YieldPoint embraces Mobile IoT and 5G

At YieldPoint we have a vision that the combination of sensor and telemetry technologies must be fully integrated to create the most efficient and economical monitoring solutions. Our team in Kingston, Ontario is innovating continually using the latest technologies in order to bring the most reliable, cost effective and user friendly solution to monitoring projects worldwide.

Mobile IoT versus LoRaWan

Low power wireless connectivity is an integral component of this vision and a significant cost component when designing a remote monitoring instrumentation project. For geotechnical monitoring, LPWAN technologies have gained acceptance especially those based on LoRaWAN. These technologies operate on unlicensed RF bands (usually around 900MHz). In contrast, mobile IoT systems (LTE-M and NB-IoT) operate on “licensed” bands and consequently are less susceptible to noise and interference. As traffic inevitably increases for both, the result is longer range at the same power for mobile IoT.

LTE-M and NB-IoT networks are being built by major cellular telecom providers, who have now introduced competitively priced service plans for IoT devices. The introduction of low power and low cost cellular hardware is accelerating the development curve and the current SIM card concept is also being improved with the introduction of eSIM technology. Finally, the forward compatibility of LTE-M and NB-IoT means that investments made today will co-exist with core 5G components in the future.

Mobile IoT (LTE-M, NB-IoT and 5G)

Mobile IoT technologies possess the following characteristics

LTE-M is the industry term for the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) machine-type communications (MTC) LPWA technology standard introduced by 3GPP in Release 13. LTE-M supports lower device complexity, massive connection density, low device power consumption, low latency and provides extended coverage, while allowing the reuse of the LTE installed base. The deployment of LTE-M can be done “in-band” within a normal LTE carrier, or “standalone” in a dedicated spectrum.

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) is a cellular radio technology that addresses the LPWA requirements for IoT. NB-IoT is characterized by improved indoor coverage, support of massive number of low throughput devices, low delay sensitivity, ultra-low device cost, low device power consumption and optimized network architecture. Like LTE-M, NB-IoT can be deployed “in-band” within a normal LTE carrier, or “standalone” for deployments in dedicated spectrum.

Both LTE-M and NB-IoT are part of the 5G technology family.

YieldPoint Cellular IoT product-line

YieldPoint has developed battery powered 4G LTE-M networking gateways under the product name BluCell. The 4G link is compatible with most 4G networks. BluCell is powered from 4 x D-cell batteries and will last for 2 years at a reading upload rate of 1/hr. The batteries are easily replaced. A population of BLE5 instruments distributed around a structure can beacon their data within a 50m radius to a cellular BluCell ready for either download to an Android device using the free BluPoint application or for automated 4G LTE-M cellular upload.

BluCells are data loggers with a 30,000 reading storage capacity, Bluetooth BLE5 and 4G LTE capability. They log data from BLE5 enabled instruments and wired instruments such as the BluTilt, BluVW and digital instruments (MPBX, Smart Cable, Smart Bolt) with an attached BluLink. BluCells automatically wake on a scheduled cycle and send their data files to a platform via the 4G LTE-M network.

The data files can also be downloaded using a Bluetooth BLE5 Android device. BlueTooth BLE 5 range is 50m on average.

Direct-to-Cellular Instruments

BluTilt Triaxial Tiltmeters, BluBeam Triaxial Tilt Beams, BluVibe Vibration Sensors and BluVW Vibrating Wire Sensors are all fully integrated with batteries and onboard data logging, Bluetooth BLE5 and 4G LTE-M communications. In addition to storing 30,000 readings they automatically upload their data files using cellular LTE-M.

Wired Instruments Cellular Gateways:

d4BluCell and d8BluCell

Vibrating Wire Sensors Gateway: VWBluCell

d4BluCell and d8BluCell are data loggers with Bluetooth BLE5 and 4G LTE capability. They read 4 or 8 directly wired YieldPoint instruments: dEXTO, dMPBX, dMicro, dConverge, dCable, dRebar in addition to similar instruments via Bluetooth. They can also log data from BluTilts, BluVibes and BluVWs. In addition to storing 30,000 readings they automatically upload their data files using cellular LTE-M.

VWBluCell is a battery powered logging interface 4 VW instruments directly wired to it. It has Bluetooth BLE5 and 4G LTE capability. In addition to storing 30,000 readings it automatically uploads its data files using cellular LTE-M.

The economics of each solution and the tolerance for lead wires will dictate the design of each specific monitoring network.

Below Grade Applications

When 4G instruments must be in a road box below grade there are 2 models of antennas available to ensure good 4G communications. One is a US made composite cover and the other is a regular iron cover that has been machined to receive a specific flush mount antenna. Both products meet the usual MOT standards.

Please contact YieldPoint at sales@yieldpoint.com or +1-613-531-4722 to review your requirements.