There are a number of new wireless communications technologies emerging that are having massive implications for IoT application and system development. In our work with clients, we tend to focus on the developments at the smaller end of the data spectrum—technologies such as Narrowband IoT (NB IoT) and LTE Cat M1, which cannot send large volumes of data, but are extremely inexpensive. Since most IoT edge devices don’t need to transmit a lot of data, these are often ideal for the projects we work on with clients.
At the other end of the data spectrum is 5G, which can transmit much larger volumes of data. While you wouldn’t use 5G for edge devices, it is ideal for transmitting data in IoT systems and applications from the gateway to the cloud. The benefit here is that the data can be transmitted without needing a WiFi connection. A typical use case may be to send all of the data you have gathered from your factory floor sensors up to the cloud.
A recent article from IoT Tech Expo discusses other benefits of 5G, including mobile broadband, low latency, and improved performance. The post goes on to discuss the potential implications for 5G, specifically as it relates to smart cities. As 5G continues to be deployed across the globe, it will be interesting to see how this new IoT communications technology is used by various industries to unlock the power of Big Data.