Communications & LTE
Sensors and devices need to send their data to the cloud. The device communicates wireless with a gateway and the gateway communicates with the cloud. The gateway can be a mcThings gateway or a gateway in a telco network.
All devices have some form of mcAir™ to communicate wireless to a gateway. The mcAir™ protocol is a very effective IoT protocol and is optimized for disconnected operations. Several connection modes are available to optimize the power consumption. Low power consumption is the most important driver for low cost of ownership because it eliminates changing batteries or the cost of wiring the device to a power source.
The three mcAir protocols are:
LTE here is used to designate LTE Cat M1 or LTE Cat M2 functionality. mcAirLTE devices are equipped with two or three AA batteries for 3 to 5-year battery life. The devices use gateways in LTE towers to communicate to the cloud. The range is greater than conventional cell-phone LTE and can be up to 16KM (10 miles) from the tower. mcAirLTE devices are ideal when there is no gateway or when access to the IP infrastructure fluctuates, such as a moving vehicle or remote location. mcAirLTE devices require an LTE subscription which are provided by mcThings in the form of a chip. No SIM card required.
When we discuss optimum conditions we are talking about within line of sight. Like any wireless protocol, interference from geography and structures may impact the range. For practical distances, consider mcAirSR to have a similar range to a conventional bluetooth connection, while mcAirLR is 5x more powerful than bluetooth.
The cost of ownership will be directly related to the type of communication required. When looking at individual devices, mcAirSR will be the most affordable, followed by mcAirLR and mcAirLTE. But the mcAirSR devices will also need more gateways, with less needed in an mcAirLR network and none needed for an mcAirLTE deployment.
The mcPlatform supports ultra-compact devices with a small footprint, cost effective devices that operate without LTE subscription and a dedicated LTE device with exceptional range. All devices use the same platform software and Mist computing infrastructure to make for an ideal solution.