What is Cellular IoT?

Many IoT projects take advantage of the same 2G/3G/4G/LTE cellular networks that smartphones and other mobile devices have been using for years.

This is more common with use cases that require mobile coverage over a large area, such as smart cities, precision agriculture, vending machines and more.

Cellular IoT provides secure, reliable portable coverage that scales affordably.

Thanks to its ability to transfer even large amounts of data on a consistent basis, cellular data can provide a robust infrastructure for any large, data-intensive IoT project.

Cellular connectivity has a higher power consumption than other network types, especially low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs).

However, with the rise of cloud connectivity, IoT users are able to off-load software development kits (SDKs) and encryption, reducing the power consumption and improving the security of cellular IoT.

Today’s cellular networks often use either 2G, 3G or LTE, although there are new connectivities that are gaining popularity.

Each of these technologies have unique distinctions, but one of the main reasons to choose one over the other is dependent on whether LTE or GSM cellular infrastructure is prevalent in your region.

Netherlands, Ireland, Australia and the US have national LTE coverage, while most non-European countries rely on GSM infrastructure for their cellular coverage.

Cellular IoT is often used in:

  • Smart agriculture – remotely start farm equipment to improve production efficiency and convenience.
  • Smart city – counters allow public parks to count their attendance each day without paying staff to manually monitor the crowds.
  • Public safety – IoT-connected asset trackers monitor school buses in real time to ensure they are on schedule and to keep students safe at all times.