As Rami Avidan points out on page S5, much of the initial though behind IoT was that there would be one bearer or network technology for IoT traffic. It’s likely that many expected this to be a 3GPP standard, most likely 3G. However, as IoT – and network technologies – have matured, it has become clear that there will no single dominant bearer technology. Instead, the bearer will be selected according to the requirements of the app, the deployment environment and the value of the service delivered. Excitingly, with options ranging from low power wide area technologies, that offer lower bandwidth but benefits in terms of power consumption and cost, to ultra-low latency 5G or very high bandwidth satellite communications, there’s connectivity on the market to fit most budgets, locations and service requirements.
However, this choice creates fragmentation and hardware and software will now have to contain the flexibility to support multiple bearers, enabling the best possible bearer to be selected once the device is deployed. The alternative is to create devices tailored for each bearer and, with the current starburst of options, that could means a versioning nightmare of upwards of six different configurations.
Sometimes too much choice can be bewildering but, sometimes, choice is what is needed to precisely address the complex and differing requirements of a market like IoT. After all, it’s becoming abundantly clear that there is volume and space for each bearer in the ecosystem and they are vital enablers of next generation IoT.
We hope you enjoy this IoT Now Guide and it helps you in your bearer selections.