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Integrating Cellular IoT Modules Into a Device? Read This First

Today, it’s easy to slot cellular internet of things (IoT) capabilities into almost any device. But few designers and developers know how to test them effectively. Here’s why that matters, and how to educate yourself, fast.

Various IoT devices

The internet of things (IoT) is already transforming everything from the way critical services are delivered, and the way we manage our lives.

And now cellular connectivity is taking the IoT to a whole new level – letting devices reliably connect to their central control systems wherever they have network coverage.

Why is this happening now?

Designing and developing a device with cellular IoT capabilities used to be tough. But with the advent of cellular IoT modules – essentially, pre-built, pre-packed cellular modems – integration has become relatively quick and simple.

Why is it a concern?

Whether you’re developing smart traffic lights or the next generation of personal fitness tracker, cellular IoT is clearly great news, opening up new applications while cutting R&D costs.

The problem is this. While designers and developers can now easily drop cellular IoT modules into their devices, there are some pitfalls unique to cellular designs that need to be avoided.

Simply testing cellular devices  in the same way that one would test other wireless technologies (e.g. Wi-Fi) can have serious consequences. Here are just a few.

The consequences of failing to test cellular IoT-enabled devices

#1 Greater risk of critical failures

IoT-enabled devices are increasingly finding crucial roles in critical healthcare, transportation and logistics infrastructure. In such applications, the variability that cellular conditions present has the potential to cause widespread, high-profile disruption, and even put lives at risk.

#2 Far-reaching, negative effects on user experience

Testing provides a vital opportunity to identify and iron out performance issues that could seriously comprise user experience. If these issues aren’t identified, it’s not just functions that depend on cellular connectivity that stand to suffer – an insufficient reconnection strategy, for example, can rapidly sap a device’s battery, and shorten its life.

#3 Increased vulnerability to cyber attacks

IoT devices may have many “attack vectors” that expose them to hacking, including local interfaces, physical vulnerabilities, short-range wireless links, and the cellular link.  Careful and thorough security design and testing are needed to avoid leaving your devices vulnerable to cyber-attack, your users vulnerable to data loss, and your brand vulnerable to reputational damage.

What you need to know

White Paper - 5 Key Test Considerations for Cellular IoT DevicesFor all these reasons and more, robust testing of any device designed to take advantage of cellular IoT modules is essential.

We’ve written a white paper to help device designers and developers new to cellular IoT understand what you need to test, and how.

Read the white paper now to discover:

  • 5 key testing considerations when developing cellular IoT devices
  • 5 best practices for getting that testing right
 
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