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How to select the Internet of Things modules to achieve future-oriented wireless connectivity


As consumers and businesses begin to expect Internet of Things functionality to be ubiquitous, wireless connectivity is emerging in a growing number of products. This trend helps explain the rapid growth of the Internet of Things in markets such as North America, where the number of IoT connections is expected to jump from 2.8 billion in 2019 to 5.4 billion in 2025.

 So how can hardware manufacturers best bring IoT capabilities into their product lines? Start with the technology that connects your device to the Internet, no matter how far you deploy.

 However, choosing such a tool as the —— Wireless Gateway —— is first related to the technology to connect your product to the gateway: the Internet of Things module. The IoT module uses radio technology to connect devices to other parts of the IoT computing ecosystem. It defines the product stays connected.

 This poses a key question for the OEems entering the IoT: What radio technologies do your IoT module need?

 Your answer may directly affect the service life of your product line. The wider wireless environment is always changing as network operators phase out older technologies and introduce new ones. Today's cutting-edge iot modules will soon become redundant with —— unless they are designed specifically for dynamic wireless environments. That's what it looks like, especially with regard to the connectivity options.

 Four connection techniques

At Hardwario, we create modular IoT hardware, including OEM modules, to digitize systems in agriculture, construction, manufacturing, utilities, retail, and other industries. Our experience in these areas reveals key similarities between vertical industries: If you plan to build or integrate IoT hardware for any use case, select the OEM modules that support the following four radio technologies:

1. Low-power consumption of Bluetooth (BLE). The extremely low power consumption coupled with the support for distributed IoT computing or network architecture makes BLE an important complement to any IoT module. Some BLE on-chip systems (SOC) also support additional protocols such as Thread and Zigbee to further expand the flexibility of IoT products.

2.LTE-M 。Most IoT modules will contain system-level encapsulations (SiP) to provide cellular connectivity. The problem is that mobile network operators (MNO) do not all support the same low-power, Internet of Things dedicated technology. But LTE-M is widely used in most of North and South America and in most of Western Europe, and offers special advantages for IoT deployment. Your next device should be connected via LTE-M, especially if you are operating in global markets.

3.NB-IoT 。However, do not restrict your cellular connection to LTE-M. Another low-power cellular technology, —— NB-IoT ——, covers almost around the world. It dominates the cellular IoT availability in Asia and Eastern Europe, and is used along with LTE-M in the Americas. Select modules with cellular SiP supporting both LTE-M and NB-IoT.

4. Satellite. Many IoT deployments require you to disperse your devices into vast areas that cannot rely on cellular network coverage or even reliable energy networks. Satellite networks can provide connections that other options cannot meet. Look for IoT modules that support satellite technologies such as the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), which often require dedicated antenna ports.

 With the redundancy and flexibility of all four connectivity technologies, your device can consistently transmit data regardless of the MNO focus. In short, OEM modules with multiple connectivity technologies can provide the redundancy needed for any future iot deployment.

 Other functions of the OEM IoT module

Of course, radio technology is only a part of the IoT module. To support your next Iot product line, you may need other features, including:

· A compact shape is crucial for small equipment

· Peripheral sensors, such as pre-integrated accelerometers or thermometers

· A SIM card slot that matches the SIM card you plan to use

· On-board flash memory

·  The module manufacturer provides reliable continuous support

Perhaps no component can determine the success of your IoT product the way an IoT module does. Find an OEM module that provides redundant connections that stand the future, plus other features that support your use case to create IoT products that meet your current and future long-term business goals.




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