Five Considerations for a Nationwide IoT Network

By    October 16, 2015

There has lately been a lot of conversation in the wireless industry around the creation of a nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) network and what it would entail. As businesses and governments connect more and more end devices and sensors to the Internet, many are looking into solutions that could unify the disparate, widely interspersed components that would make up the traditional concept of the IoT.

Establishing such a network, however, would be no easy feat. Here are five key considerations for any organization interested in bringing this concept to life: 

1.The network must be wireless to be cost-effective. Digging trenches and relying primarily on cables, especially for connected “things” that are far away from each other, simply won’t work from a physical and financial perspective. When these devices will be at a distance – say, 40 kilometers away from the nearest hop – it becomes clear that wireless is the best option in terms of resources and costs.

2.Security is a key factor for all IoT applications. A nationwide IoT network would be open and widespread – which means that network attacks such as Denial of Service (DoS) would be able to spread in an equally broad manner, with the potential to inflict damage on a deeper and wider scale than ever before. As new standards and operating systems emerge, these attacks will continue to evolve, so defense strategies will need to evolve in turn as part of the IoT infrastructure. Network security professionals will need to pay special attention to identification and authentication. Encrypting data, addressing all possible DoS attacks on a regular basis, and ensuring a robust onboarding process for devices will all be critical to securing IoT applications.

3.Massive throughput is not always necessary. The IoT network’s data rates will mostly involve small and frequent packets, so connected devices will not necessarily need a massive throughput to transmit information. But the network will need real-time capabilities, and from a frequency standpoint, it will also need to be able to cover long distances and hard-to-reach places.

4.But mission-critical IoT applications will need more. While leveraging the legacy wireless infrastructure makes sense for regular commercial and enterprise applications, mission-critical applications will require additional fortification. A connected industrial plant, for example, cannot afford to have slow connection speeds or random performance degradations. Mission-critical IoT apps and devices will need guaranteed reliability and response rates.

5.Use wireless access points based on 900 MHz. In a world where everything from bulldozers to medical devices is being connected across long distances, the wireless link will need to be able to transmit data anywhere, through anything. This includes dense forests, concrete walls and other obstacles that can hamper connectivity. That’s why we recommend access points with 900 MHz capabilities, which can ensure that networks remain fast and reliable in near-line-of-sight (nLOS) and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) conditions.

If you’d like to learn more about boosting your own IoT and mission-critical networks, I invite you to check out our latest release, the PMP 450i 900 MHz