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Radio-Frequency Communication for Connected Devices

With an increasing need for a connected lifestyle, the global IoT industry is expected to have 50 Bn. connected devices by the end of 2030. Smart infrastructures such as a smart city, a smart grid, smart factories, and smart transportation are some of the major areas of IoT adoption. The future of IoT will drive change not only in rapidly evolving endpoint device capabilities, but also in communication networks for increased reliability. The most commonly adopted among the available communication technologies are satellite and radio frequency (RF). [1]

Satellite Communication

Satellite communication enables communication from a terminal or endpoint device to an antenna that’s as far as 10 to 15 miles. Some of the most commonly used satellite communication mediums are GSM, GPRS, 3G, 4G, and 5G. The transmission control protocol (TCP) is one of the main communication protocols in the Internet protocol suite that’s used to exchange data from managed IoT devices to the server. Communications via GPRS is secure because of the cryptography applied on the wireless link between the mobile device and base station. However, communication via satellite communication has its own operational challenges such as up-gradation of devices to evolving communication technologies, delay in re-establishing connection during signal drop or data traffic, and high-power consumption.

Radio-Frequency (RF) Mesh Networks

Radio-frequency mesh (RF mesh) networks are one of the commonly adopted wireless technologies for endpoint devices.  Some of the widely used wireless technologies under mesh networks are Zigbee, 6LoWPAN, LoRaWAN, Z-Wave, and many more. This radio-frequency mesh technology uses radio waves to communicate among groups of connected endpoint devices and send the data from the endpoints to a data concentrator unit (DCU). This DCU unit further transmits the data to the server via satellite communication technologies or another medium over a long distance.

Incorporating RF mesh communication in endpoints is very efficient because of its distinct features such as communication reliability, affordability, and lower operational challenges, the less likely need for up-gradation of a communication network between endpoints and DCU units. RF communication is self-healing because of its capability to re-establish network connectivity with DCU automatically through alternate frequency within the allowed bandwidth. Therefore, this reduces the operational challenges when the network is down.

RF Gains Advantage Over GPRS

Communication is the backbone of any smart grid implementation. Cellular networks mostly use licensed frequencies employed by mobile network operators, whereas RF mesh uses license-free communications frequencies (at 868 or 915 MHz). This brings up the flexibility to create our own private network suiting our needs compiling with existing standards and frequencies approved in different countries. Uptime for the devices is maximum when RF is used as it provides a dedicated link between the device and the data concentrator unit. Further, the RF mesh network has a distinct operational advantage as there’s no or limited need for up-gradation of hardware, which isn’t the case with satellite communication-based hardware. This makes the RF mesh network-based devices stay ahead in terms of adoption for endpoints.

Backed by 40 Years of Expertise

We contribute our 40 years of design and manufacturing expertise spanning multiple diverse markets, and we look forward to discussing how we can deliver world-class products for OEMs across the globe. Syrma has always stayed as a thought leader in the space of innovation and has shown its expertise in the design and manufacturing of smart metering for industrial and consumer segments. We also have decades of expertise in designing and manufacturing of RF nodes for IoT devices for diverse industries.

Our flagship Chennai location opened in 2006 and lies within a special economic zone (SEZ) for electronics manufacturing, offering economic incentives for imports and exports. This primary facility is within 90 minutes of the Chennai seaport and 20 minutes to the international airport, with additional road and rail connectivity linking to the rest of India and beyond, as well as infrastructure advantages with faster import and export clearances. We also have our manufacturing plant located in Bawal, Haryana dedicated to “Make in India” initiatives with the latest machines facilitating EMS and box builds. We have labor force availability, both technical and manual, to rapidly scale to client demand.

We foster growth opportunities within India through our strong technology incubation ecosystem. We also assist global OEMs seeking to enter the Indian market by leveraging the local supply chain and favorable operating environments for cost reductions.

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