At Pycom we strive to enable as many developers, enterprise customers and educational factilities to build things that will work for almost any use case. This is why we offer a combination of no less than five networks for you to choose from when building your next project. The networks we offer are WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa, Sigfox and LTE CAT M1 / NB1.
WiFi is the world’s most-used local-area wireless networking technology. Over half of internet users connect via WiFi, and there are more WiFi-enabled devices than there are humans. It’s a great solution for all manner of IoT projects, from large scale implementation to hobbyist home applications.
Find out more – wi-fi.org
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances, from fixed and mobile devices to building personal area networks (PANs). It is one of the most used wireless data exchange networks in the world and is an expected feature of devices.
Find out more – bluetooth.com
Wifi + Bluetooth in Use
WiFi and Bluetooth are great network choices if your project involves connected homes, workplaces or other close proximity areas. While Bluetooth is excellent for exchanging data over short distances, such as a few rooms away, WiFi can hit further afield up to a few kilometres.
For one example, such as connecting your smartphone to a temperature control in your house, Bluetooth would be great in this situation as it can connect directly between devices without the need for a hotspot. On the other hand, if you wanted to operate throughout a large complex, WiFi might be the better option as is can operate through one or more access points to create a wider network.
LoRa is a Low Power Wide Area Network, a great network to use for your IoT projects. It has gateways far and wide and the LoRa Alliance, who created and maintain the network, has thriving community of enthusiasts. LoRa is used by lots of platforms including but not limited to ThingsConnected and The Things Network. LoRa uses license-free sub Gigahertz radio frequency bands like 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (North America). Read more here.
Find out more – lora-alliance.org
Sigfox employs a proprietary technology that enables communication using the Industrial, Scientific and Medical ISM radio band which uses 868MHz in Europe and 902MHz in the US. It utilises a wide-reaching signal that passes freely through solid objects, called “ultra narrowband” and requires little energy. The network is based on one-hop star topology and requires a mobile operator to carry the generated traffic. The signal can also be used to easily cover large areas and to reach underground objects.
Find out more – sigfox.com
LoRa + Sigfox in Use
For example, Pycom devices have previously been used for a large-scale rollout of air quality sensors across a city. Data needed to be transmitted at hourly intervals in small packages without the need for a constant stream. Making sure that the devices could last for long periods of time without needing ta battery change was of high importance. Therefore, LoRa and Sigfox were the best networks.
Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) is commonly referred to as Cellular (in the world of IoT). It specifically refers to LTE CT-M1, which works by using the existing LTE infrastructure to send out lower frequency waves. NB-IoT stands for Narrow Band Internet of Things, which uses low-frequency channels that went unused as they could only send small amounts of data. It can be deployed as an addition of new software to the existing LTE infrastructure. Read more here (link to https://pycom.io/lets-talk-networks-lte-m-and-nb-iot/)
How to get started
The Pycom documentation covers everything you need to get started with any of our boards, plus lots of tutorials, examples + FAQs to begin building your projects.
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