Which wireless standard makes sense for your application?With wide-scale IoT solutions being implemented, we are seeing an emerging set of new wireless technologies we feel should be included in our guide. Currently, LoRa and SigFox have limited deployments, but we will continue to watch their traction. LoRa seems to be getting popular.The focus of innovation is on low power protocols that support remote battery-operated devices which send small amounts of data for a duration from months to years. Since remote service costs can be a significant component of the total cost of ownership for a sensor network, we expect one or more of these new standards to take their place beside Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, WiFi, and cellular. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages, so depending on your application, we would choose the optimal technology.BLEBluetoothZigbeeLoRaWANSigFoxWi-FiCellularRangeShort (3-10 meters)Short(3-10 meters unless the power is increased)Medium range up to 100 metersLong, 2m-45kmLong, 10-50kmMedium range up to 100 metersLong, 1-10kmOperating Frequency2.4 to 2.485 GHz2.4 to 2.485 GHz868 MHz (EU, Japan) 915 MHz (ISM, US) 2.4 GHz (worldwide)109, 433, 868, 902-928 MHz868MHz, 902-928 MHz2.4 & 5GHz1G, 2G, 3G, 4G. LTE, & 5GHzData RateLow 35 kbit/sLow and high 1–3 Mbit/sLow 250k bit/sLow 300-50k bit/s uses ChirpLow 300bit/s BPSK, GFSKHighHighSupports Video Data RateNoLimitedLimitedNoNoHD videoHD videoSupports Voice & TextYesYesYesYesNoYesYesCostVery low costVery low costLow cost of parts, implementation can be expensiveVery low costVery low costLow cost with new Wi-Fi modulesMed costPower ConsumptionVery low power Sleep modeLow power Sleep mode Long wake-up timeVery low power Sleep modeVery low power Sleep modeVery low power Sleep modeGenerally not suited to battery applications, but some standards support low powerHighNetworking TopologyPoint-to-pointPoint-to-pointPoint-to-point, star or meshPoint-to-point, star or meshPoint-to-point, star or meshStarStarTypical applicationsWidely used for short distancesWidely used for short distancesWidely used in industrial commercial applications like lighting control and process controlIncreasing used for IoT industrial and commercial applicationsText & low data, IoT applications like burglary alarms and tracking devicesExcels at carrying Ethernet signals wirelessly Widely used to connect devices to PCsMobile phones and devicesStrengthsLow powerDesigned to replace wires in portable applicationsExcellent for very low data rate in battery powered applicationsCan extend transmission distance by passing data from node to nodeIP-based wireless interoperability Low cost gateways Location awarenessRapidly establishing global network, good coverage in EuropeDesigned for stationary base station with multiple portable devices Ethernet data ratesExisting global networkWeaknessesLimited rangeLong wake-up time Limited rangeComplicated software to implement – some vendors have Zigbee-like solutions to overcome thisNo global compliance on radio band Over air software updates possible but impracticalNo global compliance on radio band No location awareness Private network is not possibleCan be used for battery operation, if the data is not sent continuously Sleep modeHigh power consumption Power – How much data? How far?In wireless transmission, there are three things that must be managed: the power that is required to transmit, the data rate, and how far you’re transmitting. This table shows the detailed power calculation for the different wireless technologies for several different data rates and distances. While this is not the only criteria for the wireless technology choice, it provides a useful guideline for assessing the battery requirements. Although SigFox is not included in the table below, it would closely match LoRa.