This term encompasses many other established and emerging technologies intended to make everyday assets smarter. In almost all cases the sensor will contain a battery or need an external power source. Here are just some examples of mostly proprietary sensing and communication protocols available today:
Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) – a collection of technologies aimed at providing sensors with very low power requirements that can communicate over long distances in harsh environments, for example inside large buildings. Whilst the battery life of a sensor can be ten+ years, like BLE, battery management must be factored into any business plan.
LPWAN can be further split into unlicensed technology services, notably Sigfox and LoRa, and services that operate in the licenced cell phone spectrum, for example Long-Term Evolution Cat-M1 (LTE-M) and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). Deployment costs can be broadly similar to BLE or are subscription based. Since small packets of data are sent over a very narrow frequency band the transmission range can be several kilometres, whilst penetration in a building is very good, such that only one receiver may be needed to cover a whole building.
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