Wireless technology has been evolving every year as we need to accommodate higher demands, speed, and security. Many new technologies emerged and succeeded in the last decades, and it is still moving forward in top gear.
Have you ever wondered what our future wireless technologies for IoT and 5G networks would be?
Here are the top five wireless technologies that are going to be prominent in the future together with conventional cellular networks (GSM, CDMA, and LTE).
Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity)
Wi-Fi is one of the most familiar wireless data transmission technologies today. Wireless LAN using Wi-Fi technology allows us to connect to the local network as well as the internet without wired cables. Any information will be converted into digital data packets and transmitted to devices connected to the network.
Wi-Fi technology is technically known as IEEE 802.11 standard, which continuously evolve and improve to support higher data rate and enhanced security. It operates in two major frequency bands of 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Future Wi-Fi networks will be capable of transmitting data at several gigabytes per second.
Wi-Fi technology uses encrypted data to ensure system security and follow TCI/IP protocol. A wireless router is used to transmit and receive signals from devices. Wireless routers will be connected to an Ethernet cable or fiber optic cable, and network configuration can be done using a PC.
Standard: IEEE 802.11
Frequency band: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Range: 0 to 100 meters
Application: Mobile devices, medical and smart devices, home and office networking.
Wi-Fi is a promising wireless technology due to its flexibility, easy configuration, higher data rate, and it is inexpensiveness. Wi-Fi will be playing an important role in 5G technologies like Wi-Fi offloading for mobile networks.
Bluetooth is another popular wireless technology used in personal devices, industrial and medical applications. Ericsson developed Bluetooth technology; it also uses 2.4 GHz, similar to Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth is an efficient technology in terms of power requirements and implementation. It is designed to operate in short-range transmission, which requires very less power to operate (typically in milliwatts).
Bluetooth modules are much easier to embed into smart devices, thus a perfect choice for wireless headsets and wearables. It is one of the best options for wireless audio streaming devices and smart healthcare systems.
Standard: IEEE 802.15.1
Frequency band: 2.4 Ghz
Range: 0 to 10 meters
Application: mobile devices, medical equipment, smart devices, and wearables.
Zigbee is another technology that falls under the wireless personal area networks standards (WPAN) of IEEE and is often used in industrial applications. Like Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Zigbee also uses a 2.4GHz spectrum for communication. It is suitable for application that requires a lower data rate and less frequent data transfer.
It operates at low power mode and is suitable for sensor technology in industrial applications. Zigbee ensures higher security, scalability, and efficient data transfer. It is a perfect candidate for future IoT devices.
Standard: IEEE 802.15.4
Frequency band: 2.4 Ghz
Range: 0 to 100 meters
Application: Industrial devices, sensor monitoring, and IoT.
Low Power Wide Area Network is a wireless communication technology mainly designed for Internet of Things applications. This technology will be used to connect devices using a centralized server unit. Encrypted data will be transmitted via different frequency channels at different data rates.
LoRaWAN terminology has end-point devices with many classes according to its receive mode of operation. It ensures enhanced security at the network and application level using several layers of encryption. LoRaWAN is a recommended technology for smart cities, smart homes,s and many smart devices for industrial automation and IoT.
Standard: IEEE 802.15.4g
Frequency band: Below 1 GHz (unlicensed spectrum)
Range: 0 to 20 kilometers
Application: Industrial automation, IoT, long-range irrigation systems, security systems, and home automation.
Z-wave is a low-power wireless communication technology specially designed for home automation. It is suitable for automated lighting controls and collects data from sensors wirelessly. Z-wave uses an ISM spectrum below the 1 GHz range.
Z-wave is known as one of the simplest systems due to its less complicated network protocol. It is designed to operate at lower data rates compared to Wi-Fi technology.
Standard: Z-Wave Alliance ZAD12837 / ITU-T G.9959
Frequency band: Below 1 GHz (ISM unlicensed spectrum)
Range: 0 to 30 meters
Application: Home automation and sensor technology.
Technology evolution like 5G and IoT opens endless opportunities for many technologies to satisfy wide variety of requirements. According to predictions, our wireless technology must be capable of supporting billions of devices with minimum latency and enhanced security in the near future.