Comparison of wireless data transfer module technologies(Part 2)

In the previous article, we introduced Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Thread and Zigbee, and then we continue to introduce Z-Wave, NB-IOT, LTE-M, LoRaWan and Sigfox. Related Reading:Comparison of wireless data transfer module technologies(Part 1)


4. Z-Wave

Z-Wave was originally a lighting system control protocol, and later evolved into a home automation protocol managed by the Z-Wave Alliance.


Technical details:

This proprietary technology uses 908/915 MHz in the US and 868 MHz in Europe. The different frequency bands are to avoid interference with the 2.4 GHz ISM band and expand coverage. This technology mainly uses a mesh topology.


Main use case:

This technology is mainly used in smart home scenarios.


5. Cellular low-power wide area network technology (NB-IoT, LTE-M)

LTE-M (LTE Cat-M1 or Long-Term Evolution for Machines) and NB-IoT (Narrowband Internet of Things) are both technical standards developed by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), and are used for cellular devices.


These two technologies will coexist with other 5G technologies and are expected to become part of a long-term 5G IoT strategy. 5G is the general term for the fifth-generation cellular mobile communication technology, representing a high-speed network of 2 Gbps (it can even reach 100 Gbps in the future). 5G technology will reduce network latency and expand coverage (in terms of the number of devices connected to the network at the same time).


Technical details:

LTE-M and NB-IoT are different in characteristics, so the suitable application scenarios are also different. NB-IoT is best suited for simple applications that require low power consumption and low bandwidth, while LTE-M is best suited for real-time and mission-critical applications due to its higher data rate. The main difference between the two is speed and delay (LTE-M has higher speed and lower delay).


NB-IoT and LTE-M mainly adopt star topology structure.


6. Non-cellular low-power wide area network technology (LoRaWAN, Sigfox)

LoRaWAN is an open source wireless network protocol maintained by the LoRa Alliance. LoRaWAN is built on the basis of LoRa, which is a proprietary modulation format developed by Semtech.


Technical details:

LoRa only defines the lower layers of the network stack, while LoRaWAN defines the higher layers of the network stack. LoRaWAN is just one of many protocols built on LoRa. LoRaWAN is classified as a low-power wide area network (LPWAN) technology, which can achieve remote communication between devices with low power consumption.


Sigfox is also an LPWAN technology, but it is a proprietary technology provided by the French company Sigfox. The company is the only network operator of this technology.


Multi-parameter comparison of these technologies:

Items

Bluetooth module

Wi-Fi

Z-Wave

IEEE 802.15.4

(Zigbee, Thread)

LTE-M

NB-IoT

Sigfox

LoRaWAN

Distance

10m~1km

10m~200m

20~50m

30~100m

1~10km

1~10km

3~50km

2~20km

Throughput

125kbps~3Mbps

54Mbps~1.3Gbps

10kbps~100kbps

20bps~

250kbps

1Mbps Max

200kbps

Max

100bps

Max

10kbps~

50kbps

Power consumption

Low

Middle

Low

Low

Middle

Low

Low

Low


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