IoT & M2M – What are They & How Do They Communicate?

IoT & M2M – What are They & How Do They Communicate?

IoT M2M Image

The Internet of Things (IoT) is defined as physical objects that are embedded with sensors, processing ability, software, and other technologies. They connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the Internet or other communications networks. Your cell phone is the perfect example of an IoT device.

Machine to Machine (M2M) is direct communication between devices using any communications channel such as wired and wireless. This can include industrial instrumentation, enabling a sensor or meter to communicate the information it records to application software that can use it. By that definition, the utility smart meter in your home is a great example of an M2M device.

They are very similar technologies with two main differentiators:
1. IoT devices communicate over a network without a direct connection (normally the internet, hence the name), whereas M2M devices can be connected to each other directly, and with no human intervention.
2. IoT devices have an onboard processing capability, which is not a requirement for M2M devices.

There are close to 14 billion IoT devices in the world today (2021) and there will be an estimated 25 billion by 2030. M2M connections are at approximately 2.8 billion globally and are expected to grow at an even faster rate than IoT connections.

It is shaping up to be a future where everything is connected! Vehicles will communicate with each other, with pedestrians, and with infrastructure. Healthcare will have advanced patient monitoring, decision systems, and integrated command centers. Manufacturing will have automated guided vehicles, augmented reality, and AI vision quality checking. When you are out shopping, you can expect enhanced personalization and a frictionless shopping experience – one where you can leave the store without going through checkout or self-service.

Whether it be IoT or M2M, the devices that will make this connected future a reality will need to communicate with each other seamlessly and reliably. Today, some of the many communications technologies that are available are:
2. Ethernet
3. Wi-Fi
4. VHF/UHF/SHF radio
5. Bluetooth
6. DSL
7. Fiber

There are many networking and backhaul options available today, including:
1. Local Area Networks (LAN)
2. Wide Area Networks (WAN)
3. The Internet
4. Power Line Communication (PLC)
5. Mesh networks
6. WiMAX networks
7. Satellite networks
8. Cellular/mobile networks

Device connections often include a combination of technologies, networking, and backhauling. Cellular 5G networks will also be a huge enabler of IoT and M2M.

Here at Blue Sky Network, we specialize in IoT device connection for remote devices using satellite and cellular networks. Contact us if you would like to learn more about remote device connection.

Post by m.eddy