If accommodating the various IoT communication protocols isn’t hard enough, designers of everything from appliances to home automation systems and industrial networks must also ensure that the “vagaries of the ether” are respected through prudent choices of antennas. Failure to adequately address both issues can make or break an IoT network. To understand why, it’s necessary to view them from both technical and environmental perspectives.
Selecting a short-range wireless communication protocol has been a major challenge since the first adventurous pioneers set out to build industrial IoT networks. At least a half dozen protocols have been vying for supremacy in a market that is rapidly changing, so settling on one today could prove inadequate tomorrow. Although many of these protocols are similar, each one has characteristics based on its modulation scheme, bandwidth, data rates, and other metrics, that collectively make it different enough and mostly incompatible and the task of choosing one frustrating at best.