The great debate continues about which communications platforms are best for connecting IoT end point devices. Cellular networks that are capable of facilitating massive flows of data are already ubiquitous, so there’s no need to build any new physical infrastructure to support cellular IoT. The drawback has always been that cellular-enabled IoT devices use enormous amounts of power. This limits their utility to applications where electricity is freely available. Now, however, new cellular-enabled sensors have emerged that can transfer considerable amounts of data across significant distances without draining the battery. And as for 5G, this could be the ultimate game changer for cellular IoT.

You might be unable to answer the question, “what is cellular IoT?” But I’m sure you’re familiar with the underlying technology. Cellular networks connect your iPhone to Google Maps, Instagram, and Email; they carry your voice through the air. But gone are the times when we want to connect only with our friends and family. Now, we’re also seeing the value of connecting with the physical objects around us: the streetlights, parking meters, and hospitals that occupy our everyday urban lives, or the myriad industrial applications like manufacturing and agriculture that connectivity can enhance.

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