The internet of things (IoT) is a network of physical devices, vehicles, sensors, actuators, and other objects with the ability to collect and exchange data.
The IoT allows objects to be sensed and controlled remotely across existing network infrastructure, creating opportunities for more direct integration of the physical world into computer-based systems. Thanks to the huge addressing capabilities of IPv6, each thing is uniquely identifiable and is able to interoperate within the existing Internet infrastructure. Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.
Things can be connected to the internet over a regular wireline connection, Wi-Fi or cellular, or through dedicated Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) wireless technologies. LPWA technologies allow to build wide area narrowband networks to connect objects through low-cost battery-based communications units. A number of LPWA technologies are available today to build and operate Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), such as LoRA, Sigfox, Wireless MBus, and others. The new 3GPP NB-IoT standard provides mobile operators with a natural path towards IoT through an LTE-based low power wide area technology.
One of the primary aspects of LPWAN planning is to find the best-suited site locations for gateways. The Atoll LPWA module and the Atoll LPWA ACP (Automatic Cell Planning) allow operators to plan and optimise LPWA networks and to determine the best sites according to coverage, overlapping and other LPWA-specific design and optimisation objectives.
Similarly, the Atoll NB-IoT module fully models NB-IoT and allows operators to plan and optimise NB-IoT networks as an integrated layer within an LTE network.