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A fresh approach to remote IoT Connectivity by Podsystem

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There are a huge number of IoT devices, often roaming across countries and continents, that are located outside urban areas.

This poses significant challenges to both the design and connectivity of the device, the biggest concern being that there is no room for error, as troubleshooting and maintenance of remote and roaming devices is complicated and costly.

As part of the Internet of Things North America conference in Chicago Illinois (April 13th – 14th 2016), Podsystem Inc. CEO Sam Colley presented ‘A Fresh Approach to Remote IoT Connectivity’ at 11:30 on April 14th.

Sam addressed the challenges faced by remote IoT applications developers and discussed ways of overcoming them.

His presentation is centered around an infographic which outlines the main issues involved in developing remote IoT applications and explains how to make the correct choices in terms of device design, connectivity and future proofing to prolong the lifespan of the application and avoid costly mistakes.

Publicada em: Dispositivos e hardware
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A fresh approach to remote IoT Connectivity by Podsystem

  1. 1. A fresh approach to remote IoT Connectivity
  2. 2. Past High cost Hardware Analysis of data M2M applications for specific requirements Widespread roll out Sensors Connectivity Bandwidth and Processing New ways to analyze data Reduction in prices Massive roll out of IoT Apps Present Future 328 million devices connected to the internet per month Huge growth 27.8 - 50 billion devices connected by 2020. Nearly $6 trillion will be spent on IoT solutions over the next 5 years
  3. 3. • We all know that the IoT is growing at a phenomenal rate. Firstly let’s recap the main drivers and market conditions that have converged to cause this growth. • Although the phrase Internet of Things has only existed since around 1999, the potential for the growth in connected devices has always been there, since the beginnings of TCP/IP in 1974. • As an M2M company which has been in the space since before these terms were widely used, we have seen and experienced first hand how these connected devices have developed and the drivers that have made the Internet of Things a reality. • In the past, M2M applications existed for specific requirements, for example, monitoring of energy applications such as wind turbines, but the high cost of the hardware and challenge of analysing the data produced made widespread roll out difficult. • In the present: One of the main market conditions that has eliminated the barriers to the growth of the IoT has been the rapid decrease in the cost of sensors, connectivity, bandwidth and processing. This, combined with new ways to analyse the data mean that the roll out of IoT applications has begun on a massive scale. This opportunity covers a huge variety of applications in different sectors, including connected homes, connected cities, connected industry, connected cars and wearables. • In the future: We are now forecasting huge growth in the number of connected devices, with 328 million devices being connected to the internet each month. Depending on which forecasts you use, there will be between 27.8 and 50 billion units connected by 2020. This represents a huge business opportunity with forecasts of nearly $6 trillion to be spent on IoT solutions over the next five years. IoT past, present and future
  4. 4. Drivers and growth markets Logistics Automotive Consumers Government Business Manufacturing Energy 1 2 3 Top IoT solutions adopters
  5. 5. • Businesses will be the top adopter of IoT solutions. They see three ways the IoT can improve their bottom line by 1) lowering operating costs; 2) increasing productivity; and 3) expanding to new markets or developing new product offerings. • The second-largest adopters of IoT ecosystems are governments. The main benefits they see from adoption of IoT solutions are 1) increased productivity, 2) decreased costs, and 3) improving their citizens’ quality of life. • Although most of the hype around the IoT is focused on consumer devices, such as those used in a smart home, the likelihood is that consumers will lag behind businesses and governments in IoT adoption. The benefits from a consumer point of view and the return on their investment from these devices is less clear. Even so, they will purchase a massive number of devices and invest a significant amount of money in IoT ecosystems. • This means that despite what most people think about when the IoT is mentioned, (for example smart fridges and wearable devices), many IoT applications will actually be located much further afield and many will be mission critical, roaming or real time, for example connected cars (which is one of the fastest growing sectors in the IoT), industrial applications, and applications in the agricultural and logistics sectors. It is the connectivity challenges associated with these remote, roaming and mission critical applications that are covered in this presentation. Drivers and growth markets
  6. 6. When we think of the IoT, we often think of the more consumer focused smart home applications, connected fridges, alarm systems etc. But many IoT applications are located much further afield. Rural areas (e.g. agriculture, energy, environment) Remote applications Roaming applications (e.g. connected cars, one of the fastest growing sectors in the IoT) Mission critical and real time (e.g. Industrial IoT and healthcare) Satellite Applications: Very remote such as at sea or developing countries with no mobile infrastructure Cellular (GSM, GPRS, 3G, 4G) Also 3GPP (Cat 1, Cat 0, Cat M, NB-IoT) Applications: Mission critical such as Industrial IoT, healthcare, Roaming real-time such as Connected Car LPWAN (LoRaWAN, Neul, Nwave, UNB e.g. Sigfox, Weightless etc.) Applications: Utilities, smart cities, smart buildings, consumer, logistics and some agricultural Wifi, Bluetooth, Thread, Zigbee, Z-Wave Applications: Smart Home, intelligent buildings The IoT is everywhere...
  7. 7. • With so many different connectivity options for developers of IoT solutions, and new standards being released all the time, how can developers decide on the best option for their specific application and one which will allow longevity of the device? • The type of application is an obvious place to start, since some technologies are more suited to near range applications like Smart homes (for example Bluetooth, WiFi and Zigbee) whilst others are much more suited to remote or roaming applications (such as cellular and satellite). • So a simplistic way to look at this would be short range vs long range. Cost, power and range are the key characteristics that need to be considered for any IoT application, and generally speaking, short range technologies tend to be low cost and low power while long range tend to have higher associated costs and higher power. But what we are seeing as the market develops are many IoT applications that require a combination of the two (low power, low cost and long range) which has led to a whole range of new technologies being introduced. • On the other hand, LPWAN has emerged as an option for applications which are power sensitive and require low data throughput and there are a whole host of emerging technologies and standards in this segment including Sigfox, Weightless-W (first introduced by Neul to operate in TV white space spectrum) has since evolved into Weightless-P, LoRa and RPMA (Random Phase Multiple Access). • Since no two IoT applications are the same, when considering these technologies it is not so much a question of which will prevail, but which is best suited to which application. The IoT is everywhere…
  8. 8. Connectivity Options ADVANTAGES Highest throughput DISADVANTAGES Spectrum utilization, power requirementsWifi Bluetooth beacons Low application throughput Bluetooth LPWA Cellular No power requirement Low cost Global coverage, application profile standards Higher reliability for mission critical applications CAT 1 and CAT 0 LTE for low cost, and ultimately NB-IoT high range data transfer Power requirements, coverage “black spots” Low data throughput Less reliability for mission critical and real-time applications Satellite Breadth of coverage even in areas with limited infrastructure e.g. at sea or in developing countries Price and interference due to weather conditions Near range Near range Wide range Global Ethernet IoT frameworks map higher-level protocols, stable service for SLAs, mobile backhaul, security Limited range, devices don’t work until they have a method of communication with the network Global
  9. 9. • With so many different connectivity options for developers of IoT solutions, and new standards being released all the time, how can developers decide on the best option for their specific application and one which will allow longevity of the device? • Each has its advantages and disadvantages, it is a question of evaluating the best option for the type of application. • Factors to consider: Range - are you deploying to a single office floor or an entire city? Data Rate - how much bandwidth do you require? How often does your data change? Power - is your sensor running on mains or battery? Frequency - have you considered channel blocking and signal interference? Security - will your sensors be supporting mission critical applications? •Near Range: There are a plethora of connectivity options for near-range applications such as smart homes or smart cities. However some of these applications do require the increased coverage offered by cellular (e.g. traffic light systems). Within smart cities, cellular is also a good option due to the existing telecoms infrastructure which has been designed for consumer subscriptions, e.g. there is an increased density of cell towers in these areas. •Mid Range: LPWA networks will bridge the gap between the near-range applications and the remote and roaming applications cellular and satellite can support. LPWA is a complement to existing cellular applications, and is ideal for those with low data throughput requirements and the need for no/low power. •Long Range: For remote and roaming applications, especially those that require real-time or mission critical data, cellular and satellite are really the only options. Cellular is the only technology that can provide the coverage and throughput required for rural mission critical applications. Throughput for 4G LTE-Advanced tops out at about 1 Gb/s, while 5G promises 10 Gb/s. Connectivity Options
  10. 10. Cellular connectivity offers many advantages for remote, roaming and mission critical applications 1- Global nature of cellular infrastructure 2- Defined standards for 2G, 3G, 4G 3- Multi-Network and roaming capability 4- Rapid throughput of data for real time applications 5- Future 3GPP standards (Cat 1, Cat M, NB-IoT) will offer optimized, lower cost connectivity for IoT WHY? Networks are not currently designed to support the growth in traffic forecasted for the IoT BUT
  11. 11. • Of all the IoT connectivity options currently on offer, cellular is one of the most versatile, in cities the proliferation of cell towers makes it a good option for Smart City applications and this infrastructure extends globally to support roaming and remote applications. • Within the current jumble of standards, cellular offers clear and defined standards for 2G, 3G and 4G. The 3GPP standard will create an optimized, more cost effective technology for IoT. • The multi-network capabilities offered by many cellular providers and the ability of the SIM card to roam across countries and continents makes it an ideal solution for roaming applications such as logistics and connected cars where providing a continuous connection with high throughput is essential. • High throughput of data is also essential for many real time and mission critical applications, such as industrial and remote healthcare where the need to receive and analyse the data immediately is paramount and reliability of the connection is key. HOWEVER • It is this reliability for mission critical applications that needs to be addressed. • Currently, networks are not designed to support IoT applications. Cellular infrastructure was originally designed with consumer applications in min. • Now we need to look at how this scenario needs to change for cellular to support the massive growth of the IoT . Advantages of cellular connectivity for remote applications
  12. 12. BI Intelligence estimates that 92 million cars shipped globally in 2020 Built with internet- connection hardware Growing at a five-year compound annual growth rate of 45% — 10 times as fast as the overall car market. Other 75% x 10 By 2024, in certain network cell sites, Machina Research predicts a data traffic uplift of 97% due to large amounts of connected cars. These peaks have obvious implications for QoS Cell A Cell B Cell C Cell D 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Trafficuplift 2014 2024 Connected Cars
  13. 13. • An example is the connected cars market, one of the fastest growing IoT markets. • Machina Research predicts that by 2024 connected cars could cause a 97% uplift in traffic at certain cell sites during peak hours. • These peaks in traffic have obvious implications for QoS. Network resource management is not based on the total volume of traffic, it is based on demand on particular cell sites during peak times of traffic use. • High throughput of data is also essential for many real time and mission critical applications, such as industrial and remote healthcare where the need to receive and analyse the data immediately is paramount and reliability of the connection is key. • If IoT devices regularly generate spikes in usage in a particular location which cannot be met, there are implications for customer satisfaction, and even the risk of non-compliance with service level agreements (SLAs). • Because of the nature of remote and roaming IoT applications, spikes will most likely be caused in areas where the existing infrastructure has not been designed to cope with the level of data traffic predicted (i.e. there is less density of cell towers) . • Even in densely populated areas, we all know that cellular networks cannot guarantee uptime 100% of the time. Outages can be caused by technical faults on the network, or market conditions can change (e.g. roaming agreements or pricing) which can affect the connectivity of devices in the long term. Connected cars
  14. 14. 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Cars Cities Health Industry Living and Working In total Machina Research forecast that there will be 29 billion M2M connections by 2024, up from 4.5 billion in 2014. 0.5 0.0 1.5 1.0 2.5 2.0 Global cellular M2M connections 2014-2024
  15. 15. • Machina Research has forecast the growth in cellular connections to 2024. • Although when compared to consumer connections and traffic, M2M accounts for a relatively low percentage of connections (19%) and traffic (4%), it is not the volume of traffic generated but the behavior of IoT devices that will put pressure on the existing infrastructure. • From this graphic we can see that connected cars will form a large portion of this growth which has big implications for network pressure. Growth in cellular connections
  16. 16. Networks have traditionally been designed to manage mobile traffic from consumer devices. IoT devices put very different demands on the network Distributed deployments in rural areas create additional demand in areas with less infrastructure. Devices connect on a best-effort basis. Consumers accept the limitations. Devices use more data less frequently. Mission critical IoT applications require real-time feedback greater demand for more robust systems with lower latency. IoT devices generate traffic with different patterns. Often small, regular data use (e.g. a network ping). Devices are generally located in populated areas (cities, towns etc.) Most cell towers are located in these areas. Consumer devices IoT devices Consumer and IoT device behavior
  17. 17. • Although IoT devices may not necessarily generate huge volumes of data, these devices have their own particular demands. IoT devices behave very differently to consumer devices. • Networks have traditionally been built to manage mobile traffic from consumer devices. IoT devices mean more distributed deployments. Agricultural applications, for instance, will create clusters of additional demand in previously lightly-covered rural areas. • Compared to consumer devices which will accept connection on a best-effort basis, many IoT applications are mission-critical, e.g. life-critical healthcare applications. Mission-critical applications have the potential for carrying a substantial ARPU, making them appealing to MNOs. • In IoT applications, real-time feedback is required, providing a greater demand for more robust systems with lower latency. • Mobile networks have been provisioned to cope with patterns generated by consumer devices. IoT devices generate traffic with many alternative patterns. In a lot of cases the device is simply sending a network ping or is reporting simple data on a regular basis. In both cases, the signalling overhead associated with the communication is substantial, given the very low volume of data being sent. Differences in the way consumer and IoT devices connect
  18. 18. Open Connectivity... Where do we go from here? Huge growth in IoT apps Many different connectivity options, varying levels of standardization No one option currently provides the technology needed to scale to the massive opportunity offered by the IoT Wifi Cellular LPWA Technologies Bluetooth Satellite NEW TECHNOLOGY, NEW INFRASTRUCTURE Where do we go from here? The need for future-proof connectivity... +
  19. 19. Multi-IMSI: Multiple independent core networks on the same SIM + Open application on the SIM to swap between core networks automatically if connection is lost Avoids dependency on one network infrastructure and provides a “No Single Point of Failure” solution = Platform to enable Over The Air updates to the SIM, remotely controls the roaming profile + = New IMSIs can be added OTA to respond to changing market conditions (pricing, roaming agreements...) Future proofs connectivity as the profile of the SIM can be adapted remotely Cellular applications should avoid dependency on any one connectivity provider In the current market, how do I design my devices for long term deployment, especially for mission critical and remote applications? Future-proof connectivity should enable remote control and back-up
  20. 20. • To summarise what we have discussed so far: • There will be huge growth in IoT apps over the next 10 years. • Currently there are many different connectivity options, with varying levels of standardisation. • No one option currently provides the technology needed to scale to the massive opportunity offered by the IoT. Future-proof connectivity Where do we go from here? • The connectivity needs to be as open as possible to enable remote control and back-up. • Cellular applications should avoid dependency on any one connectivity provider: • Multi-IMSI: Multiple independent core networks on the same SIM. • Open application on the SIM to swap between core networks automatically if connection is lost. • Avoids dependency on one network infrastructure and provides a “No Single Point of Failure” solution. • Platform to enable Over The Air updates to the SIM, remotely controls the roaming profile. • New IMSIs can be added OTA to respond to changing market conditions (pricing, roaming agreements etc.). • Future proofs connectivity as the profile of the SIM can be adapted remotely. This leads to a major challenge for IoT developers: In the current market, how do I design my devices to be future-proof, especially for mission critical and remote applications?
  21. 21. Future-proof connectivity requires additional device design features... Remote device requirements Remote and roaming devices are difficult to troubleshoot or maintain. They must be designed to allow remote updates to avoid costly truck rolls and downtime. DEVICE DESIGN Allow interaction with different types of cellular connectivity via the SIM card (multi-network, multi-IMSI) FIRMWARE Devices should include an STK (SIM Application Toolkit) and ability to use multi-IMSI SIMs and receive OTA messages for remote configuration STK The printed circuit board design should be compatible with 3G and 4G modems even if the current requirement is only for a 2G modem. HARDWARE Since devices cannot be easily accessed and re-configured, they should avoid dependency on any one network. The connectivity should be remotely controlled and access to multiple independent operators is paramount. INDEPENDENCE The modem should be compatible with different connectivity options. For example, non-steered multi-network SIMs are key to avoiding coverage blackspots. COMPATIBILITY Must accept the correct AT commands OTA to ensure that SIMs can be updated when market conditions change. EMBEDDED DEVICES To keep connectivity costs to a minimum, session lengths must be optimized to allow for data billing increments. CONFIGURATION
  22. 22. • Due to the nature of the application, remote and roaming devices are difficult to troubleshoot or maintain. They must be designed to allow remote updates to avoid costly truck rolls and downtime. • The firmware must be designed to allow interaction with different types of cellular connectivity via the SIM card (multi-network, multi-IMSI). • Devices should include an STK (SIM Application Toolkit) and ability to use multi-IMSI SIMs and receive OTA messages for remote configuration. • In terms of hardware, the printed circuit board design should be compatible with 3G and 4G modems even if the current requirement is only for a 2G modem. Future proofing of the hardware is key to avoid problems caused by changes in market conditions (e.g. the 2G sunset). • In terms of configuration, to ensure that connectivity costs are kept to a minimum, session lengths must be optimized to allow for data billing increments. Depending on the power requirements of the device, it may be necessary to leave the session open. • In remote areas, coverage can be an issue. Non-steered multi-network SIMs are key to avoiding coverage blackspots. • Mission critical applications require redundancy built into the SIM. Due to network limitations it is risky to rely on a single core network. Multi-IMSI solutions can provide a No Single Point of Failure network that provides redundancy in the case of disruptions on the network. • For remote management and future proofing of devices, an OTA platform is necessary to ensure that SIMs can be updated as and when market conditions change. This is particularly relevant for devices that include embedded SIM cards. Remote device requirements
  23. 23. Which connectivity partner can provide the best options for future-proofing? The most important aspect is the independence of the provider to avoid reliance on any one network Layering of networks provides redundancy and back-up in case of technical or commercial issues Independent MVNOs can now add their own virtual infrastructure, software and platforms on top of the network connectivity A specialist connectivity provider in the M2M/IoT space can negotiate agreements with individual networks around the world More control Future proofing 1 2 4 3 For example: Virtual HLR Multi-IMSI applications on the SIM OTA platform for remote control =
  24. 24. • MVNOs are independent, so they can make agreements with individual networks around the world and build up a good portfolio of connectivity across different operators’ infrastructures. • Due to this independence, they can combine the best prices and coverage available across their portfolio of network agreements and they don’t steer the connection to specific networks which may cause coverage issues. • The key to future-proof connectivity via an MVNO, is to choose a provider that has incorporated the IMSIs of each core network onto one SIM card, for the freedom to configure the best roaming profile depending on the requirements of the application. • Many MVNOs are now adding their own virtual infrastructure, software and platforms on top of the network connectivity, providing more control and future proofing e.g. virtual HLR, multi- IMSI applications on the SIM, OTA platform for remote control. • These MVNOs can layer networks on top of one another to provide redundancy and back-up in case of technical or commercial issues. • In addition to the independence and control this offers, one of the main benefits of working with an MVNO is their in depth understanding and experience of the vertical sectors in which many of these applications work and the way devices, firmware, software need to be configured for optimum connectivity and future proofing of the device. Which connectivity partner can provide the best options for future-proofing?
  25. 25. http://www.podsystemm2m.com/en-us/m2m-iot-resources

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