We here a lot about the Internet of Things (IoT) these days. Call it the IoT, the industrial internet, the internet of customers or some other variation on a theme, but it means essentially the same thing—devices and sensors in a dizzying variety of different locations being connected and able to exchange data.
But many of the use cases we see for IoT are pretty lightweight in terms of their operating requirements. While a connected toaster, refrigerator or toothbrush might make for a great concepts video, it’s not exactly difficult from a connectivity perspective—just leverage the existing wireless network that already exist in a home and from there jump onto the public internet.
But what of more extreme operating use cases? Things like oil and gas, or electric and water utilities? Often these use cases involve remote locations, poor connectivity and limited existing network availability.
This is where Cambium Networks comes in. The company is a global provider of wireless solutions—both narrowband and broadband. The company has an existing deployment of over 5 million radios across a variety of network settings in 159 countries.
Cambium today introduced cnReach, a narrowband radio that is targeted at highly reliable transmission across long distance. cnReach supports both licensed and unlicensed operations in the 900MHz and 700MHz frequency ranges and helps ease the transition, or the interplay, between all-IP networks and more traditional serial ones.
cnReach is the continuation of Cambium broadening wireless connectivity solutions targeted at industrial players wanting to transition from those more-traditional communications protocols. It joins cnPilot, which is Cambium’s cloud-based network lifecycle management solution that aims to speed up the deployment and ease the operation of broad networks with huge number of connected devices. Cambium also plays in the broadband space and offers cnPilot, a cloud-managed Wi-Fi solution tailored for indoor or outdoor industrial internet connectivity. For its part, cnReach will be extended in the near future to cover further RF bands in the 100, 200 and 400MHz frequency ranges.
“The narrowband connectivity of cnReach extends the communications infrastructure and backhaul, so we now have the capability and visibility to manage the entire network end to end,” said Mike Mitchell, president of Petro Communications. “We require completely dependable connections to process sensor data and send control commands to the most remote locations in the field.”
It’s all well and good waxing poetic about the value that the IoT will deliver, but at the same time we need to be mindful of the connectivity requirements to actually realize that value. While the space Cambium plays in may be seen as fairly boring, it is an absolutely critical element. It is also one where a long track record of performance is worth its weight in gold. It is for this reason that cnReach is a smart move by Cambium.