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3 Reasons Why Dedicated IOT Networks Make Sense

Link Labs is focused on building the underlying technology that enable a new type of "Lo-Lo" network — Low power/Long Range. Our revolutionary physical layer (radio signals) make communication at much longer range than traditional WiFi or Bluetooth possible.

We build on top of this PHY an access control scheme (MAC) that enables wireless devices to "sleep" for much of their life and "Wake-up" just when they have data to transmit.

By creating an IOT/M2M ecosystem from the ground up with low power and long range in mind, three important things are achieved, that are not possible with cellular modules:

Low Power

For new classes of sensors to join the Internet of Things, most will need to be battery powered. These batteries will have to last for years. The Link Labs radio modules achieve long range network connectivity through short (<100ms) bursts of data that draw only around 50 mA. The rest of the time the system only draws a few micro amps. This can translate into years of operation on AA size batteries. Cellular modems draw many times this current, and batteries would only last a few days at most.

Low Cost Chip Sets, Low Cost Service

For wireless IOT applications where ROI is high, cellular modems are already used. These are things like vending machines, soil monitors, and important asset trackers (like trucks). If IOT networks are going to serve "down market" to lower ROI applications, the cost of both the radio module and the monthly service has to be lower, MUCH lower. A cellular modem from companies like Telit or Sierra cost >$100 EACH. A Link Labs IOT network module can be built for a fraction of this. And while wholesale cellular data has dropped in price significantly, volume deals for new businesses are hard to get. The Link Labs network has pricing based on the volume of data sent. For low rate applications, this can be pennies.

Capacity

Its almost cliche to say it, but the IOT market size may explode to billions and billions of devices. LTE or 3G cellular networks cannot handle billions of users. These are high performance networks, with high user overhead. If billions of nodes are going to be connected to wide area networks, high capacity has to be planned in from the first design. Link Labs networks are capable of serving 100-300K nodes per antenna.


IoT Protocol Selection White Paper

Written by Brian Ray

Brian is the Founder and CTO of Link Labs. As the chief technical innovator and leader of the company, Brian has led the creation and deployment of a new type of ultra long-range, low-power wireless networking which is transforming the Internet of Things and M2M space.

Before starting Link Labs, Brian led a team at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab that solved communications and geolocation problems for the national intelligence community. He was also the VP of Engineering at the network security company, Lookingglass, and served for eight years as a submarine officer in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received his Master’s Degree from Oxford University.

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