It’s a good time to be involved with connected devices. Research firm IDATE
forecasts machine-to-machine (M2M) market revenue to reach $54.3 billion by
2017. While Asia is currently the biggest player in the arena, Europe is expected to become the largest market in terms of revenue over the next few years.
Why isn’t the United States a more prominent player in this growing industry? The answer, in part, is the difficulty that device manufacturers have in
getting M2M products certified for use on American cellular networks.
Device manufacturers have two options: build in a pre-approved modem,
which can be expensive and drives up device price, or design your own and
devote substantial resources to have devices certified for each network. In the
U.S., adding a cellular modem to a device can cost five times more than adding
a Wi-Fi modem, in addition to the cost of certification, which runs upwards of
$50,000 per device, per network.
This creates a huge barrier for small and mid-size companies. As a growing
industry, M2M needs innovation, which often happens at these smaller competitors.
American cellular companies should look to Europe to see how a robust
industry can grow. In Europe, M2M device manufacturers can buy inexpensive
SIM cards to build into devices. These cards are loaded with data and can be
refreshed as needed. A cellular contract is not needed and the certification
process is minimal for manufacturers. This reduces development costs and
speeds time-to-market for new products.
Connecting devices to the cloud via cellular networks opens up new markets
to cellular companies, manufacturers, and consumers alike. Simplifying the
process for getting devices onto cellular networks in the U.S. will spur innovation, benefiting all parties.
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The specifications of the high density antennas are integral to the
performance of the high density network. Two key specifications that
define high density antennas are beamwidth and gain. Beamwidth is
measured at two frequency ranges for Wi-Fi ( 2. 5 and 5 GHz) and two di-
rections (horizontal and vertical). To determine the beamwidth needed,
a network designer calculates the required capacity per client device in
a given area, while taking into account co-channel interference. Narrow
beamwidth directional antennas are an essential component of the high
density network because they use narrow beam patterns to focus RF
into small cells that enable stronger, more reliable Wi-Fi signals, reduce
channel-to-channel interference, and increase capacity. Higher data
rates are inversely proportional to greater coverage. That is, the greater
the data rate, the smaller the coverage area. Generally speaking, the
narrower the beamwidth of the antenna, the better it is for the high
The other key specification of high density antennas is gain. Tradi-
tional antenna gain ranges from 2 to 6 dBi. High density antenna gain
begins at 4 dBi, and can increase to 14 dBi or higher. Higher gain an-
tennas are beneficial in large venue deployments where the distance the
RF signal must propagate from the antenna to the users is much greater,
such as stadiums, large, outdoor public events, or indoor venues such as
concert halls and train stations. Lower gain antennas are used to mini-
mize floor-to-floor interference common in classroom buildings.
Open stadiums with no roof and large venues with very high ceilings
are particularly challenging because installation of top down, high-gain
antennas and APs may be impractical, or impossible. Ventev recently
introduced a new Terra Wave product designed to address this unique
challenge. Under the seat Wi-Fi options offer bottom up connectivity to
the network for several rows of users to ensure capacity and significant-
ly improve the Wi-Fi experience. ECN