa come at lower costs. The hardware has the potential to have great prices if production is at scale. Subscriptions for these networks are not more cost-efficient then cellular subscriptions. Where cellular can offer global connectivity in comparison to these new technologies.

Keep in mind

When making a decision on how-to connect your device to the internet you need to know your goal. This will help you make the best decision between technologies and costs. Olivia tries to help businesses with transparent pricing so they can predict costs.

BasicsRoel van der Meer