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Part 1–Full analysis of IoT communication protocols

With the continuous increase in the number of IoT devices, the communication or connection between these devices has become an important subject for consideration. Communication is very common and critical for the Internet of Things. Whether it is short-range wireless transmission technology or mobile communication technology, it affects the development of the Internet of Things. In communication, the communication protocol is especially important, and it is the rules and conventions that the two entities must follow to complete the communication or service. This article introduces several available IoT communication protocols, which have different performance, data rate, coverage, power and memory, and each protocol has its own advantages and more or less disadvantages. Some of these communication protocols are only suitable for small household appliances, while others can be used for large-scale smart city projects. The communication protocols of the Internet of Things are divided into two categories, one is the access protocol, and the other is the communication protocol. The access protocol is generally responsible for the networking and communication between the devices in the subnet; the communication protocol is mainly the device communication protocol running on the traditional Internet TCP/IP protocol, which is responsible for the data exchange and communication of the devices through the Internet.

1. Long range cellular communication

(1)2G/3G/4G communication protocols refer to the second, third and fourth generation mobile communication system protocols respectively.


The Narrow Band Internet of Things (NB-iot) has become an important branch of the Internet of Everything.

Built on cellular networks, the nb-iot consumes only about 180kHz of bandwidth and can be deployed directly on GSM, UMTS or LTE networks to reduce deployment costs and smooth upgrades.

Nb-iot focuses on the low power wide coverage (LPWA) Internet of Things (IoT) market and is an emerging technology that can be widely applied worldwide.

It has the characteristics of wide coverage, many connections, fast speed, low cost, low power consumption and excellent architecture.

Application scenarios: The nB-iot network brings scenarios including intelligent parking, intelligent fire fighting, intelligent water, intelligent street lights, shared bikes and intelligent home appliances, etc.


The fifth generation mobile communication technology is the latest generation of cellular mobile communication technology.

The performance goals of 5G are high data rates, reduced latency, energy savings, lower costs, increased system capacity and large-scale device connectivity.

Application scenarios: AR/VR, Internet of vehicles, intelligent manufacturing, smart energy, wireless medical, wireless home entertainment, Connected UAV, ULTRA HIGH definition/panoramic live broadcasting, personal AI assistance, smart city.

2. Long distance non-cellular communication


Due to the rapid popularity of home WiFi routers and smart phones in the past few years, WiFi protocol has also been widely used in the field of smart home.The biggest advantage of WiFi protocol is direct access to the Internet.

Compared with ZigBee, the smart home scheme using Wifi protocol eliminates the need for additional gateways. Compared with Bluetooth protocol, it eliminates the dependence on mobile terminals such as mobile phones.

The coverage of commercial WiFi in urban public transport, shopping malls and other public places will undoubtedly reveal the application potential of commercial WiFi scenarios.


ZigBee is a low speed and short distance transmission wireless communication protocol, is a highly reliable wireless data transmission network, the main characteristics are low speed, low power consumption, low cost, support a large number of network nodes, support a variety of network topology, low complexity, fast, reliable and safe.

ZigBee technology is a new type of technology, which has emerged recently. It mainly relies on wireless network for transmission. It can carry out wireless connection in close range and belongs to wireless network communication technology.

The inherent advantages of ZigBee technology make it gradually become a mainstream technology in the Internet of Things industry and get large-scale applications in industry, agriculture, smart home and other fields.


LoRa(LongRange, LongRange) is a modulation technology that provides longer communication distances than similar technologies.LoRa gateway, smoke sensor, water monitoring, infrared detection, positioning, insertion and other widely used Iot products.As a narrowband wireless technology, LoRa uses the time difference of arrival for geolocation.Application scenarios of LoRa positioning: smart city and traffic monitoring, metering and logistics, agricultural positioning monitoring.

3. NFC(near field communication)


Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) is short for Radio Frequency Identification.Its principle is non-contact data communication between the reader and the tag to achieve the purpose of identifying the target.The application of RFID is very extensive, typical applications are animal chip, car chip alarm device, access control, parking control, production line automation, material management.The complete RFID system consists of Reader, electronic Tag and data management system.


The Chinese full name of NFC is Near Field Communication Technology. NFC is developed on the basis of non-contact radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and combined with wireless interconnection technology. It provides a very safe and fast communication method for various electronic products that are becoming more and more popular in our daily lives. The "near field" in the Chinese name of NFC refers to radio waves near the electromagnetic field.

Application scenarios: Used in access control, attendance, visitors, conference sign-in, patrol and other fields. NFC has functions such as human-computer interaction and machine-to-machine interaction.


Bluetooth technology is an open global specification for wireless data and voice communication. It is a special short-range wireless technology connection based on a low-cost short-range wireless connection to establish a communication environment for fixed and mobile devices.

Bluetooth can exchange information wirelessly among many devices including mobile phones, PDAs, wireless headsets, notebook computers, and related peripherals. The use of "Bluetooth" technology can effectively simplify the communication between mobile communication terminal devices, and also successfully simplify the communication between the device and the Internet, so that data transmission becomes faster and more efficient, and broadens the way for wireless communication.

4. Wired communication


USB, the abbreviation of English Universal Serial Bus (Universal Serial Bus), is an external bus standard used to regulate the connection and communication between computers and external devices. It is the interface technology applied in the PC field.

(2)Serial communication protocol

The serial communication protocol refers to the relevant specifications that specify the content of the data packet, which includes the start bit, body data, check bit and stop bit. Both parties need to agree on a consistent data packet format to normally send and receive data. In serial communication, commonly used protocols include RS-232, RS-422 and RS-485.

Serial communication refers to a communication method in which data is transmitted bit by bit between peripherals and computers. This communication method uses fewer data lines, which can save communication costs in long-distance communication, but its transmission speed is lower than parallel transmission. Most computers (not including notebooks) contain two RS-232 serial ports. Serial communication is also a commonly used communication protocol for instruments and equipment.


Ethernet is a computer LAN technology.The IEEE 802.3 standard is the technical standard for Ethernet, which includes the content of the physical layer connection, electronic signal and media access layer protocol??


MBus remote meter reading system (symphonic mbus) is a European standard 2-wire two bus, mainly used for consumption measuring instruments such as heat meter and water meter series.

Post time: Sep-07-2021