IT was only a matter of time before thought leaders started to question whether or not the Internet of Things (IoT) required its own distinct Internet. Recently the Dutch took charge by introducing the first low range, low power network designed to support an entire nation. This LoRa network has led other countries to question whether or not they should be following suit. Does the technology make sense outside of the Netherlands? We think so.
Internet-capable devices have three requirements:
- A device that is capable of connecting to the Internet
- An app capable of running the device
- A network to connect through
First and foremost, consider for a minute how today’s ‘smart devices’ communicate. Regular devices are typically hardwired into a LAN or they are connected via Wi-Fi, similar to laptops and other devices. Mobile devices have the ability to connect via Wi-Fi, but they require 3G and 4G networks in order to be truly mobile.
The problem with current IoT connections comes is the limitations of cable and mobile networks – they simply cannot provide coverage everywhere. This means that mobile users, or those who might live in isolated or rural areas, run into poor or no coverage issues. That being said, the IoT has progressed beyond this, and rural locations are now seeing things like Internet ready smart cars and farming machinery come into their areas. Without reliable and consistent access to network coverage, these types of smart devices become entirely useless and turn into wasted capital for farmers or travelers to the area.
Additionally, smart devices seldom require the same amount of bandwidth as would be needed to do things like stream Netflix or listen to music. Granted, it is true that a smart TV needs a stable bandwidth stream to watch a movie, but it needs a very minimal amount to power on and record something. Smart devices typically only transmit a few instructions in order to operate, adding on to a regular bandwidth is likely a waste of resources and time. This is why the Dutch introduced its lower range network, designed to support only the IoT.
It saves money and it solves a need.