In recent years, the industry has focused on technical features, standard construction, policy support, and other aspects of IoT technology communications. However, by 2020, IoT communications have entered the stage of application cases and large-scale commercial use.
This article analyzes the short-term development of several major IoT communication technologies in the domestic market, including 5G, NB-IoT, LTE-Cat1, LoRa, Bluetooth, WiFi, and other technologies. The characteristics of these technologies, such as multi-technology development patterns, protocol standardization, network intelligence, and application customization, will become more prominent as IoT technology continues to develop.
An introduction to IoT wireless technology
The development of Internet of Things (IoT) technology has led to a clearer understanding of the trends surrounding IoT communication. The foundation of IoT is the connectivity between devices, which requires communication technology to enable data exchange. Wired connections are not suitable for complex and large-scale IoT systems, thus wireless connections are essential.
Wireless communication technology has become the driving force behind IoT development, and is the fastest growing and most widely used form of communication technology today. The advantages of wireless communication technology include breakthroughs in time and space, less interference from external factors, higher information security, and improved communication efficiency.
5G IoT technology
According to the forecast of IHS Markit, during 2020-2035, global real GDP will grow at an average annual growth rate of 2.9%, of which 5G will contribute 0.2% of the growth. During this period, 5G related industries can create a GDP of USD 2.1 trillion every year. 5g is a very important economic growth point of the global economy, and its contribution to the global economy has reached the GDP of India, the seventh largest economy in the world. This prediction is inseparable from the real commercialization of 5G, which is also the most noteworthy part of 5G. The development of 5G in my country will realize the transition from small-scale commercial use in 2019 to large-scale commercial use in 2020.
The pan-entertainment industry will be one of the first profitable industries for 5G development. In terms of pan-entertainment, under the existing network, the deep integration of live broadcast technology with VR and AR is not enough. In the future, with the blessing of 5G, live broadcast applications will be implemented more quickly. In addition, since last year, related mobile phone manufacturers have successively released 5G smartphones, such as Huawei, OPPO, Vivo, Xiaomi, and Samsung. 5G mobile phones have truly opened the prelude to commercialization, and there will be more mobile phones in the future. Related companies join this army. Based on this, mobile games will also be a rapidly growing and mature industry. Thanks to the development of 5G, there will be a qualitative leap in interoperability.
5G has a huge impact on online education, telemedicine, and telecommuting. In the face of 2020 that started in “hell mode”, people have had a deep understanding of the rigidity of online education, telemedicine, and telecommuting since the beginning of the year. After experiencing this time, this series of applications may usher in greater development, and new industrial opportunities are emerging.
NB-IoT IoT technology
According to relevant statistics, NB-IoT has completed the coverage of more than 300 cities in China alone. The number of cities covered in the world is at least 600 cities. The number of NB-IoT terminals is also increasing rapidly. Up to now, the world There are already more than 100 million NB-IoT in operation. NB-IoT is widely used in smart agriculture, smart medical, smart logistics, smart city, smart meter reading and other industries. More smart application scenarios have also been discovered. The number of NB-IoT terminals has increased by tens of millions every year. In recent years, with the popularization of IoT technology, the growth rate of NB-IoT terminals will become faster and faster.
Although NB-IoT is used in many fields, the biggest usage scenarios are smart meter reading and smart fire protection. A large number of smoke detectors are connected to NB-IoT, and smart water meters and smart gas meters are connected to NB-IoT. Even more than 10 million. NB-IoT technology appeared later than LoRa technology, but from 2019 onwards, NB-IoT gradually surpassed the usage of LoRa in some areas. NB-IoT has grown relatively fast and has become a major player in many IoT fields. The main wireless communication technology will also occupy a larger market share in the future.
According to relevant data, the popularity of NB-IoT has decreased compared with the past, but NB-IoT has formed a considerable industrial scale, and the growth rate of NB-IoT has not declined. NB-IoT technology is being accepted by more and more companies, and the use of more companies has accelerated the iteration of NB-IoT technology and increased the performance of NB-IoT related products. NB-IoT is gradually replacing the original 2G-related applications. In the future, the coverage area of NB-IoT will be larger, the coverage area will be more, and various new application scenarios will be opened up.
LTE-Cat 1 IoT technology
According to relevant statistics, different cellular communication technologies use different frequencies in the Internet of Things. Narrowband network services account for 60% of all Internet of Things connections, and 4G Cat and 5G eMBB and other such high-speed communication services account for 10%, and the remaining 30% of the Internet of Things connections are some low-to-medium-rate communication connections, which are occupied by LTE Cat1 and eMTC. Many countries have begun to assemble 2G/3G networks. Under this trend, eMTC cannot achieve network construction in many countries. LTE Cat1 technology has already occupied the vast majority of this part of the market. LTE Cat1 also supports calls, so LTE Cat1 will have a place in the Internet of Things era.
Because it is in the early stage of commercialization, the corresponding application scenarios and cases are rare, but with the further development of the industry, when Cat 1 has developed more applications and related scenarios have large-scale requirements, they will also attract The entry of more manufacturers and various types of products will be included in the corporate plan.
LoRa IoT technology
After years of development, LoRa has formed a complete ecology and has a wealth of applications. In addition to representative meter applications, LoRa has enterprise-level applications such as buildings, hotels, parks, security, cities, agriculture, and environmental monitoring. The fields have already emerged.
However, based on the current limited growth rate in the field of enterprise-level Internet of Things, the development of new application areas is crucial for LoRa. For this reason, related LoRa companies have also begun to adjust their development direction, trying to cut into the field of indoor consumer-level Internet of Things, so smart home products have naturally become the main application point. In addition, smartphones, wearable products, etc. will also be LoRa’s development goals.
Since there is a natural barrier between the enterprise-level Internet of Things and the consumer-level Internet of Things, it is difficult to smooth the cross-border consumer-level Internet of Things for enterprises originally engaged in the enterprise-level Internet of Things. Therefore, the development of the consumer-level Internet of Things is bound to cause Changes in the composition of the LoRa ecosystem, especially terminal providers and solution integrators in the middle and lower reaches of the industry chain, will be a group of brand-new industry chain companies, which are mainly related to smart communities, smart campuses, and smart homes. The development of new application fields will inevitably lead to the formation of new ecology.
Bluetooth IoT technology
As the “capillaries” in the application of IoT technology, short-range wireless communication is expected to have a very substantial explosive demand in the current market. Combining various factors such as speed, power consumption, networking, cost, and ease of access to the Internet, Bluetooth will undoubtedly play its value in the field of short-range wireless connection of the Internet of Things.
As early as the beginning of last year, the Bluetooth Alliance announced that Bluetooth 5.1 introduced a new “direction-finding” function. This function can help the device clarify the direction of the Bluetooth signal and realize the positioning of the Bluetooth system with centimeter-level position accuracy, which solves the problem of the Internet of Things to a certain extent The problem of positioning and navigation.
This year, the Bluetooth 5.1 version will also continue to deepen, especially AOA/AOD positioning technology. AOA positioning technology is an advanced positioning technology suitable for Bluetooth. In 2019, AOA technology will be written into Bluetooth standard, which is welcomed by many companies based on Bluetooth positioning technology. Manufacturers have begun to increase their horsepower to develop related products and actively explore more application possibilities. It is expected that related applications will appear in 202 products.
WiFi IoT technology
All along, with the inclusion of 802.11ax into the formal standard and the release of the WiFi 6 standard, it has been the contest between WiFi 6 and 5G. As 5G high-frequency signals are difficult to enter indoors, and operators’ traditional indoor distribution systems will also face large-scale upgrades or replacements in the 5G era, they still need to face the ever-developing video and Internet of Things services. The constantly “evolving” WiFi is used to divert traffic and become the traffic responsible for office and home environments. 5G exists in some large cities, especially in crowded scenarios to provide communication services, while 4G exists as a rigidly-needed technology. This shows that in the next few years, a pattern of 4G+5G+WiFi will be formed.
At present, with the continuous development of emerging industries such as IoT technology, terminals using Wi-Fi technology continue to grow. A set of data from the Wi-Fi Alliance shows that there are currently more than 9 billion Wi-Fi devices in use worldwide. It is estimated that more than 3 billion new Wi-Fi devices will be added each year in the future, and Wi-Fi 6 will gradually become the mainstream access technology.
No road can connect all the vast land of the motherland, and no communication technology can complete the construction of the entire Internet of Things world alone. It requires the cooperation of various communication technologies to become possible. With the development of the Internet of Things, each technology is constantly updated and iterated. In this process, certain IoT technology may be eliminated from the competition, but in the end, it will still be a situation where communication technologies with different technical characteristics coexist.
With the further large-scale development of IoT technology, the development trend surrounding the Internet of Things communication has gradually become clear, and the characteristics of multi-technology development patterns, protocol standardization, network intelligence, and application customization will become more and more prominent.