Every device in the field is capable of communicating with the client via the Cloud. The communications approaches will depend on:
- The location.
- The availability of power (or not).
- The number of devices in the immediate area.
- The amount of data to be sent.
G Node – GPRS/3g/4g Cellular
The G node uses a mobile data connection to handle and transmit the data at each appointed hour. The advantage of a standard modem is that it will work in 95% of locations, especially with some helpful aerial enhancements.
The disadvantage is that mobile phone data is relatively battery intensive and when surveying, the plan must include some planning in terms of how often the device dials into the data centre, how strong is the signal and whether a small solar panel will be helpful.
Wi-fi Via a router
A standard wi-fi signal can be accessed to send data into the cloud. On the face of it this seems like a very attractive solution and indeed would be if the world was a constant.
However, while mobile signals tend to be consistent and available for many years in a similar or the same format, wi-fi in an area will chop and change depending on the latest modem and supplier.
Therefore, while wi-fi is free and attractive, we tend to avoid is use even if its our client supplying the signal. If it is essential however, it will be used and will be highly effective while the signal is in place.
The lowest field power solution to communicating with the cloud is via a dedicated local radio network. These are easy to set up, and will be very stable as essentially the client owns the platform, access rights and the data being transmitted – there are no outside parties changing protocols or disrupting transmissons.
The single disadvantage of this network is that the initial set up can be more expensive and the hub requires access to mains power. However for parks based systems, town centre situations and rec areas, it is the ideal solution.
With our partners, Chambers, we are able to offer satellite links for the really remote locations. These are slightly more expensive than mobile connections, but are a low power and stable solution.
The bandwith is as good as cellular and LoRa and the data sets are as reliable. It is a significant step forward for the transmission of remote data on a regular basis.