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The Internet Of Things will have an increasing impact to all industries and health and fitness are no exception. This definitive guide provides a blue print for the things we all need to keep in mind as we adopt the IOT revolution.
2. The Internet of Things will change the world. Or, more accurately, a complex and interlinked set
of evolving and increasingly affordable technologies that we collectively describe as the ‘Internet
of Things’ will continue an ages-old trend of new technology having a transformational impact on
businesses, government, and society more broadly. Far from all of this is new.
Many of the concepts that underpin the IoT are decades old. Remote monitoring and management
of distributed assets is hardly a new phenomenon. Similarly many of the business transformation
opportunities associated with IoT, such as switching from a hardware to a services business are
established operational behaviour for market leaders. However, the fact that none of this is really new
does not detract from the excitement around IoT. As William Gibson said: “The future is already here,
it’s just not very evenly distributed.” IoT is interesting and important because we are going through
an era of democratization of tools and business models which in the past were only accessible to
specialists. Due to the falling cost and complexity in the past five years, almost any business can
benefit from IoT today.
We spend a lot of time at Machina Research educating enterprises on the transformational impact
that IoT will have on their activities and organisations. What we note is a number of prevailing
motivations and benefits associated with IoT that are common across most, if not all, deployments.
Fundamentally, the Internet of Things informs. It informs farmers when their crops need watering, it
informs designers when a piece of industrial equipment has a design flaw, it informs fleet owners of
the location of their vehicles. As such, it provides an extra tool to do the job. In doing so, it provides
the competitive differentiator of the 21st century.
Furthermore, feeding more knowledge into the business also helps to level out some costly
knowledge imbalances. The second-hand car market suffers because of this knowledge imbalance.
The seller knows how good (or bad) the car is but can’t communicate it in a meaningful way to the
buyer. Meanwhile the insurance industry derives a lot of value from it, i.e., knowing the risk better
than you do. IoT provides more information upon which to base intelligent decisions.
Many suppliers in IoT are guilty of their own form of knowledge imbalance, inhabiting a world of baffling
acronyms and technology that evolves at lightning pace. If you’re thinking of deploying IoT and you’re
interested in making intelligent decisions then you have already made a great one in reading this book.
Letting Syed Hosain reset your knowledge imbalance with this comprehensive and authoritative book.
Founder & CEO
3. THE DEFINITIV E GUIDE
| 2nd EDITION
| By Syed Zaeem Hosain, Chief Technology Officer
THE INTERNET OF THINGS
5. 2 WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS?
3 Defining a Moving Target
6 Examples of IoT in Use Today
9 The Guide to IoT for Business
12 IOT NETWORK TECHNOLOGY
12 Basic Internet Concepts
14 Choice of Connectivity
15 ICANN and IP Addresses
18 CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY AND LOCATION
18 Types of Cellular Technologies
26 Cellular Fall-Back
27 How to Determine Location
33 IOT SENSORS AND DATA COLLECTION
33 Typical IoT/M2M Sensors
38 Conversion to Digital Data
41 Calibration and Linearization
44 SCHEDULING, ENCODING, AND PROCESSING
45 Data Transmission Schedules
47 UDP or TCP
48 Content Encoding
52 Application Servers
53 Cloud Computing
54 Fog Computing
The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. i
56 SECURITY AND THE
INTERNET OF THINGS
56 Privacy and Security
57 Security Objectives
59 Security Issues for IoT/M2M
61 Risk Management and Assessing Impact of Breaches
63 Encryption as an IoT Tool
64 Choice of Encryption Algorithm
66 IOT SCALABILITY AND
68 What Is Scalability?
70 End-of-Life Management
70 Scalability and Connectivity
77 CONNECTIVITY MANAGEMENT PLATFORMS
77 What Is a Connectivity Management Platform?
78 The Difficulties of Managing IoT Connectivity
79 Why Business Needs Connectivity Management Platforms
81 Essential Connectivity Management Platform Features
84 IOT ANALYTICS
84 IoT Data and Analytics
85 Types of Analytics
89 Analytics Tools and Languages
The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. ii
7. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. iii
91 IMPLEMENTING AN IOT SOLUTION
91 Supply Chain Management
92 Cellular Operator Selection
93 Operator Support Service Level Agreement
93 Device Certification
94 Normal Operation Considerations
95 Application Communications Call Flow
95 Customer Support Process
97 IOT LIFECYCLE MANAGEMENT
97 Planning Checklist
99 Lifecycle Management Phases
103 Pitfalls to Avoid
105 THE FUTURE OF THE INTERNET OF THINGS
105 IoT Will Come First
106 Homes Will Get Smarter and More Connected
106 Enterprises Will Spend More on IoT
107 IoT Standards Will Need Better Definition
108 Security Concerns Will Continue
109 IoT Value Will Be Realized Through Data Analytics
111 DIRECTORY OF IOT/M2M TERMS
158 VISUALIZING THE INTERNET OF THINGS
8. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 1
What Is the Internet
2 WHAT IS THE INTERNET OF THINGS?
3 Defining a Moving Target
6 Examples of IoT in Use Today
9 The Guide to IoT for Business
9. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 2
The Internet of Things envisions a world where both ordinary and exotic devices are connected
wirelessly to the Internet and to each other. This means devices that do not already have a
network connection may have one added in the future, when it is logical and appropriate to do so.
One of the most basic uses of the IoT is to connect devices to the Internet so they can report
their status or their local environment. For example, an IoT device could be a temperature gauge,
a location sensor, a device measuring humidity, or an integrated circuit that checks vibration.
One or all of these sensors could then be attached to manufacturing machinery, and the data
transmitted would help a business track the machine’s operations. This data could track required
maintenance, improve production efficiencies, reduce downtime, increase safety, and more. Plus,
IoT devices may provide information on the ambient environment of the manufacturing space,
such as the temperature, pollution, and other conditions near the machinery, which may
be particularly relevant for remote installations.
Most IoT projects are motivated by a need to reduce operating costs or increase revenue.
Occasionally, legislation compels companies to deploy IoT applications that support a new law’s
data needs. Mobility is an obvious factor driving cellular adoption in markets like transportation.
Desire for competitive features may inspire IoT applications in consumer high-tech. But whatever
the specific purpose, connected IoT devices can give your business the data and information
needed to streamline workflows, predict necessary maintenance, analyze usage patterns,
automate manufacturing, and more.
The depth and breadth of IoT applications are creating new opportunities, providing new markets
for existing businesses, and improving operational efficiencies. Machina Research says the total
value of the IoT market will rise to $4 trillion USD by 20251
. Gartner predicts that the number of IoT
devices will grow to 26 billion units by 20202
1 “Machina Research Expands the Scope of Its IoT Forecasts and Highlights a USD 4 Trillion Revenue Opportunity in 2025,”
Machina Research, May 3, 2016.
2 “Gartner Says 4.9 Billion Connected ‘Things’ Will Be in Use in 2015,” Gartner, November 11, 2014.
What Is the Internet of Things?
10. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 3
Although the concept of the Internet of Everything emerged
as a natural development of the IoT movement and is largely
associated with Cisco Systems’ tactics to initiate a new
marketing domain, IoE encompasses the wider concept of
connectivity from the perspective of modern connectivity
technology use cases. IoE is comprised of four key elements
including all sorts of connections imaginable:
• People—Using end-nodes connected to the Internet to
share information and activities. Examples include social
networks and health and fitness sensors, among others.
• Things—Physical sensors, devices, actuators, and
other items generating data or receiving information from
other sources. Examples include smart thermostats
• Data—Raw data analyzed and processed into useful
information to enable intelligent decisions and control
mechanisms. Examples include temperature logs
converted into an average number of high-temperature
hours per day to evaluate room cooling requirements.
• Processes—Leveraging connectivity among data,
things, and people to add value. Examples include
the use of smart fitness devices and social networks to
advertise relevant healthcare offerings to prospective
Internet of Everything (IoE)
However, the very term “Internet of Things,” coined by British entrepreneur Kevin Ashton in 1999,
may no longer hold its original form. IoT is now largely overlapped, confused, and even mystified
with the idea “Internet of Everything” (IoE). The IoE is considered a superset of IoT, and the older
phrase “machine-to-machine” (M2M) communications is thought of as a subset of IoT. Let’s take
a closer look into the differences between IoT, IoE, and M2M that have impacted consumers and
DEFINING A MOVING TARGET
is considered a
superset of the
Internet of Things
(IoT), and the older
thought of as a
subset of IoT.
11. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 4
3 “Driving Unconventional Growth Through the Industrial Internet of Things,” Accenture Technologies, 2015.
IoE establishes an end-to-end ecosystem of connectivity including technologies, processes,
and concepts employed across all connectivity use cases. Any further classifications—such as
Internet of Humans, Internet of Digital, Industrial Internet of Things, communication technologies,
and the Internet itself—will eventually constitute a subset of IoE, if not considered as such already.
Devices, computers, and machines were already connected by the time Kevin Ashton coined the
term Internet of Things. The concept gained steam for its ability to connect the unconnected—
physical-first objects previously incapable of generating, transmitting, and receiving data unless
augmented or manipulated. Embedding sensors, control systems, and processors into these
objects enables horizontal communication across a multi-node, open network of physical-
first objects. The term is also vaguely used to describe connected digital-first devices such
as wearable gadgets that may be classified as “Internet of Digital” while offering the same
functionality as their physical-first counterparts developed into a smart connected technology.
The meaning and application of the term IoT will continue to evolve as new connected
technologies emerge, replacing physical-first objects with smart connected devices and
use-cases to constitute all new “Internet-of-X” classifications. Some examples of IoT include
connected cars, smart meters, and smart cities.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Industrial IoT is the use of IoT technology in business and manufacturing settings (such as utilities,
petrochemicals, manufacturing, heavy asset companies, and building automation) that are used
for asset tracking, new products/services, greater operational efficiency, etc. The term IIoT is
largely meant to include the IoT as it applies to industrial uses primarily in the manufacturing
industry and is a subset of IoT. The “Industrial Internet” has the potential to add $10-15 trillion to
the global GDP over the next 20 years.3
The Industrial IoT can be separated into three main areas: building automation, intelligent
maintenance, and machine automation.
• Building automation is the application of IoT technology to systems such as heating,
lighting, security, etc. In less than 150 years, we have gone from wood-burning stoves to IoT
automated systems that can accurately control multiple aspects of environments including
managing temperature to a specific degree automatically, based on weather and building
occupancy, without additional human input. Automation systems are already present in over
half the buildings in the US that are 100,000 square feet and above in size.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)
12. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 5
The aptly named IoT subset M2M initially represented closed, point-to-point communication
between physical-first objects. The explosion of mobile devices and IP-based connectivity
mechanisms has enabled data transmission across a system of networks. Now, M2M refers
to technologies that enable communication between machines without human intervention.
Examples include telemetry, traffic control, robotics, and other applications involving device-to-
The concepts of IoE, IoT, and M2M are inherently subject to the confusion surrounding limitations
associated with meanings, use cases, and adoption. While there are no industry standards and
regulations from appropriate governing authorities, these concepts will continue to evolve in
response to technology innovation, changing consumer trends, and varied marketing tactics.
Businesses evaluating the promise and potential of connectivity offerings will, therefore, have to
dig into the specifics of each situation instead of establishing conclusions based solely on the
proposed labels of IoE, IoT, or M2M.
4 “Operations and Maintenance Best Practices: A Guide to Achieving Operational Efficiency, Release 3.0,” 4. G. P. Sullivan, R.
Pugh, A. P. Melendez, and W. D. Hunt, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, August 2010.
5 “Industry 4.0: Huge Potential for Value Creation Waiting to Be Tapped,” Deutsche Bank Research, May 23, 2014.
Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Communications
Impact for Businesses and Consumers
• Intelligent maintenance is a subset of IIoT that applies to existing assets and management
systems. The benefits of intelligent maintenance are to reduce unexpected downtime, lower
maintenance costs, and eliminate machinery breakdowns. A government study has shown
that it could save up to 12% of scheduled repairs, reduce overall maintenance costs up to
30%, and eliminate breakdowns by up to 70%.4
• Machine automation incorporates IoT for precise mechanization and more flexible
production techniques to boost manufacturing productivity by as much as 30%.5
13. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 6
While the focus of this book is on business uses for IoT
technology, seeing how it applies to consumer devices
is relevant for a sense of scale and direct application in
everyday lives. These kinds of IoT devices let individuals
control their own network-connected devices from their
smartphones or wearables or get information about their
status from a webpage.
The most popular consumer IoT devices are typically
found in three major categories: The connected home
category includes the smart thermostat, intelligent lights,
connected appliances, and smart door locks. Next,
wearables dominate the consumer market with the smart
watch, activity/fitness tracker, and smart glasses. Finally,
the connected car rounds out the consumer category
with remote car controls, GPS navigation, and vehicle
diagnostics. Here are a couple of examples of popular
consumer IoT applications:
As new as the Internet of Things may seem,
many network-connected devices are already
in use all around us. You’ve probably heard of
connected homes or the smart grid—these
are just a few of the IoT systems aimed at
both everyday consumers and large-scale
IoT innovation is taking place in a wide range of
industries, locations, and types of business. IoT
innovation is only limited by our imaginations as
the technology largely exists although it may not
be readily available everywhere, as of yet. Here
are examples of innovations across a number of
different industries. Much more exists and more
have yet to be created.
EXAMPLES OF IOT IN USE TODAY
Consumer IoT Applications
The most popular
consumer IoT devices
are typically found
in three major
wearables, and the
Figure 1: The connected home
14. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 7
The Nest thermostat is arguably the most well-known of the products in this category. Nest,
which is currently owned by Google, provides a Wi-Fi-connected thermostat that’s capable of
learning a person’s activities and setting room temperature based on those preferences. The idea
behind Nest is to always keep a home comfortable while boosting energy efficiency.
The Nest can be integrated with automated IoT lighting, security systems, and other tools,
making the long-imagined connected home more of a reality.
Internet-connected fitness trackers such as FitBit and smartwatches like the Apple Watch do
everything from act as pedometers to sleep alarms to personal coaches. These devices are
part of a “quantified self” movement that started in the mid-2000s to gain greater personal
understanding through data and technology. Devotees feel that these wearables help to achieve
health goals, and they’re even used by businesses as part of employee wellness programs to
incentivize fitness and potentially reduce health insurance premiums.
The connected car is one area that has witnessed a large increase in features. Devices are being
developed that capture a car’s computer sensor data using the vehicle’s on-board diagnostic port
(OBD) for cars built since 1996. Examples include automatic notification of crashes, notification
of speeding, and safety alerts. Additionally, concierge features provided by automakers or apps
alert the driver of the best time to leave for a prompt arrival for an appointment in the calendar or
sending text message alerts to friends or business associates to alert them of arrival times. Users
can also unlock their cars, check the status of batteries on electric cars, find the location of the
car in a parking lot, or remotely activate the climate control systems. As time passes, we expect
an increasing number of applications including the truly self-driving car made possible by IoT
To date, most industrial uses of IoT have been for preventive
maintenance. These applications detect when a machine
has variations in vibration, temperature, speed, or other
metrics, to signal that they might require maintenance.
But using IoT for preventative maintenance was just a start.
This didn’t fully tap into the ability of network-connected
devices to talk to each other, thus letting them work
together. For example, a business could use a central
monitoring hub, or even an engineer with a smartphone, to
reach out to the machine and make changes on the device,
or deliver new instructions. More and more enterprises are
realizing that these communications can create greater
efficiencies and reduce production costs far beyond IoT
systems aimed at simple maintenance functions.
Enterprise IoT Applications
The fleet industry
has been one
of the earliest
industries to adopt
IoT because of its
15. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 8
The fleet industry has been one of the earliest industries to adopt IoT because of its many
benefits. IoT-enabled trucks, ships, and vans can be tracked and managed in a more efficient
manner allowing visibility across the transportation ecosystem. Fleet telematics allow the
exchange of information between a commercial vehicle fleet and a central dispatching office.
Now, the physical health of a vehicle can be checked at a fraction of the time and in real-time.
Additionally, GPS tracking can guide a vehicle to its destination in the most efficient manner and
allow the central office to optimize the dispatch of its fleet more effectively. Some of the leaders in
the fleet management space include PeopleNet and Isotrak.
Here are examples of other industries with interesting IoT enterprise applications that are currently
deployed in the field:
Acceptacard is a provider of dedicated card-processing solutions for UK businesses. Its mobile
POS terminal is a breakthrough from what is typically provided by the banking industry in that
there are no multi-year contracts with expensive terminals. Its mobile payment solution is a
terminal-independent solution with reliable connectivity service regardless of the location and is
designed for businesses that want a payment solution on a self-service basis with online access.
Badger Meter, a leading global manufacturer of flow measurement and control solutions, enables
smart water meters for utilities and consumers to better manage their water usage. Their managed
solution allows meters to be read remotely, providing more accurate readings with proactive information
to help organizations identify potential leaks and understand what is happening in their water systems.
Also, water customers will have more control of their water usage through a consumer portal and
smartphone and tablet apps giving end-users the opportunity to see how their water is being used.
Minnetronix is a medical technology company with deep expertise in electronic and
electromechanical devices. The company created a medical device platform for remote medical
device connectivity. The platform can be integrated with any class of medical device and allows
the company to remotely manage, update, locate, and understand how their devices are being
used in the field. With this system, businesses can get real-time access to valuable information
from their devices via the web or a mobile dashboard using cellular connectivity.
Figure 2: eHealth devices
16. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 9
Detectronic helps reduce flooding and prevents water pollution through its intelligent network
monitoring for the British and European water industries. The company’s remote monitoring
devices provide insightful data and permit analysis and reporting that help to prevent pollution
caused by network failure and predict flooding—reducing the risk of catastrophic failures. All of
these operations depend on a reliable cellular network with SIMs capable of working over many
years and sometimes in remote areas.
While many enterprises are using IoT technology to make money, nonprofit organizations and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are also showing how IoT can be used to make the
planet a more habitable place and improve people’s lives.
SweetSense is an organization that has teamed with governments and NGOs to put IoT sensors
on water pumps in rural Africa. This enables the NGOs that install the pumps to track the pumps’
functionality and maintain them more efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. In a Rwanda
study, only 56% of the water pumps were working consistently. After adding the SweetSense
technology to track the pumps’ function via cellular IoT systems and analytics, the water pumps
were able to be repaired more quickly, and 91% of the pumps could be kept working on a regular
basis. With projects like this from SweetSense, connected devices can help provide clean water
for more days out of the year for more people, improving their health and well-being.
Using IoT for a Better World
In this book, we will focus on how the burgeoning IoT/
M2M ecosystem can be used by business. In addition to
providing real-time information on devices in the field, IoT
works in the other direction too: it lets companies control
devices from a central location. This can provide everything
from marketing intelligence to improved preventative
maintenance. Companies can use IoT for applications as
diverse as helping medical professionals care for more
patients at the same time or giving retailers the ability to
customize advertising to a single individual.
THE GUIDE TO IOT FOR BUSINESS
You don’t need to
be an engineer or a
data scientist, but
it is useful to have
a grounding in the
concepts of how
IoT systems are
17. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 1: What Is the Internet of Things? | 10
To get started with IoT and M2M for your business, you’ll need a basic understanding of what
makes it all work. You don’t need to be an engineer or a data scientist, but it is useful to have a
grounding in the concepts of how IoT systems are connected, how they communicate, how the
data is analyzed, and how this can positively impact your organization. We’ll present an overview
on networking and the Internet and describe the Internet of Things in more detail. To do this, we’ll
cover these broad topics:
• The technology that connects the Internet of Things.
• How wireless devices are networked and locate themselves.
• Different types of sensors, how they work, and what they do.
• An overview of security technologies used to protect IoT data.
• How to scale up an IoT project to immense proportions.
• Using Big Data analytics to gain insight from the IoT ecosystem.
• IoT applications and their relationship to the IoT value chain.
• Advice for managing the lifecycle of an IoT deployment.
• A view into the future of the Internet of Things.
All of these aspects of the Internet of Things will be addressed from an enterprise point of view
for those running small to large businesses. While IoT will make an impact on many everyday
consumers’ lives, we feel that the end-user world of smartphones, fitness trackers, and connected
toasters has been sufficiently discussed elsewhere. We want to look behind the scenes into how
these IoT devices are run and managed, where the data they collect goes, and how it’s used. If
you’re in the business of IoT or looking to start up a deployment, this guide is for you.
18. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 2: IoT Network Technology | 11
12 IOT NETWORK TECHNOLOGY
12 Basic Internet Concepts
14 Choice of Connectivity
15 ICANN and IP Addresses
19. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 2: IoT Network Technology | 12
To understand how the Internet of Things and machine-to-machine communications work, you
need a basic overview of the technology used for the Internet. While technology is always evolving,
certain principles are common to how networking functions. What changes more frequently are the
tools and protocols used to access the network, such as modems, cellular radios, transmitters,
IoT Network Technology
• IP—Traffic on the Internet uses the Internet protocol (IP)
to transmit data. This communications protocol has a
routing function ideal for Internet connectivity. IP is used
to route data packets across the Internet from a source
host to a destination IP address. Every node in such a
network has an IP address, a unique numerical label.
The computers and printers in your office generally have
private, local-area network IP addresses, while websites
such as Aeris.com have public IP addresses.
BASIC INTERNET CONCEPTS
South Korea leads the
world with the fastest
connection speeds of
• Packet—Data travels across the Internet in packets. Each packet has both a source and
destination IP address, but many packets may be needed to make up one complete “item”.
For example, a single email message can be comprised of many different IP packets that,
when assembled by the recipient’s email program, makes a complete piece of mail. A
webpage retrieved by your browser is also comprised of multiple packets.
• Router—A router connects one network to another. For example, your home or office
wireless router connects the internal network in your home or office to the public Internet
via an Internet Service Provider (ISP). Your ISP connects to other providers and Internet
backbones using routers.
20. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 2: IoT Network Technology | 13
• Modem—A modem is a shortened term for “modulator-demodulator,” and it modulates
signals to encode digital information and demodulates the received signal to retrieve the
information. Wireless broadband modems are a popular way for smartphone and laptop users
to get Internet connections. Early wireless modems used the 2G cellular standards, but most
have moved to the faster 3G technologies. The newest standard is 4G LTE, which is becoming
rapidly available around the world.
• Speed—Internet speed is measured in megabits per second. For example, Netflix HD video
typically requires 5 megabits per second for good video quality viewing, although their service
will work at speeds as slow as 0.5 Mbps. South Korea leads the world with the fastest
average Internet connection speeds of 25.3 Mbps, and Hong Kong ranks second at 16.3
Mbps, while the United States has an average best speed of 11.5 Mbps as of 2014.
Figure 3: Data packets
Figure 4: ISP speed test
21. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 2: IoT Network Technology | 14
An Internet Service Provider (ISP) connects offices and homes to the Internet by taking that
network traffic and forwarding it to other networks until it gets to the desired destination. An
ISP could be, for example, Telstra in Australia. But it doesn’t stop there, because an ISP has
to connect to other ISP networks. For example, while Telstra runs a large Internet network in
Australia, it still has to connect to other networks within the country and around the world.
ISPs such as Telstra connect to Tier 2 or Tier 3 networks and up to Tier 1 networks that form
the Internet backbone. These top-level networks become the principle routes for Internet data
transmission around the world.
Wireless operators like Aeris connect IoT/M2M deployments to the Internet or private networks
in a similar fashion. A wireless operator has a cellular network that uses fixed transceivers or cell
towers instead of wires to transmit signals from the cellular devices into the network. Much like
ISPs using other ISPs, wireless operators can also connect to Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 networks.
This is how they deliver traffic on the wireless network when a mobile device requests data.
A home, office, or an IoT/M2M-networked device can be
connected to the Internet either via a wired or wireless
connection. If the connection is wired, it’s generally
connected directly into an Internet router, and the device
needs to remain stationary. A device with a wireless
connection can have a cellular modem, a Wi-Fi router, or
other connectivity technology, and among other things, this
lets the device be physically mobile.
The Internet can be accessed in many ways, depending on your device and application. There
are pros and cons to each form of connectivity technology, particularly when implementing a
large IoT/M2M project.
CHOICE OF CONNECTIVITY
Internet Service Providers
Wired and Wireless IoT Connections
The future holds
promise for more
varieties of wireless
such as wider
adoption of 4G LTE.
Wired connectivity was common in the early days of M2M
systems. For example, many factories installed pre-wired
systems for supervisory control and data acquisition. For
business and residential security systems, alarm panels
could use telephone circuits to communicate events—
like a burglary or fire—to central monitoring stations.
22. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 2: IoT Network Technology | 15
However, connectivity was dependent on where an ISP’s lines could extend to, and setups could
be complicated. These early applications tended to be purpose-built, meaning each industry and
company developed its own devices and software systems from scratch.
The 1990s saw a move towards using wireless radio technologies in these applications. Ademco
Corporation, a leader in intrusion and fire detection systems, began to build out a private radio
network to address this need. In 1995, Siemens introduced the first cellular radio module for data
transmission applications. Very shortly afterwards, Aeris introduced its MicroBurst™ data services
using the control channels of the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) cellular service, and
Ademco became the first major customer to deploy M2M devices using this transport.
These new technologies broke machines free from wires, and more IoT/M2M functions were
possible in different industries and even for consumer products. OnStar was one of the first
connected-car systems in 1995, offering a mix of safety services and entertainment options.
Fleet and container tracking solutions similarly made use of mobile telematics for the trucking and
railroad transportation industries. In addition to being mobile, cellular connectivity could extend
application reach to more remote locations than wired networks could allow.
By the 2000s, changes in cellular technology introduced digital cellular networks with features such
as Short Message Service (SMS), General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), and 1 Times Radio
Transmission Technology (1xRTT). However, there arose two competing types of digital cellular,
CDMA and GSM, and different industries chose each one. The automotive and trucking industries
mostly chose CDMA devices, while the alarm and security industries generally picked GSM. By
2017, the largest American 2G GSM operator will sunset its GSM network, so alarm and security
systems still using this service are upgrading to later technologies or switching cellular systems.
The future holds promise for more varieties of wireless data technologies such as wider
adoption of 4G LTE, and, eventually 5G in the next few decades. Short-range data transport
methods, such as Bluetooth, ZigBee, and 6LowPAN, may augment long-range cellular in some
applications. We are also seeing the commercial deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks
(LPWAN) that provide long-range communication similar to traditional cellular.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages top-level domain
name assignment and delegates the assignment of lower-level domains so no two domains get
assigned the same address. ICANN works with various regional Internet registries—for example,
the RIPE Network Coordination Centre is responsible for handing out IP address in Europe, the
Middle East, and parts of Asia, while LACNIC is responsible for Latin America. These regional
groups assign IP addresses to different countries. Coordination is important because, among
other things, the world began to run out of top-level IPv4 addresses in 2011.
ICANN AND IP ADDRESSES
23. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 2: IoT Network Technology | 16
Due to the explosion in the number of websites, mobile devices, and always-on IP connections
(the latter of which is crucial to future IoT/M2M deployments), the Internet governing bodies
realized that the IPv4 IP address space would not be sufficient over the long term.
Luckily, the shortage noted in 2011 has not had a serious impact on many people yet because
of techniques such as Network Address Translation (NAT). This allows a router to share the same
external public IP address, or set of public addresses, for all the traffic generated by systems on
the internal network. Because of NAT, many internal systems can share a common IP address for
external Internet access.
But the long-term solution for accommodating the billions of devices constantly being added to
the Internet, especially with IoT/M2M applications, is to upgrade the IP address space to a much
larger number range. Currently the vast majority of systems use IPv4 addresses like:
This is a 32-bit number comprised of four 8-bit numbers. There are theoretically
255*255*255*255 or approximately 4.2 billion of these numbers available. In actual practice,
there are fewer IPv4 addresses because of the groupings into IP address classes. Many address
ranges have special uses, like 192.nnn.nnn.nnn for internal networks.
Too Many Internet Devices for IPV4
The problem of not having enough IPv4 address numbers will be resolved when the Internet
world moves to IPv6. In IPv6, the total address space has been expanded to 128 bits (from the
32 bits used in IPv4). This allows 2 to the power 128 (or approximately 3.4 x 10 to the power 38)
Although not yet fully deployed across the Internet, IPv6 networks are already in use by many
large corporations and websites. For example, Google and Facebook have provided access to
their systems in IPv6 networks.
Ultimately, every device and router will use IPv6 addresses to access the public Internet. In the
interim, gateway systems provide address translation functions—allowing older IPv4 systems to
access future IPv6 networks.
The World Is Moving to IPV6
24. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 17
18 CELLULAR CONNECTIVITY
18 Types of Cellular Technologies
26 Cellular Fall-Back
27 How to Determine Location
25. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 18
In many Internet of Things and machine-to-machine applications, knowledge of the physical
location of the remote device as it performs its tasks is an important requirement, particularly if that
application’s behavior and function depends on the location of the device.
Various mechanisms can provide this physical location with varying degrees of accuracy. The
specific accuracy needed depends on the particular application function that uses the location.
In applications where the device moves its physical location as part of its normal tasks, cellular
technologies are commonly used for data transmissions.
This chapter briefly, and generally, describes the cellular technologies used in IoT/M2M
applications and the methods used to determine device location for the applications.
This section provides an overview of the cellular technologies available to IoT/M2M devices
and applications for long-range data transmissions. These cellular technologies are changing
and will continue to change over time. You should assume that new cellular technologies will
completely replace existing deployed technologies in time and plan the device and application
TYPES OF CELLULAR TECHNOLOGIES
Cellular service has evolved over time. Often, a fairly major change in the technology rendered
a previous technology incompatible and necessitated a replacement of the radios and handset,
along with changes in the network to support the new radios.
In the cellular industry, these major changes are loosely termed “generations” to distinguish and
summarize their technology, the protocols used, the network changes, and the commercial
Brief History of Cellular
26. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 19
The first cellular service was an analog cellular system1
later termed First Generation (1G). In
North and South America, this was the Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS). It was deployed
in the US in the early 1980s and was eventually shut down in February 2008.
AMPS used radio frequencies (spectrum) distinct from other wireless services. In particular, the
technology used relatively low-power transmissions, which restricted the distance of the radio
signals, to reach a tower (also called a base station) where the voice call could be sent into the
landline telephone system.
This allowed re-use of the radio channels beyond a particular distance from a tower—each
tower received and transmitted only to the cellular radio devices within that range. Grouped
into cells (hence, the term “cellular”) like a beehive, the tower radio did not communicate with
devices outside its cell. Cellular devices communicating in remote cells could use the same radio
channels (i.e., hence “re-use” the frequencies) without interfering with calls in the closer cell.
In the US, the spectrum used for AMPS was at 850 MHz (termed “cellular”) that was grouped into
two bands (called “A” and “B”). Thus, each market had two cellular telephone service providers
that customers could select to receive their cellular service.
The A and B bands in each market were subdivided into 30 kHz analog voice channels.
During a voice call, a channel at the tower was dedicated to that particular call, to transmit and
receive from a cellular telephone (also called a “cellphone,” “mobile,” or “handset”). The voice
communication used the entire channel for the duration of the call. As can be appreciated, this
was a very inefficient use of that available spectrum.
1 Although analog cellular is no longer used, it is described here for completeness.
1980s 1990s 2000s 2008 Beyond
Evolution of Cellular Connectivity
27. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 20
To maintain backwards compatibility with AMPS in the early deployments, technologists in the US
used a mechanism to slice each AMPS radio channel in time. When speaking into a cellphone,
the human voice is converted from the analog electrical signals generated by the microphone,
into digital bits using an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC). To listen to the received voice from the
tower, digital bits are converted into an analog electrical signal using a Digital to Analog Converter
(DAC) and then amplified to drive a speaker in the cellphone.
In ANSI-136 TDMA, each voice call was allocated one-third of the time (the “slot”) that the channel
was active for the transmission of the digitized voice bits. The transmissions were decoded at the
towers into multiple voice paths sent into the landline telephone system to their destinations. Hence
the general term for the protocol: Time Domain Multiple Access (TDMA). Humans are unaware of
the missing “times” when the channel is used for other voice calls, as long as the duration of the
missing time is short enough. The TDMA2
protocol is quite successful at this function.
The standard deployment was called EIA-136 TDMA (eventually ANSI-136 TDMA), and it
improved the efficiency of the channel by a factor of three (since each call only used the channel
one-third of the time). Essentially, each channel could now support three TDMA voice calls
simultaneously rather than one AMPS voice call.
2 The term TDMA is a description of the method and protocol for the data encoding, and “ANSI-136 TDMA” is a specific set of
standards implemented for these cellular transmissions. This distinction will become clearer when the GSM technology is described.
When more and more cellular users began using AMPS, it became clear that the available
channels could not support the business requirements of the operators who provided the service.
Improvements were needed.
Thus, radio technologists began to explore ways to use available wireless spectrum more efficiently.
The first improvement used digital encoding protocols for the communication rather than analog.
Three competing digital systems came into existence: ANSI-136 TDMA, ANSI-95 CDMA, and
GSM. Since this was a major change to cellular technology, these new systems (and the additional
data transmission protocols, see below) were termed Second Generation (2G) cellular.
Eventually, AMPS and other analog cellular services were discontinued in most parts of the world
(in the US, this was the “AMPS Sunset” in February 2008).
28. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 21
In general, CDMA protocols are more spectrally efficient
than TDMA protocols. This has allowed the deployed CDMA
technologies to survive longer than other protocols. The time
slots in TDMA are not necessarily optimal for all use cases
and essentially have a hard limit when every slot in a channel
is in actual use for calls.
In CDMA, additional calls are combined (or “spread”) using
mechanisms that are beyond the scope of this book to
describe. Suffice it to say that the number of possible calls
in a given channel may not be entirely deterministic. A very
rough estimate (and this is subject of some heated debate)
is that ANSI-95 CDMA was probably ten to twenty times
more efficient than AMPS, while ANSI-136 TDMA was three
times more efficient than AMPS.3
You should assume
that new cellular
technologies in time
and plan the device
In the 1990s, another new digital protocol was also deployed. Rather than using TDMA encoding,
the digitized human voice bits are combined, or multiplexed, with “codes” using a mathematical
algorithm. Thus, this encoding protocol is called Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA).
The combination of voice bits combined with codes allows the data to be transmitted over a
single wider channel. In ANSI-95 CDMA, each channel is approximately 1.25 MHz wide. The
bits are essentially “spread” across the spectrum width of that channel, and it is thus a “spread-
spectrum” communications system.
In Europe (and eventually most of the world), a different approach was used for the first digital
cellular deployments. Although the encoding mechanism is still TDMA, the available spectrum
was grouped into 200 kHz channels with eight time slots, rather than 30 kHz channels with
three time slots in ANSI-136 TDMA. This system was termed Global System for Mobile
Communications (GSM)—a marketing term that described this digital cellular service.
The bandwidth allocations and channel differences in the TDMA transmissions in ANSI-136
TDMA and the TDMA transmissions in GSM are incompatible. A GSM cellphone could not
operate in an ANSI-136 TDMA network and an ANSI-136 TDMA cellphone could not operate in a
GSM network. Of course, there were other network differences too (such as the messages used
in the control channels of the technologies), but the radio technical differences were fundamental.
3 The term CDMA is a description of the method and protocol for the data encoding, and “ANSI-95 CDMA” is a specific set of
standards implemented for these cellular transmissions. This distinction will become clearer when newer technologies are described.
29. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 22
GSM rapidly became popular in Europe and in other parts of the world. This was particularly true
because the early analog cellular systems in many countries were entirely replaced very quickly or
were not deployed in the first place in some other countries.
This rapid growth of GSM networks and services made it a popular choice outside the Americas
and a few other countries. With the far larger deployed base of cellphones, the economies of
scale meant that GSM cellphones rapidly became lower in cost than ANSI-136 TDMA cellphones.
Thus, the operators in North and South America eventually abandoned ANSI-136 TDMA in favor
of GSM to take advantage of this reduced cost.
When cellular systems became digitally encoded, it was natural to consider treating the
transmitted digital bits as something other than human voice encoded bits. This allowed the
deployment of data transmission services for purposes other than human voice. This included
communications from mobile radio devices (data handsets) and data cards for mobile computers
(laptops) to access the increasingly important Internet and the World Wide Web.
The mechanism for treating the digital bits as application data, rather than human voice, was
different in the deployed technologies. ANSI-136 departed too quickly for any significant data
protocols to be deployed, but both 2G GSM and ANSI-95 CDMA experienced this evolution.
GSM introduced a practical data transmission technology
called General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), followed by an
improvement called Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
(EDGE) with higher throughput.
These technologies were popular for cellular data
communications, although the throughput rates are
extremely slow by today’s expectations for smartphones
that access the Internet. In IoT/M2M applications, however,
where the throughput requirements are lower, GPRS is a
perfectly good technology for data transmissions.
Thus, GPRS is commonly used around the world for cellular IoT/M2M applications. But it
encountered spectral efficiency issues that make it impractical for use for high-end human
smartphone applications. In the US, the largest operator providing 2G GSM announced that it will
stop providing GPRS and EDGE data services (and hence, sunset 2G GSM) on January 1, 2017.
2G GSM DATA: GPRS, EDGE
In the US, the largest
operator providing 2G
GSM announced that
it will stop providing
GPRS and EDGE data
services (and hence,
sunset 2G GSM) on
January 1, 2017.
30. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 23
Other US operators are likely to follow this example at some time in this decade too, but this is
less of a problem for countries where competitive business pressures for wireless spectrum are
not as high. For example, GPRS is very likely—albeit not certain—to remain in use in Europe
through the middle of the next decade.
EDGE was rarely used for IoT/M2M applications, since GPRS (in GSM) and 1xRTT (in CDMA, see
below) was sufficient for the vast majority of such uses, and newer data technologies became
common for power smartphone users quickly enough.
Like GPRS in GSM, the CDMA operators in many countries deployed a data transmission
technology called 1x Real Time Transmission (1xRTT). This was faster than GPRS in its base
throughput rate and has also proven to be very successful for many IoT/M2M applications.
Defined into the ANSI-2000 standard, it provided (and continues to provide) a reliable, extensive
coverage data network for IoT/M2M applications.
In the US, the wide availability of 1xRTT makes it an easy choice for physically mobile
applications, such as the automotive and trucking industry, that need coverage across the
continent. The early deployment and expansion of CDMA and 1xRTT (while the other camp was
busy with a transition from ANSI-136 to GPRS) led to excellent coverage across the country.
However, the complexity of the CDMA data encoding protocol compared to TDMA also resulted
in a higher cost for the radio modules, since chipsets for CDMA radios are more complex. Thus,
due to the greater deployment of GSM and economies of scale, 1xRTT modules are more
expensive than GPRS radio modules.
For smartphone users, the CDMA data standards were substantially improved to enhance their
data throughput rates. Technology change cycles added EV-DO Rev. A and EV-DO Rev. B to the
portfolio (renaming the original implementation as EV-DO Rev. 0). The changes were added to a
new standard called ANSI-2000, which detailed the 1xRTT and EV-DO technologies.
Although used by some IoT/M2M applications, 3G EV-DO has not been extensively used for
these kinds of applications, since the higher throughput (compared to 1xRTT) is not strictly
required. The excellent coverage and availability of 1xRTT service in the US essentially made it
unnecessary to do so, since the radio module costs are higher for EV-DO.
2G CDMA DATA: 1XRTT
3G CDMA (EV-DO)
31. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 24
In the GSM technologies, it became clear over time that the 2G GSM voice and data transports—
GPRS and EDGE—that used the TDMA encoding protocol, were not sufficiently spectrum-
efficient. The cost of adding new spectrum became much higher, as national governments began
auctioning new spectrum for smartphone data uses.
Thus, the standards bodies began defining and deploying a new technology called Universal
Mobile Telephone Service (UMTS). They abandoned the TDMA protocols in favor of a new
CDMA protocol since CDMA is more spectrum-efficient than TDMA. However, in UMTS, a wider
5 MHz channel differentiates it from the ANSI-95 and ANSI-2000 deployments. The differences
are substantial enough that the UMTS protocol is often referred to as using Wide-Band CDMA
(W-CDMA) to distinguish it from ANSI-2000 CDMA.
In UMTS, the data technologies have evolved quickly. Early “faster in one direction” transports—
such as High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High-Speed Uplink Packet Access
(HSUPA)—have been mostly replaced by High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), including variants
called HSPA+ that allow for yet faster throughput.
In most IoT/M2M applications, using 3G HSPA is not needed since the performance and
throughput of this data technology is high. Indeed, the 5 MHz channel allows it to provide faster
overall throughput than EV-DO with its 1.25 MHz channels. However, since 2G GSM data
transports (GPRS) have a finite availability in North American markets, there is a need to change,
and 3G HSPA is one service that can fill that need.
On the other hand, 3G HSPS is a relatively recent technology and does not have the coverage
of 2G GSM GPRS or 2G CDMA 1xRTT. And 4G LTE networks are also being rapidly deployed.
Thus, many 2GSM IoT/M2M applications are either switching to 2G CDMA 1xRTT for an interim
solution or leapfrogging 3G to go directly to 4G LTE in the near future. This choice is generally a
function of the cost of available radio modules and service coverage.
One limitation of 3G technologies is that they use fixed-width channels. With the ever-increasing
number of smartphone data users, the availability of wireless spectrum has created many new
bands that are not always optimally usable by 3G technologies. National governments have
auctioned a large number of new bands for smartphone users.
To use these new bands, the standards entities developed a new technology for more flexible
spectrum use. Since they also had the opportunity to select the encoding protocols to use these
new bands, Long Term Evolution (LTE) was designed to use a new protocol called Orthogonal
Frequency Domain Multiple Access (OFDMA). Again, the specific encoding details of OFDMA
is beyond the scope of this book, but it has been termed a Fourth Generation (4G) technology,
since it is quite different from 3G and also meets some of the original performance requirements
set for new cellular implementations under the umbrella of a 4G service.
3G UMTS (HSPA/HSPA+)
32. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 25
What is quite important, however, is that LTE is very flexible in terms of the channel widths that
can be used, and thus the available spectrum bands can be partitioned into smaller blocks with
greater ease. And it also allows existing spectrum to be partitioned into multiple blocks, which
can allow an operator to deploy 4G without having to entirely remove older technologies.
The flexibility comes at a price. There are more than 30 bands available for LTE use, and countries
have not auctioned or made available the full set of possible bands. Indeed, some bands may be
impossible to use for LTE in certain countries because they are dedicated to other uses.
Thus handsets that can be used for LTE everywhere must support a number of different bands,
and the addition of each band adds cost, since filters and power-amplifiers inside the radios must
support each band. For IoT/M2M applications, this can increase the overall cost of the radio
module substantially. Smartphones can absorb the higher cost of multiple band support, since it is
a smaller percentage of the overall cost of the phone. This cost issue will eventually drop in impact,
because the ever-increasing number of deployed LTE units will cause economies of scale to apply.
In addition, LTE uses the concept of categories (CAT) to define a set of performance metrics
that are dependent on other parameters (such as the number of spatial layers, antennas, and
protocols). Originally defined as CAT 1 through CAT 8, these provided a different range of
performance, from 10 Mbits/sec download speeds in CAT 1 through 1200 Mbits/sec downloads
in CAT 8.
Most LTE smartphones use CAT 3 and 4 to provide data rates that are sufficient for power users,
and CAT 6 smartphones are becoming available. For IoT/M2M applications, CAT 1 radios would
be sufficient performance, but were not originally developed since the LTE chipsets with CAT 1
support were not deemed adequate for smartphone users. However, recent developments in LTE
chipsets have allowed manufacturers to release CAT 1 modules for IoT and M2M applications.
The standards bodies also defined CAT 0 (and CAT M) radios for LTE that have reduced
performance and network requirements, and these have been recently ratified. These are
expected to be supported in LTE chipsets and within the network (since changes are required in
the network deployments too) within the next few years.
CAT 0 radios that do not support the higher performance requirements of LTE categories should
be even less expensive, since the chipsets should be substantially lower in cost too.4
4 The CDMA operators (who had deployed 2G 1xRTT and 3G EV-DO) as well as the GSM operators (who had deployed 2G
GSM/GPRS/EDGE and 3G HSPA) are all rapidly moving to fully deploy 4G LTE—this has implications for the types of LTE
radios used by these operators.
33. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 26
During the early phases of any new cellular generation deployment, it is often the case that the
newer generation is not fully deployed everywhere. Typically, the geographical coverage starts
small and expands over time. Thus, the cellular devices must support multiple generations of
technologies till coverage is fully complete for the new technology.
The cellular radios essentially “fall back” from newer generations to older generations when the
newer generation service is not available at a particular geographical location. The control of
when to fall back (including which technology to fall back to) is incorporated in the Subscriber
Identity Module (SIM) or other radio firmware.
To accommodate this fall-back requirement, in GSM, all 3G cellular devices—modules,
smartphones, and cellphones—are expected to also function in 2G GSM/GPRS and EDGE
modes. This allows them to be used in areas where 3G UMTS service may not be available. This
increases the cost of the cellular device, but is an acceptable trade-off since it is essential to
provide robust service coverage for all users of the services.
Similarly, in CDMA, the 3G EV-DO modules, smartphones, and cellphones are capable of being
used in 2G 1xRTT modes—enabling use in markets where 3G may not be available (this is a
relatively rare situation however).
In 4G LTE, there are two technology fallback mechanisms.
For the CDMA operators who are deploying LTE, the radio
must fall back from LTE to EV-DO and 1xRTT. For the GSM
operators deploying LTE, the radio must fall back from LTE
to UMTS (HSPA) and then to EDGE or GPRS (since 3G is
not available everywhere).
These fall-back mechanisms increase the complexity
and cost of the chipsets within the current modules and
smartphones. In time, when LTE is commonly available
everywhere that cellular services are deployed, it makes
sense to use radios that only use LTE services—called
LTE-Only modules. These have just begun appearing for
purchasing, and more manufacturers will deploy LTE-Only
Two Fall-Back Mechanisms
The cellular radios
back” from newer
when the newer
is not available
at a particular
34. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 27
LTE-Only can reduce the cost of modules substantially—with scale, these LTE-Only devices are
approaching, and will become less expensive than the lowest-cost 2G GPRS radios available
today. In a few more years, this should be true for all suppliers that provide IoT/M2M modules.
Customers who want to migrate from 2G to 3G services to 4G may find it worthwhile to wait for
this cost reduction in LTE-Only modules to make the transition.
This transition date is dependent on the customer product longevity requirements—clearly 2G
GPRS units may stop working in markets (such as the US) soon enough that a transition to a 2G
CDMA, 3G HSPA, or a 4G LTE device may be required sooner rather than later.
For many IoT/M2M applications, knowledge of
the physical location of the devices is important—
not only to the device but also to the application
servers that process data from the devices.
For example, in consumer automotive M2M and
IoT applications, knowledge of the exact location,
to a reasonable accuracy, of a vehicle crash is vital
so that emergency first responders can be sent to
the crash site quickly. Seconds may matter!
In truck telematics, a dispatch service may need to know the location of the vehicles in its fleet to
optimize the selection of the correct vehicle to handle the specific event—perhaps it is the nearest
vehicle to the pickup or one that has the available cargo capacity for the job. In both cases, the
knowledge of the device location is important to a particular degree of accuracy (i.e., the error in
the location “fix”).
For emergency dispatch, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has defined
location accuracy requirements that must be made available to Public Safety Access Point
(PSAP) personnel. These are often called the “E911” requirements, since the number 911 is
used to access emergency services from landline phones and cellphones.
The E911 accuracy requirements are not necessarily sufficient for some IoT/M2M applications.
The location error may not allow proper calculation of routes or dispatch with sufficient
optimization. For these applications, more accurate location fix mechanisms must be used.
HOW TO DETERMINE LOCATION
The E911 accuracy
requirements are not
necessarily sufficient for
some IoT/M2M applications—
for these applications,
more accurate location fix
mechanisms must be used.
35. The Definitive Guide | The Internet of Things for Business, 2nd Edition. CH 3: Cellular Connectivity and Location | 28
Location From Cellular Network
Global Positioning System
To support the E911 requirements for physically mobile cellphones used by humans (i.e., which
are not fixed at a particular address like a landline phone), cellular operators have implemented
various device location mechanisms in their networks. These generally rely on classic radio
triangulation techniques that provide the specified degree of accuracy for the E911 requirements.
These network-based location fixes are made available to the PSAP personnel as needed, and
are also available from operators as Location-Based Service (LBS) information, generally for a fee
charged for each location fix of a cellular device. Unfortunately, the cost of these location fixes
may be too high for many IoT/M2M uses, and the accuracy may not be sufficient for some uses,
and thus, has not proven to be a common technique.
Thus, using the GPS (as well as GLONASS, and soon, Galileo) system may well prove to be a
superior solution for most M2M and IoT applications.
In the latter half of the last century, the US Department of Defense deployed a set of 24 satellites
into Earth orbit for a very singular purpose: it allowed a GPS-equipped device to determine its
location on the surface of the earth with very good accuracy.
Many cellphones are now equipped with Global Positioning
System (GPS) support that allows the phones to determine
their location and provide that information to the cellular
network, for E911 and other purposes. Enabling this function
is often an available choice in cellphones equipped with GPS.
In IoT/M2M applications, most modules have built-in GPS
support (sometimes including support for both systems
operated by the US and Russian governments). In the
future, support for Galileo will be implemented in most
modules and handset.
These can be used by the application firmware in the device
when needed for a particular function—such as responding
to a location fix request by a dispatch application.
GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM
references can be
used by certain
receivers to greatly
enhance the basic
accuracy of the GPS
system from 15
meters to less than