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SELECTION GUIDE

A Comprehensive List of Top Wireless Technologies

DFRobot May 11 2023 3878
Wireless technologies are systems that enable communication and data transmission without the use of physical wires or cables. They are widely used in various domains such as telecommunication, networking, entertainment, health care, and security. Some of the top wireless technologies are:


Cellular networks (3G/4G/5G)

Cellular networks (3G, 4G, and 5G) are wireless technologies that enable mobile communication over large geographical areas.


Pros:

  • Widely available and can be accessed from almost anywhere in the world.
  • Fast data transfer speeds, especially with 4G and 5G networks.
  • Reliable than Wi-Fi networks because they are not affected by interference from other devices.
  • Make phone calls and send text messages.

  • Cons:

  • Expensive, especially if you use a lot of data.
  • Slow in areas with poor coverage.
  • Affected by weather conditions.
  • Less secure than wired networks because they are more vulnerable to hacking.
  • Cellular network

    Figure: Cellular network

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/


    LPWANs

    LPWANs (Low Power Wide Area Networks) are intended for applications with small messages only a few times per hour rather than data-heavy applications like streaming.


    Pros:

  • Reducing maintenance costs: LPWAN transceivers can run on small, inexpensive batteries for 10–15 years.
  • LPWAN's simplified, lightweight protocols reduce complexity in hardware design and lower device costs.
  • Using a subscription model allows hardware (the radio chipset) to be cheap while an annual subscription fee is charged for each device connected to the work.

  • Cons:

  • Low data rates cannot be used for high data rates.
  • Offers high latency between end-to-end nodes.
  • LPWAN

    Figure: LPWAN

    Source: https://iotfactory.eu/


    mmWave

    Millimeter wave (mmWave) is a special class of radar technology that uses short-wavelength electromagnetic waves. By capturing the reflected signal, a radar system can determine the range, velocity and angle of the objects.


    Pros:

  • High resolution and accuracy: mmWave radar can provide high resolution and accuracy in detecting objects and their features .
  • Robustness and reliability: mmWave radar is robust and reliable in various weather and lighting conditions .
  • Drastic improvements in network performance: mmWave 5G can provide faster data transmission speeds, higher bandwidth, and dramatic reductions in network latency when compared to sub-6 GHz networks, as well as 4G LTE and LTE Advanced networks.

  • Cons:

  • Cost and complexity: mmWave technology can be costly and complex.
  • Coverage and range limitations: electromagnetic waves with higher frequencies cannot travel long distances and are more susceptible to physical obstructions.
  • Benefits and challenges in mmWave

    Figure: Benefits and challenges in mmWave

    Source: https://www.researchgate.net/


    LoRaWAN

    LoRa is a wireless communication technology developed for long-distance and low-power application scenarios.


    Pros:

  • Worldwide available: It uses 868 MHz/ 915 MHz ISM bands.
  • Wide coverage range: 5 km in urban areas and 15 km in suburban areas.
  • Less power and hence battery will last for longer duration.
  • Single LoRa Gateway device is designed to take care of 1000s of end devices.

  • Cons:

  • Data rate lower than Wi-Fi or cellular networks.
  • Limited number of channels available for transmission.
  • Benefits of LoRa

    Figure: Benefits of LoRa

    Source: https://www.semtech.com/lora/why-lora


    Radio Frequency (RF)

    RF technology allows a set of frequencies to be used in other cells, as long as the cells aren’t bordering each other. It is possible for numerous callers in one area to use the same frequency because calls can be switched to the closest base station with that particular frequency.


    Pros:

  • Transmit data over long distances without the need for wires.
  • Can penetrate walls and other obstacles.
  • Can be used in other wireless communications, remote controls, and RFID.

  • Cons:

  • Affected by interference from other devices.
  • Affected by environmental factors such as weather conditions.
  • Expensive.
  • Radio Frequency Bands

    Figure: Radio Frequency Bands

    Source: https://terasense.com/


    Zigbee

    Zigbee is a wireless protocol that uses mesh networking to connect devices over long distances.


    Pros:

  • Range up to 100 meters and can support up to 65,000 devices on a single network.
  • Low power consumption and can run on batteries for years.

  • Cons:

  • Susceptibility to network interferences due to channel noise and overcrowding.
  • Zigbee

    Figure: Zigbee

    Source: https://wiki.st.com/


    Satellite communication

    Satellite communication is a method of transmitting and receiving data through the use of orbiting satellites.


    Pros:

  • Global coverage and reliability.
  • Can reach areas that traditional terrestrial communication infrastructure cannot.
  • Essential tool for remote locations, disaster management, and international communication.
  • Can be used for data communication, voice communication, and video communications like phone calls and video calls.

  • Cons:

  • High costs.
  • High latency (delays) and slower speeds than cable which interfere with online gaming and real-time stock market trading.
  • Some satellite plans also have data restrictions.
  • Satellite Communication

    Figure: Satellite Communication

    Source: https://byjus.com/


    Wi-Fi

    Wi-Fi is a wireless networking technology that uses radio waves to provide wireless high-speed internet and network connections.


    Pros:

  • Convenience, portability without a wire, which allows users to be connected only within close proximity to a router.
  • High-speed internet access.
  • it is very common in networking applications.

  • Cons:

  • Security concerns.
  • High latency (delays) and slower speeds than cable which interfere with online gaming and real-time stock market trading.
  • Some Wi-Fi plans also have data restrictions.
  • Wi-Fi

    Figure: Wi-Fi

    Source: https://onsitego.com/


    Bluetooth

    Bluetooth is used for short-range communication between devices such as smartphones, laptops, and headphones.


    Pros:

  • Bluetooth offers continuous communication in two directions.
  • Bluetooth can perform data transfers at 1-3MBs.
  • Bluetooth is voice capable.

  • Cons:

  • Bluetooth has high power consumption.
  • Bluetooth has a limited range of up to 10 meters.
  • Bluetooth

    Figure: Bluetooth

    Source: https://9to5mac.com/


    Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)

    Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is designed for low-power devices and is commonly used in applications such as wearables, smart home devices, and industrial sensors.


    Pros:

  • Low power consumption and hence battery life can be very long.
  • Less power than traditional Bluetooth devices and have larger ranges.
  • Can be used for small size data transfer.

  • Cons:

  • Only communicates in short bursts, and some BLE connections only go in one direction.
  • Limited to 125KBs-2MBs data transfer rate.
  • Not voice capable.
  • Bluetooth Low Energy

    Figure: Bluetooth Low Energy

    Source: https://novelbits.io/


    RFID

    RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a wireless technology that uses radio waves to read and capture information stored on tags attached to objects.


    Pros:

  • Offers a range of advantages that can help to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
  • Automate data collection and tracking.
  • Can be read from a distance without requiring a line of sightl.
  • RFID tags can be used to track items as they move through a supply chain.

  • Cons:

  • Expensive than barcode readers.
  • Implementation can be difficult and time-consuming.
  • Pose a security risk.
  • RFID

    Figure: RFID

    Source: https://navigine.com/


    Broadcast radio

    Broadcast radio is a wireless communication technology that uses radio waves to transmit audio content to a large number of listeners.


    Pros:

  • Free medium that can be accessed by anyone with a radio receiver.
  • Can be listened to while doing other activities such as driving or working.
  • Can be used to reach a large audience quickly and easily.
  • Can be used to provide local news and information.

  • Cons:

  • Can be affected by interference from other electronic devices.
  • Not as popular as it once was due to the rise of other forms of media such as television and the internet.
  • Limited in terms of the amount of information that can be conveyed compared to other forms of media.
  • Broadcast radio

    Figure: Broadcast radio

    Source: https://www.rev.com/


    Infrared

    Infrared communication is a wireless technology that uses infrared light to transmit data between devices.

    Pros:

  • Can be used to detect temperature changes in objects without making contact with them.
  • Can be used to detect motion and movement in objects.
  • Can be used to transmit data wirelessly over short distances.

  • Cons:

  • Cannot penetrate walls or other solid objects, which can limit their range and effectiveness.
  • Can be affected by interference from other electronic devices, which can sometimes lead to problems with signal quality.
  • Not as widely used as other forms of wireless communication such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
  • Infrared Radiation

    Figure: Infrared Radiation

    Source: https://www.livescience.com/


    These are some of the top wireless technologies that are shaping the future of communication and data transmission. They offer convenience, flexibility, efficiency, and security to users and businesses alike.


    Figure: Comparison table of wireless technologies


    Reference

    8 Examples of Wireless Technologies HubPages

    What are the Different Types of Wireless Technology? (atztechnology.com)

    Advantages of Cellular Network,disadvantages of Cellular Network (rfwireless-world.com)

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