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IoT devices use a variety of methods to connect and share data, but most use some form of wireless connectivity: homes and offices use standard Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Bluetooth Low Energy (or Ethernet, especially if not mobile).Other devices include LTE (among existing technologies, Narrowband IoT and LTE-M for small devices that send a decidedly limited amount of data) and even satellite connections to communicate. However, the numerous different options have led some to argue that IoT communication standards should be as accepted and interoperable as Wi-Fi today.

One area of growth over the next few years will undoubtedly be the use of 5G networks to support IoT projects. 5G offers the ability to fit up to a million 5G devices in one square kilometer.This means that using a large number of sensors in a very small area will be possible, making large-scale industrial IoT deployments more likely. The UK has just started a 5G and IoT trial in two' smart factories'. However, it may take some time for 5G distributions to become widespread. Ericsson estimates there will be about five billion IoT devices connected to cellular networks by 2025, but only a quarter of them will be broadband IoT and the majority will be connected to 4G.

The analyst firm estimates that 3.5 million 5G IoT devices will be in use this year, up from about 50 million by 2023. In the longer term, the automotive industry will be the largest sector for 5G IoT use cases.

A likely trend may be that as IoT develops, less data is sent for processing in the cloud. To keep costs low, more action can be taken on the device only with useful data sent back to the cloud. A strategy known as' end computing ' will require new technologies such as tamper-proof end servers that can collect and analyze data away from that cloud or enterprise data center.


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