T&M and IoT Coupling Anritsu’s Expertise

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T&M and IoT

IoT Market Growth

Internet of Things (IoT) is growing technology and a social game changer. IoT is expected to see widespread adoption in many fields, starting with automotive and spreading into smart homes, smart buildings, manufacturing and industrial plants, medicine and healthcare, safety and security, insurance, transport, energy, distribution, agriculture HEMS, smart meters (water, electricity, gas), etc. Recent services using IoT devices and products include AI speakers, smart watches, smart meters, security cameras, and more.

In addition, the appearance of next-generation 5G communications, featuring fast and large capacity, low latency, and multi-connectivity is expected to drive even more explosive growth of IoT.

In the IoT market, connection of many “things” (IoT devices and products) to the Internet will use wireless communications to collect data from either standalone or built-in sensors which will then be sent via the Internet to data centers for AI-based analysis with the analysis results returned via the Internet to other IoT devices and products, smartphones, tablets, etc..

Some recent applications are described below.

  • AI speakers connected by wireless LAN (Wi-FI WLAN) to the Internet can stream music from the Internet to listeners. In this case, the listener’s music preference history can be saved in a database for analysis by AI to recommend other music matching the listener’s taste.
  • Smart watches connected via Bluetooth to the wearer’s smartphone using a 4G LTE connection can connect to the Internet to send information (number of steps and distance walked, cardiogram) from sensors in the smart watch to a data center, enabling people with diet and other health concerns to improve their lifestyle using these data.

Internet of Things (IoT) capacity requirements The IoT is predicted to create a massive increase in the number of devices/ connections across wireless networks. It is envisaged that many billions of devices will be connected to the networks, although many of them will be only sending/ receiving data on an intermittent of very low data rate. This will create new demands in terms of the capacity of the network to transmit data, but also the capacity in terms of number of connected users that can be managed by the network. In current 3GPP based networks there are limits on numbers of users that can be connected to specific network nodes, and this limit may be insufficient for future needs. The capacity requirement is expressed both in terms of number of users connected (registered) to the network, and also in terms of number of users active (making simultaneous data transactions) on a specific network node. Volume of data Data will be one of the key drivers for 5G. Firstly, continuing the legacy from LTE, voice will be totally handled as an application simply using the data connectivity provided by the communication system and not as a dedicated service. This is an additional increase in a data growing pace of between 25% and 50% annually and is expected to continue towards 2030 due to the increase in size of content and the number of mobile applications requiring high data rates, the rise in screen resolution with the recent introduction of 4K (8K already in development and expected beyond 2020) and the developments in 3D video..

Features of IoT Wireless Communications

Various types of wireless communications are used by IoT, including LTE Cat-M, NB-IoT, wireless LAN (Wi-Fi, WLAN) , Bluetooth, etc. Customers developing and manufacturing IoT devices and products must choose the best wireless communications matching the features of the product under development. The key elements in choosing the wireless communications method are communications distance, power consumption, and communications speed. For example, power consumption is an important factor in a battery-powered IoT product required to operate for year-long periods without changing the battery.

Current Consumption and Distance for Radio Standards

IoT Device Testing Solutions and Equipment

Wireless communications are assumed to be the most common method used in the IoT market for connecting to the Internet. There is also news about using 5G, LTE, NB-IoT, Cat-M, wireless LAN (WLAN) and Bluetooth for these wireless communications and IoT devices (products)featuring these technologies are appearing. For example, there are already many smart home appliances (IoT devices and products), such as cleaners and air conditioners, using wireless LAN, and devices (products), such as wireless earphones and headphones using Bluetooth are appearing. More-and-more IoT devices (products) featuring these wireless technologies are expected to appear in the market.

In the future, manufacturers who develop and manufacture IoT devices (products) expect more customers complaints about problems, such as difficult and dropped connections and short communications range, which will increase support costs. In order to prevent this situation, manufacturers who develop and manufacture IoT devices (products) must evaluate and test the wireless communications quality at the development and manufacturing stages.

By testing the quality of IoT devices (products) thoroughly at the development stage and guaranteeing quality, after-sales support problems can be reduced in advance.

Also, at manufacturing of IoT devices (products), defects may occur due to component or assembly failure. After-sales support problems can be reduced in advance by testing and checking the wireless communications quality of finished IoT devices (products) at the final stage.

Anritsu IoT Test Solutions

The IoT market usually assumes that one of the many wireless technologies, such as 5G, LTE-Advanced FDD/TDD, NB-IoT, Cat-M, wireless LAN WLAN) , Bluetooth, sub-GHz band (920 MHz), etc., will be used for Internet connections, and commercial products, such as AI speakers, smart watches, etc., using wireless communications technologies are already coming to market.
Anritsu’s test solutions (measuring instruments) support these LTE-Advanced FDD/TDD, NB-IoT, Cat-M, wireless LAN (WLAN), Bluetooth, and sub-GHz band (920 MHz) technologies.

As well as impacting M2M and IoT, the convenience of wireless communications is driving increasing use for other applications and services. On the other hand, correct operation of wireless systems can be blocked by unplanned generation of radio waves, such as wideband noise and unwanted leakage waveforms. Anritsu also has test solutions for inspecting the radio-wave environment and searching for interference.

Anritsu provides measuring instruments (for IoT Device Testing) supporting the various standards for LTE, NB-IoT and Cat-M wireless communications technologies used by cellular communications systems such as smartphones, and for wireless LAN (Wi-Fi, WLAN), Bluetooth, etc., wireless communications technologies used by connectivity systems.
Tester (Wireless Measurement Instrument)/Base Station Simulator
Spectrum Analyzer/Signal Generator/System