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Maximizing IoT Communications Reliability: Page 2 of 2

Start by choosing the right network and the right device for the situation. By James E. Gaskin

When using cellular networks to track assets, careful configuration and design are required, he notes. "Cellular is optimized for where people are, but that's not where people stick things." Warehouses are outside heavily populated areas, and assets with trackers often wind up in corners of a factory or the bottom of parking garages. "We use eSIM so we can find a carrier with better coverage in an area," Proctor says.

Scott McKinley

For tracking assets in hotels and hospitals, Proctor finds LoRa networks the most reliable and affordable option. "LoRa can cover an entire hotel with one router and one box in the closet."

While network choice is important, so is selecting the right sensors and devices for the application to avoid failure, according to Bruce Collins, senior director of product management at Cambium Networks, a global provider of wireless broadband solutions. Especially in industrial IoT use cases, the sensors "can be in hazardous environments with wide temperature ranges and varying degrees of shock and vibration," Collins explains. "Selecting the right technology for the job, weighing requirements of spectrum, capacity, battery life, latency, and range, as well as terrain, other obstacles, and environmental constraints," is the first step in reliability.

When all else fails, however, McKinley regularly uses the gold standard of network troubleshooting: "Unplug and restart."

Image: iStock Photo

About the Author

James E. Gaskin's picture

JAMES E. GASKIN is a ChannelPro contributing editor and former reseller based in Dallas.

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