Wireless Networks – so many to choose from

Link-Labs Webinar

I like to follow various webinars. Sometimes a waste of time…but then you can just drop off.

Thursday (July 6’th), I followed a very interesting one from Link-Labs via YouTube. I think it might interest most people working in embedded, considering wireless solutions.

The basic agenda is “Making wireless IoT – where are the real costs”. The webinar is interesting from several points of view:

  • Getting to know the challenges Link-Labs face in the world of Small Embedded Systems:
    Batteries, Industrial Design, Linux versus smaller RTOS’es, Overhead with http/tcp etc. Especially: Make your completely own design, or use a “module” – like e.g. something from Link-Labs 🙂
    This all sounds incredibly familiar.
  • The angle on wireless is interesting:
    Link-Labs see WiFi as a consumer-thing – difficult to control the customers setup (e.g. IT-department requires specific authentification).
    They see Bluetooth as an interesting “first link” to a gateway in a cluster of IoT-devices.
    Their main business area is LoRa – various Long Range solutions
  • The webinar gives a quick overview of the various LoRa technologies:
    LTE Cat M1, NB-IOT, Sigfox, LoRaWan, Ingenu, Symphony Link (Link-Lab’s own technology)

I think the webinar clearly illustrates that there is no “right solution”.
It all depends on your application:

  • Do you want to use existing networks, or are you happy to roll out your own?
  • Do you need global, regional or just city-wide coverage?
  • Or are you happy with what Link-Labs sees as “Consumer technology” – WiFi?
  • Do you need downstream as well as upstream?
  • Do you need flexibility or low-cost?
  • What are you bandwidth requirements?
  • How vulnerable are you to monthly/yearly network-fees, versus one-time engineering costs?

The above questions are also discussed in chapter 9 in “Embedded Software for the IoT”, although the main focus here is on WiFi.

The Maryland-based company has more webinars, as well as some nice white-papers. Sure, they promote their own stuff, but they do it decently.

They are clearly in the business to support solutions that need to upload a few bytes once-in-a-while (and sometimes download). They seem to support two branches of wireless:

  • Those who want US-coverage via e.g. LCE Cat M1.
  • Those who want something local, e.g. rolling out their own Link-Labs Symphony installation. They seem to be looking at EU and China.

Webinar: https://youtu.be/5IR9QDhU_B8

Slides alone : https://www.slideshare.net/BrianRay10/lpwan-sost-webinar

Website: https://www.link-labs.com/


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