Our range of wireless connectivity products utilise well established and tested core technologies. Our aim is to provide you with an overview of the relevant technologies and a breakdown of the products within each type that we specialise in.
2G refers to the second generation of mobile phone technology; in Europe based on the GSM standards. 2G technology offers digital encryption, ensuring that the radio link is more secure than earlier "analogue" technologies. 2G networks were launched in the 1990s, initially offering voice, circuit switched data (offering "landline modem replacement") and SMS bearer services. The ability to perform CSD (circuit switched data) calls resulted in the initial popularity of GSM modems in the M2M world. Field deployed telemetry devices, used on alarm systems, electricity meters, vending machines and many other applications, and requiring a dedicated landline, could now connect over the GSM networks instead, reducing costs and simplifying installation.
SMS has also proved to be a popular bearer service for M2M applications which are less time critical. The ability to communicate a significant amount of control / status information within a 140 character message, together with the simplicity of sending and receiving SMS and its store/forward transfer method paved the way for a range of M2M applications.
The most significant update to the 2G GSM network was the introduction of the General Packet Radio System (GPRS). This caused a paradigm shift in the utilisation of 2G networks, aligning 2G wireless communication with IP centric network architecture, integrating 2G gateways into client-server networks. Field deployed devices were able to report to centralised servers in real-time, using end to end IP packet based communication. Further enhanced by EDGE, which which enhanced uplink and downlink data rates, GPRS devices continue to be deployed today for less data intensive applications, due to low cost and excellent network coverage.
The advent of 3G technology in the mid 2000s offered significantly increased downlink and uplink speeds. For Europe, the UMTS standard was widely adopted, while both UMTS and CDMA2000 were deployed in the USA and South America. In the M2M market, adoption of 3G was relatively slow due to initial unreliability and low coverage. New market oportunities in digital signage and video security were primarily responsible for driving demand.
It is worth noting that , while 2G networks are likely to be maintained across Europe for some time, the technology is being withdrawn in USA to allow spectrum re-use. Products intended for the US market generally need to be 3G based as a minimum.