Fierce Wireless – September 29, 2015 – I’ve been thinking a lot about Mobile World Congress 2016 lately. In part, I’m just mentally preparing for a ski trip in Gstaad the week prior, the first time I’ve been skiing in forever (note: If you see me hobbling around La Fira in a cast, don’t ask). But there are also a handful of other reasons. CTIA’s Super Mobility Week just finished up earlier this month; while not approaching the stature of Mobile World Congress (MWC), it’s still one of the largest mobile-focused trade shows, providing insights into what we might see in Barcelona. Just prior to Super Mobility Week, we completed our first Mobile World Congress planning session with a customer. And since that was a cue to book my flight home from MWC, I soon realized that all the window seats are taken on any flight I’m likely to take. First world problems — I know. Read More>>
It may not be the lead-off topic you’re looking for as you make that big impression on your next date, but what IoT battery life lacks in flash, it makes up for in utility and consequence. Device power consumption warrants tremendous consideration when designing and deploying IoT/M2M solutions. This is most salient to consumers when they need to make an important phone call, only to have their battery die in mid-sentence. This exact scenario could happen to devices where battery life wasn’t properly considered or understood.
For many years it has been more than acceptable to live within the limitations of consumer-grade battery life that offers comparable longevity to last night’s dinner. We are trained to fit the routine of plugging a cell phone into the wall on a daily basis. Likewise, we’ve been trained to think that as we develop M2M and IoT solutions that we must live within the same boundaries that restrict us as humans (i.e. cell phones, tablets, laptops). Those boundaries include depth and range of coverage, cost, and, of course, power consumption. The truth is that the wireless technologies that enrich our lives on one hand as humans are being used on the other hand as a retrofit to support a immense convoy of several billion machines that require an entirely different set of priorities and characteristics. Here are just a few considerations:
- Frequency: Think for a minute about how many times in a day that you check your phone – you may have already checked it once or twice since you began reading this post. We consume data in a way that is frequent, requires large data packets, and is expected to be instant. During the intervals of quiet (when no data is being transmitted) these devices can go into a sort of hibernation that allows for immense power savings.
- Packet size: The Internet of Things, by contrast, is made up of all kinds of devices, sensors and machines that in most cases are sending significantly smaller pieces of data with far less frequency. Machines don’t have to be cordial and listen to your Aunt Susan’s rant about the local politicians, or download all of the imagery that is sent along with your other messages – it cuts directly to the point, as succinctly as possible.
- Data transmission protocols: These can vary greatly from human/consumer-based protocols. From UDP to TCP to a RESTful-based approach, machine communication protocols can greatly impact the power requirements of a device.
This is really just the beginning of the variables that impact the design and deployment of IoT solutions, related to power consumption. As such, devices with a minimum of 10-year battery life will quickly become the standard for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications. Download our white paper on battery life to find out what other secrets you can unlock to harness the battery power of IoT devices.
Industrial Equipment News – September 28, 2015 – Hey! Will All this IoT Stuff Mess Up Our LTE? Probably not, actually.
IoT devices will typically be low- to no-maintenance and work for years from battery power for a long time. Industrial applications will often mean that the device will be placed and, essentially, operate in isolation in the far reaches of factories or in the field. So, Wi-Fi won’t always be appropriate. Those devices will often be reaching out to report their data via cellular connections. Here’s the trick. Machina Research predicts that nearly 1.5 million (Yes. Million.) of these devices will be up-and-running within only five years. Will they be connecting via existing LTE networks? Sometimes, yes, though now the push is to create built-from-scratch LPWA (Low-Power-Wide Area cellular) networks. While the devices themselves only transmit small amounts of data, millions of ‘em could mean straining existing LTE networks (and clogging bandwidth pipes for the rest of us). Read More>>
IoT Journal – Sep 28, 2015 – On-Ramp Wireless, a San Diego-based provider of long-range, low-power communication technology for machine-to-machine (M2M) systems, has changed its name to Ingenu as part of a rebranding process that also includes launching a network of access points across the United States. The company’s Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) technology is so named because it enables thousands of devices to share a single radio channel. It was purpose-built for transmitting data over a wide area while consuming low power. Read More>>
Fierce Wireless – September 22, 2015 – The 3GPP took a big step forward last week in defining a new LTE standard designed for the low-power and low-bandwidth nature of the Internet of Things.
At a meeting in Phoenix the 3GPP’s radio access network working group agreed to standardize Narrowband-IoT, or NB-IoT. “The new technology will provide improved indoor coverage, support of massive number of low throughput devices, low delay sensitivity, ultra-low device cost, low device power consumption and optimized network architecture,” 3GPP said in a blog post. Read More>>
CIO Magazine – September 21, 2015 – The international body in charge of LTE will standardize a version of that technology specifically for the Internet of Things, taking on rival systems for connecting low-power equipment like parking meters and industrial sensors. Read More>>
Tens of thousands of people flocked to Las Vegas last week to participate in the latest version of CTIA’s Super Mobility Show. The event turned out to be a big success, gathering many leading industry minds and personalities into one common space. Even among all of the event’s noise, we happened to make a bit of a splash. Here are a few things that stood out to us…
5G is the new flavor for cellular carriers. Keynotes throughout the conference made reference to the newest technology revolution – despite AT&T’s plea to calm down. Time sure flies, when less than four years ago we were talking about 4G! I wonder when we’re going to get to the point when we’re skipping generations 😉 Next: 7G…anyone?
Apple tried to crash the party (sort of). The event had a solid kick-off from…San Francisco? Apple made news revealing their latest product plans – a good way to kick off the Las Vegas-based mobility show.
Spectrum and Auctions. FCC chairman Tom Wheeler shared his confidence about the future of the 600 MHz auction possibly being announced for next year.
Wearables and people pretending to exercise were everywhere. It seems as though the trend on the show floor this year was to bring in fitness models to walk on treadmills, ride stationary bikes, and even just publicly stretch out.
Which brings us to our last (completely biased) highlight of the week: Ingenu. As previously noted, we made some waves with the announcement of our new brand and leadership team, along with the much-needed plan for the build-out of a nationwide M2M/IoT network. We captured our CEO’s thoughts in the video below. Enjoy!
EDN – September 15, 2015 – Wireless network technologies such as WiFi, ZigBee, and Bluetooth are fine for consumer applications of the Internet of Things (IoT), but many civic, industrial, and other IoT applications need to operate over vastly greater territory than these technologies can handle. Cellular and satellite machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies have traditionally filled the gap, but cost, power, and scalability concerns make these choices less appealing for the future. A number of low-power, wide-area networking (LP-WAN) alternatives have arisen that need careful consideration by developers looking to address these wide-ranging IoT applications. Read More>>
CIO Magazine – September 13, 2015 – While mobile operators often claim bragging rights to the fastest smartphone connections, another rivalry is heating up around networks that aren’t fast at all: Their claim to fame is that they don’t suck up power. Read More>>