5 Reasons to Use Sub-GHz for Your Next IoT Application

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5 Reasons to Use Sub-GHz for Your Next IoT Application

Here are five reasons to start using the sub-Gigahertz or sub-GHz as your communication platform for IoT devices.

· IoT Zone ·
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Do you ever wonder how energy companies can read the utility meter at your home without physically checking it each month? This is because they use a type of wireless technology called Sub-Gigahertz (or Sub-GHz) Communication. Sub-GHz communication allows the meter to transmit data to distant hubs without using a lot of power. Energy distribution, agriculture, asset tracking, healthcare, manufacturing, and many other industries have adopted sub-GHz as their go-to communication method for applications that only need to send data periodically and in small amounts.

Here are some of the benefits of sub-GHz communication and why it could be a great fit for your next application.

Long Range 

Sub-GHz communication isn’t totally new – it utilizes the same frequency band that your key fob uses to unlock your car. Only, imagine if you could unlock your doors and read the temperature in your car from more than 30km away. The long-range capability of sub-GHz communication makes it a great choice, even in obstructed conditions such as large cities. Sub-GHz signals propagate better than 2.4Ghz signals in urban environments because the signal can “bend” around large structures. To see the long-range capabilities of sub-GHz in action, check out this video showing the TI CC1120 communicating over 100km!

Path Loss Versus Distance for Various Frequencies

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Low Power 

Utilizing a frequency band under 1 GHz means that sensor nodes use significantly less power than 2.4Ghz equivalents. By using smart power management techniques, you can achieve over 10 years of battery life on a coin cell battery. This makes sub-GHz communication ideal for applications where sensor nodes are in locations that are difficult for services such as weather stations and smart meters.

Less Prone to Interference

Today’s airspace is flooded with signals from cell phones, computers, and IoT devices. Even microwave ovens generate interference in the 2.4Ghz range. By using a spectrum that has fewer existing products on the air, sub-GHz is less prone to interference from devices that use Bluetooth, WiFi, or 2.4Ghz ZigBee.

IEEE 802.15.4 Compatible Network configurations

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Using popular protocols such as Zigbee, the TI 15.4 Stack, or 6LoWPan, you can quickly implement a secure star or mesh network without needing to create a networking layer from scratch, significantly reducing development time.

Sub-GHz wireless networking solution

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Low Cost 

The widespread adoption of sub-GHz in industrial applications means that many vendors are offering chipsets with more integrated features, significantly driving the solution cost down. It’s now possible to build sub-GHz sensor nodes with a hardware bill of materials under $4.

There are countless examples of the uses of sub-GHz, from home automation systems, smart agriculture, and factory automation. It will be interesting to follow the IoT use cases around this wireless technology in the future!

frequency, industiral iot, iot app development, iot architecture, iot communication, iot data, mesh network, sub-ghz

Published at DZone with permission of Jessica Califano . See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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