November 22, 2019

The Internet of Things (IoT) has received a lot of press in the past few years, but its adoption hasn’t exactly been widespread. The bigger concept of IoT is to connect all the devices you own for maximum convenience and efficiency — regardless of brand or functionality. For example, when you wake up in the morning, your alarm clock will trigger your coffeemaker to percolate, and your coffeemaker will trigger your car to start its engine. It may sound futuristic, but the IoT wireless technologies are designed for everyday people to get more from their technology.

The possibilities are endless for everyone, but the real beneficiaries are thought to be the owners of large or complex venues, like hotels, sports and entertainment venues, healthcare and industrial buildings. Read on for information about how you can get the power and infrastructure you need to operate IoT in 2020 and beyond.

The State of 2020 & IoT Wireless Technologies

Before examining the IoT wireless technologies, we’ll look at how the IoT is likely to be used this year.

  1. One of the main predictions for 2020 is that it will be more prevalent in retail stores: owners can use sensors around the location to find out when the rushes occur or to update employees when an item runs out of stock.
  2. Government officials will continue to test how the IoT can be used to improve public systems, such as the timing of traffic lights and crosswalks.
  3. Experts also expect that IoT will be the functionality behind new VR and AR programs used by business owners.
  4. And of course, automation will be a point of interest. Connecting operating systems allows for data collection, analysis, and efficiency adjustments that can control a building down to its very last unit of energy. The expansion of capabilities can make employees more efficient while saving money on everything from utility costs to equipment maintenance. When all the machinery runs as efficiently as possible, owners save money on repairs and replacement.

Wireless and IoT

Wireless communication is at the heart of IoT applications. Without a strong, reliable connection, devices will face constant interruptions. While Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and (eventually) 5G may be acceptable options for running IoT, the reality is more complicated than that.

Thick metal or concrete, remote locations, subterranean parking structures — these are just a few reasons why IoT wireless technologies may fail. Because buildings don’t always have a wireless infrastructure in place to cover these areas from a connectivity standpoint, the environment may not reliable enough to depend on for the automation of applications.

Urban skyline with in-building wireless solutions concept.

It’s why we’re starting to see in-building wireless solutions become more popular. These networks can make better use of the radio waves that power mesh networks or optimize the power of existing cellular coverage. Whether you’re looking for long-range coverage or short distance connectivity, the following wireless technology solutions make it possible to connect people to devices and devices to other devices:

DAS

IoT devices and networks can be powered by a distributed antenna system (DAS). Small antennas can be placed anywhere along the property, including outdoor infrastructure, to pick up a signal and carry it to the surrounding areas. With a DAS, all antennas are linked to a central controller which is then connected to the carrier’s base station. DAS can support multiple carriers, so it can support any cellular-driven device (of participating carriers) on the premises.

Private LTE on CBRS

CBRS private LTE systems make use of shared spectrum to create a private network for building owners. One of the greatest appeals of leveraging a private LTE system for an IoT network is that they use the native encryption of the LTE systems making it easier to secure important data. A private LTE network can help property owners in remote areas with no coverage run an IoT network that would rival that of a tech company in San Francisco.

Small Cell 

Small cells are usually recommended for smaller properties with consistent and/or low traffic because of the limited strength of their nodes. If your IoT network only needs to connect a few devices, small cells can be the key to providing just enough coverage.

Variances and Future Concerns Regarding IoT Wireless Technologies

The extent of IoT wireless technologies will be specific to the preferences of each property owner and decision-maker. But regardless of best intentions, if your IoT is reliant on general cellular connectivity and there are too many obstructions (such as fortified construction, tall trees or skyscrapers), you may need to adjust the configuration of the network or augment it with additional equipment and services. For example, some building owners enjoy seamless cellular connections — until the nearby stadium opens its doors for the next big event.

Further, as new devices debut and become mainstream, property owners will be under even more pressure to support unprecedented levels of connectivity. If you want your IoT to run without the disruptions in 2020, it also needs to be capable of handle the influx. If everyone switches to 5G by next year (unlikely, but possible), your wireless connection needs to be able to support the increased demand. All the above wireless solutions were created with flexibility in mind, allowing you to add to the network when the time comes.

Connectivity Wireless: Paving the Way for IoT Networks

Now is a great time to start asking what IoT wireless technologies can do for you. Considering its future applications and expectations, it seems as though it’s an inevitability for property owners, anyway.

If you’re interested in how you can pave the way for your IoT network to run as smoothly as possible, Connectivity Wireless can help. Our team of experts makes wireless easy for you, explaining all available options as well as what’s on the horizon, so you can make the best technology decisions for tomorrow, today.

Want to Learn More?

8 Key Considerations for Next-Generation Wireless Networks

5 Things Property Owners Should Know to Prepare Their Networks for 2020