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What is 4G IoT? Most Common Cellular IoT Connectivity

Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and Ethernet are just a few connectivity options for IoT networks. Nevertheless, among the most potent and flexible options is to utilize the current cellular networks by MNOs. The latest and most popular choice for IoT networks is 4G.

Even though 5G is now dominating the news, 4G continues to be a brilliant technology that is excellent for providing IoT connections for a wide range of applications.

In fact, according to statistics provided by ABI Research, over 60 percent of the total IoT devices use 4G technology. It continues to rule the IoT networking industry.

What Is 4G IoT?

The successor of 3G & 2G in terms of smartphone technology is 4G. Although 5G is still useful in places throughout the globe, 4G is practically the current generation in use.

Analog technology from the very first generation, known as 2G, lets users communicate while moving.

Calling and texting are possible by 2G, comprising data services such as SMS and MMS. Internet access and video chatting are two examples of far greater demanding data applications with 3G.

In comparison to 3G, 4G has a substantially higher user capacity. The 4G network provides mobile access to the internet to speed from a laptop or mobile device. It utilizes high-speed download data bundles. Usually speaking, 4G is three times as quick as 3G.

The key advantage of 4G is dependability, which is in addition to speed. It is far more dependable than 3G and allows for a higher traffic flow, which prevents congestion.

What Is 4G LTE?

embedded iot

The term 4G LTE is one that is frequently useful in relation to cellular network connection. While LTE really isn’t exactly similar to 4G, it has developed to function on 4G. LTE represents Long Term Evolution, a suite of technologies that are most frequently useful on 4G networks.

LTE is basically a modification of a 3G module. Its design includes an IP address-based core network, a streamlined network architecture, an advanced modulation technique, and a radio interface. It also permits the adoption of a method called MIMO. It makes use of many antennas to significantly improve data capacity.

LTE introduced an upgraded cellular network connectivity in 2008 with faster round-trip durations, improved spectrum efficiency, and higher data speeds. This is latency, and it usually lasts under 100 ms.

The theoretical maximum download speed for 4G LTE is 150 Mbps, although the usual download speed is 20 Mbps.

Any consumer of data network services can benefit greatly from the technology. However, the main advantage is the fact that it gives ready access to both consumers and users of industrial applications globally.

Long-term network continuity is provided by LTE while preceding 2G & 3G data networks are currently being phased out. Also, it serves as a link between these technologies alongside the more recent 5G. It won’t offer all-encompassing coverage for quite some time.

LTE and 4G IoT Categories

To ensure effective communication between the ground station and user equipment, LTE is classified into 20 distinct kinds of user equipment.

Categories 1 through 5 of what we can refer to as “original.” LTE offers downlink data speeds ranging from 10 to slightly under 300 Mbit/s. While categories 6, 7, & 8 are all thought to be a part of the recent LTE Advanced. The data rate for categories 6 & 7 is a little over 300 Mbit/s. But category 8 gives an almost ten times rise to 3000 Mbit/s.

Compared to conventional LTE, LTE Advanced provides faster speeds and better stability. Aggregating channels enable data users to download material from several sources at once, which results in these faster download rates.

There is additionally LTE-M, often known as Long Term Evolution CAT-M1. It is a much more straightforward variant of LTE created especially to function with rechargeable batteries IoT devices. It enables far high power-efficient data transmission and reception via cellular networks for these devices.

Example of 4G IoT

The fast data speeds, high dependability, low latency, and extensive availability that LTE offers many benefits.

One of them is the use of CCTV to offer oversight and security in places like airports and open areas like music halls. For mobile cameras like those on police cars, wearable body cameras, and drones, LTE connection becomes even more essential.

Applications utilizing autonomous guided vehicles in manufacturing facilities are further use cases that necessitate LTE’s low latency. If such AGVs ought to communicate their position promptly and precisely, low latency becomes crucial. Robots may transfer information into the cloud through the use of an IoT interface. It enables data analysis and coordination AGVs and robots.

4G IoT versus 5G LTE


Other than 4G, 5G is indeed the newest version of the wireless access network. It offers even greater possibilities for IoT devices and applications. 5G is evolving quickly. Speed is the primary distinction between 4G & 5G. Theoretically, 5G could travel at speeds that are 20 times speedier as compared to 4G LTE. Whereas 4G does have a top speed of one gigabit per sec, 5G might hit rates of roughly 20GB in one sec in the optimum conditions.

This is so that 5G, compared to 4G, may use substantially higher frequencies. Frequencies may be found in a spectrum between 6GHz and 54GHz, with the higher frequencies permitting several more simultaneous links than 4G.

The possible coverage is impactable by these frequencies. Longer ranges are possible with lower frequencies, although things like buildings and trees may block higher frequencies. This implies that IoT modules employing 5G placement must be properly thought out.

Moreover, 5G will have even reduced latency as compared to 4G. It is anticipated to decrease to about 10 ms, and under perfect circumstances, even 1 ms would be possible.

How Fast is 4G IoT?

Since it is generally accessible worldwide, it is excellent for business-based travelers and mobile data users. From specialist virtual smartphone network operators with international plans and connections, there are reasonable 4G LTE internet plans with international roaming options.

Business travelers do not have to rely solely on WIFI data connections because 4G LTE has upload rates of roughly 15 Mbps with downloading speeds of approximately 35 Mbps.

Also, compared to open and unsecured WIFI networks, their network connections are more secure.

Benefits Of Cellular 4G IoT For the Industry

· Large Coverage Area

Cellular IoT already has a wide coverage area since it leverages current mobile networks. This enables you to control the distribution of devices across several cities and nations. This is crucial for any Internet of Things program where data access is important, especially for applications like asset monitoring, transportation, and some other large-scale corporate software.

· Network-Switching 

M2M Prepaid SIM cards, in contrast to consumer SIMs, have the capacity to roam between providers with non-steered or steered open roaming. The cell phone will automatically join the network only with the strongest and clear signal nearby when using a non-steered Local sim card. This guarantees minimal downtime and continuous, dependable connectivity.

· Connectivity Choices 

Cellular IoT networks fall under a number of types, and you may choose the one that best suits your demands for data transfer. If your gadgets don’t carry large data loads such as video or demand continual connectivity and quick response times, it’s unnecessary to invest to choose the most costly plan.

· Remote Management & Analytics

With the help of IoT platforms, mobile IoT devices might be remotely manageabe. This enables the user to connect, detach, or troubleshoot mobile from any location. Users can track device usage, downtime, and other pertinent information with the correct IoT platform. It allows them to get the most out of the IoT application.

· Private Network And Security Options

Security measures are essential for every IoT application to guard against unrecognizable access. This is especially the case for a device that monitors sensitive data, such as medical equipment. Or for those that are vulnerable to criminal activity, such as smart city advanced technologies. Private network technologies like APNs, IPsec protocols, and VPNs may be used by cellular IoT systems. It provides security layers to the application, data, and network.

Types OF Cellular IoT Connection & Use

Arduino IOT

There are several network technology subcategories that cellular IoT connectivity might use. Depending on variables like cost, response times, and the volume of data, you may choose the best one for the particular use case.

· 2G & 3G

While 2G & 3G cellular networks are no longer useful for cell phones in industries, they are still in use for modern equipment, including vending machines and parking meters. Yet one limitation is that they are not able to transmit video.

· LTE Cat.0

There is Cat.0 supporting Iot networks with modest network requirements. It provides basic, constrained functionality at the lowest price. Wearable technology, alarm systems, and linked automobiles frequently make use of it. Japan, Australia, and the Americas all have extensive coverage.

· LTE Cat M

Compared to the previous version of Cat.0, the second generation LTE Cat M is considered highly efficient and effective. It features several power-saving features that are helpful in maintaining battery capacity and is among the most sophisticated connection kinds available on the present LTE infrastructure.

It’s important to note that LTE Cat-M allows greater rates of data and voice-over through the connection. However, it’s more costly than NB-IoT. This is because many latest IoT installations will take either NB-IoT or LTE Cat M connections into consideration.

· NB-IoT

4 Narrowband IoT, commonly known as NB-IoT, is a long-range, low-power, and incredibly dependable technology created exclusively for the Internet of Things. It uses 4G networks, however not LTE bands, to function, shielding it from interruption from other forms of connection and making it widely accessible in many nations. It does not, however, provide real-time communication as voice calls and does have some delay.

Having 685 million user connections anticipated to exist globally in the past couple of years, this sort of connectivity ranks as the fastest increasing.

· 4G LTE

The most recent cellular technology, 4G LTE, seems to be the preferred choice for networks with strong demand. Nevertheless, it is not particularly cost-effective and is probably excessive for Iot development with requirements that are less demanding than those of a smartphone.

· LTE Advanced

LTE Advanced becomes a quicker and more dependable variant of normal LTE that is used in applications that require the quickest reaction time, including autonomous cars.

· LTE-M And NB-IoT


Many connection methods assist in providing an excellent method, based on the device and app in question, because of the variety and various demands of linking IoT devices. The cellular sector is making investments in core technological variations in addition to the dominant GSM technologies to satisfy the requirements of IoT connection. They consist of the following:

· LTE-M 

LTM is “Long Term Evolution for Machines” LTE-M, one of the most cutting-edge connection options for IoT applications, and has a number of advantages, including data and voice support, a comparatively long lifespan of batteries, and low consumption of electricity. Mission-critical apps that demand high data capacity and rely on proper data transfer are better for LTE-M connections. Self-driving automobiles, networked medical devices, and other instances. On the other hand, NB-IoT and other IoT connectivity technologies, such as LTE-M, are more costly.

· NB-IoT

It is an abbreviation of “Narrow Band – IoT.” It is a type of IoT technology specifically intended for low-data, low-power applications. NB-IoT has advantages, including low battery consumption, extended range, and dependable connection, and is comparable with 4G devices. The amount of networks globally is anticipated to rise to 685 million in a couple of years, making it one of the IoT device connection technologies with the quickest rate of growth.

For IoT networks that don’t need a lot of bandwidth and simply transport small quantities of data, NB-IoT links are establishable. For usage in linked energy meters in smart cities and soil sensors in agriculture, for instance. Environmental sensors, which measure information about wind pressure and weather conditions but only communicate sporadically, are another use. The technology is useful for IoT applications that typically function from a specific spot and have a battery life of as long as ten years.

Why Choose RayPCB For 4G IoT Solutions?

RayPCB will be the best option if you need comprehensive, end-to-end mobile IoT enablement. We provide a variety of IoT solutions to meet the requirements of any application. You can quickly develop apps that can gather, analyze, and visualize your IoT cellular data in real time from any location in the globe.

RayPCB provides the proper technologies to increase your company’s business productivity and support revenue development thanks to our vast worldwide reach and client network. With RayPCB, worldwide IoT solutions may scale from just a few hundred to ten and even millions of linked devices while maintaining secure device connectivity.




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