Leap to the frontier with secured hyper connectivity | HCL Technologies

Leap to the frontier with secured hyper-connectivity

Leap to the frontier with secured hyper-connectivity
May 19, 2022

Accelerating secured hyper-connectivity at scale, for a cognitive next-gen enterprise

Interconnectivity of billions of devices over a secure network is inevitable for a future-proof next-gen enterprise. Individuals too can interact with these intelligent devices, with several industrial behemoths making credible advancements in this field. One of the major consultancies indicates that connectivity use-cases in major commercial domains alone could boost global GDP by $1.2 trillion to $2 trillion by 2030.

IoT systems can save resources, costs, and enable remote management amongst many benefits. While IoT can develop new business models through digital transformation, the devices are connected through existing connectivity networks. Different communication protocols can support the various applications in this diverse field.

The growing investments in upcoming technologies is driving the connectivity market. The IoT connectivity market was valued at around US$ 163.2 billion in 2020. The market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.9% between 2021-26 and can reach US$ 493 billion by 2026. The introduction of new technologies in the end-use sectors of IoT can lead to further growth in the market.

Market trends

The success of any cognitive enterprise will depend on the speed and security of communication between devices. 5G communication is expected to be ten times faster than the prevalent communication protocols. It can support accelerated data transfer for next-gen industrial applications while accommodating increasing connected devices in a stable manner. The users can also leverage the reliability of the IoT devices.

As the need for a faster communication protocol gathers steam, the 5G IoT market is expected to grow exponentially. It was valued at US$ 1.50 billion in 2020 and is projected to touch US$ 40 billion by 2026, with a massive CAGR of 72.9%. Read on to know how you can optimize connectivity best suited to your enterprise requirements.

Various connectivity technologies in IoT

The intelligent devices support various communication protocols, and several are interoperable. Several long-range and short-range protocols form the backbone of this network. Let’s talk about a few of them in detail.

Long-range connectivity

Long-range IoT connectivity communication protocols are the basis of a low-power WAN. The end smart devices are connected to gateways for data transfer to the servers or other devices. The protocols cater to low-power devices and have a long-range.

LTE-M

  • LTE-M, or LTE Cat-M1, is a technology used for connecting IoT devices to a 4G network. It supports a range of around 11 km and can connect devices that transfer low volumes of data for a long time. The protocol provides the benefits of low latency and improved indoor coverage. The protocol can be used in automated meter readers, asset tracking, and low-density sensors.

NB-IoT

  • It is used to connect networks requiring low bandwidth. It ranges from 1 km for urban and 10 km for rural areas. The technology ensures low latency but extended coverage with tested security features. The technology can help to connect many devices in a single deployment. NB-IoT is ideal for cost-effective asset tracking, monitoring air pollution, smart metering, etc.

LoRa

  • LoRa is commonly used as a LoRaWAN for IoT installations. It is known for its low power consumption and can easily detect low to high-level signals. It allows communication around 15 – 20 km. There is two-key encryption that can authenticate data exchange with the network. It is widely used in agriculture, smart buildings, logistics activities, smart cities, etc.

SigFox

  • The devices connected to SigFox can work on a long range but consume less power. The protocol is gaining popularity worldwide. It enjoys the benefits of ultra-narrow band technology and provides a high-capacity and scalable network. It is usually used in low-budget machine-to-machine connectivity and is used in consumer goods, remote monitoring, security systems, smart metering, transportation, and healthcare. They usually have a range of 10 km in urban and 40 km in rural areas. It is a proprietary communication protocol of SigFox that is a leading provider of IoT services.  

5G

  • 5G protocol will be ten times faster than the LTE networks, making data transfer between IoT devices faster. These networks are expected to be more reliable and create stable connections. It ensures higher coverage and low latency too. There are higher throughput rates and improved spectrum efficiency. It is used in smart home devices and industrial and healthcare applications.

Comparison of long-range technologies

long range

5G connectivity is going to be the game-changer for a cognitive enterprise in this modern, digital world. It will enable faster, stable, and secure connectivity to allow self-driving vehicles, smart grids for renewable energy, and AI-enabled robots on factory floors to communicate on the move without any latency.

Short-range connectivity

There can be specific instances that will require connectivity over a local sphere of connectivity. They can have a reach of a few hundred meters only. They usually connect low-powered devices.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is a popular network protocol and ensures robust connectivity of around 100 meters. It is known for high throughput data transfer for home deployments, like security cameras, intelligent gadgets, and digital signages. It can also assure data throughput in congested areas. Customer experience can be transformed in the retail industry and used in car networks for infotainment. The protocol ensures encrypted data communication, making it the ideal choice for access control systems in buildings.

Bluetooth

Bluetooth is increasingly getting popular for communication in IoT. It is cheaper and allows wireless connectivity to create a personal area network where wireless is unavailable. It has low interference and has a range of 30 meters. It is used in smart home appliances and other industrial applications.

Zig bee

It is a popular short-range communication protocol and has a range of around 10 – 100 meters. The protocol is known for high scalability, durability, low power consumption, and robust data security. It also allows communication in a noisy environment, as it would be in real life. The protocol ensures low latency and supports point-to-point, mesh, and point-to-multipoint networks. They are usually deployed for industrial deployments and home automation like energy management, intelligent lights, etc.

Z-wave

Z-wave is a short-range communication protocol for connecting IoT devices that can monitor, control, and read the status of home applications. It supports a full mesh network that allows the devices to communicate better. The protocol is secure, and a unique ID is issued to each device, requires low power, and is designed for low latency data transfer. It is interoperable and is found in various appliances used in smart homes, home entertainment, smart lighting, etc. It has a range of 30 meters.

BLE

The Bluetooth Low Energy is an improved version of Bluetooth and can communicate among IoT devices of up to 100 meters. It is a technology used widely in smart lighting. It operates in the 2.4 GHz ISM band and connects applications that use less power. It uses lesser power than several other low-power technologies. The cost of chipsets is lower than its peers. BLE is used in smart kitchens, smart tags, guides and maps in airports and museums, and in tracking pet behavior, etc.

Comparison of short-range technologies

Short range

With Wi-Fi 6 bringing features like “Target Wake Time” (TWT) for optimizing the power consumption and speeds into Gbps, it is going to play a vital role in the short-range connectivity for IoT services. 

One of the important use-cases of hyperconnectivity is smart cities. One of our solutions,Intelligent Secure Edge (ISE) combines AI processing on Edge and Wi-Fi 6 mesh network connectivity to drive collaboration between citizens, authorities and public institutions, and businesses. The solution delivers real-time contextual insights that enable quick decision-making and accelerate response times. This helped improve a Latin American city’s safety perception by 27%.

Conclusion

Due to growth of IoT technology, it is increasingly interfacing with other next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence. AI-driven IoT solutions can readily control large volumes of data and process it for various business insights.

Blockchain technology is being used to prevent unauthorized access to the IoT network, and data security is guaranteed using various encryption techniques. Edge computing is in place to address the low bandwidth and latency issues associated with cloud technology. 

Hyperconnectivity will require different long-range and short-range network protocols. These protocols will have separate use cases across global industries like manufacturing, life sciences & healthcare, energy & utilities, retail, and more.

Write to us at iotworks@hcl.com to explore further!