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IoT (Internet of Things) Wireless Protocols and Their Frequency Bands

IoT (Internet of Things) is a growing network of objects, devices and machines each able to communicate with the other using a wireless network to access the Internet.  IoT devices have a flexible range of both wired and wireless connectivity options.  

Short-range IOT wireless devices mostly use Bluetooth and ZigBee.  Short-range connectivity is most common in IoT applications. 

  • Bluetooth operates at the 2.400 to 2.485 GHz frequencies. Uses Ultra High Frequency Radio to exchange data between IoT devices over short distances. The range of Bluetooth can be greatly enhanced by antennas: See our wide selection of Bluetooth Antennas.
  • Zigbee: Our ZigBee antennas are the same antennas that we designate as "Bluetooth Antennas", because ZigBee uses the same frequency range: 2.400 to 2.484GHz.  ZigBee bears some similarities to Bluetooth but is simpler and cheaper to operate. A Zigbee antenna can be obtained as a Printed Circuit Board (PCB) antenna or omni directional external antenna with .   ZigBee is a wireless personal area network (WPAN) which is characterised by being low-power, low-data rate and operating at close proximity. It does not require line of sight. Transmission distances are typically within 10 to 100m.   ZigBee is named after the distinctive movements of honeybees.
  • Wired IoT devices use Ethernet, coaxial or power communication cables.

Medium-range IOT wireless

  • For medium range, the LTE Advanced network is almost exclusively preferred for its low latency, high data rates, and extended range. Mid-range variants of Wi-Fi such as HaLow are also used.
  • 2G, 3G (GSM),4G (LTE) and 5G wireless, WiFi. 

Long-range IOT wireless:  LoRa, NB-IoT, LTE-m

Long-range: LPWAN (Low-power wide-area networking) transmits at low data rates.  LPWAN is ideal for long distance IoT transmissions for its economic power consumption and cost of transmission.

Long-range satellites such as VSAT transmitting narrowband and broadband are also used.

  • LoRa stands for Long Range, and is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) that enables long range transmissions of more than 10km with low energy consumption. LoRa operates at frequencies just under 1 GHz. Directional antennas are most suitable for LoRa antennas, although omni-directional antennas are often used.
  • NB-IoT

ISM band frequencies of 4.33GHz, 5GHz, and 2.4GHz. Such as:

  • Bluetooth (2.4GHz)
  • Light Fidelity (Li-Fi)
  • Near field communication
  • QR codes and barcodes
  • RFID
  • Wi-Fi
  • Wi-Fi direct
  • Z Wave
  • ZigBee

About IoT: Devices, Antennas, History and Future

  • The devices (“Things”) are common everyday devices and equipment, including smartphones, wearables, vehicles, and instruments.
  • Each device in the network is uniquely identifiable and able to exchange data with over devices over IP. Devices are embedded with software and connectivity features to enable this communication.

IoT wireless protocols are rapidly developing and as the means for a wide variety of applications which make machines, devices and communications more effective, increase their functionality and enable them to 'speak’ to each other.

The term Internet of Things (IoT) was coined by a MIT academic in 1999 initially referred to RadioFrequency ID (RFID) technology for devices.

Wireless IoT systems use antennas to transmit or receive information and usually operate in association with wireless routers to improve the signal to and from the device they are connected to. They connect to a processor which can then, depending on how it has been programmed, perform an action with any need for user input.

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