M2MC claims a first for IoT messages delivery

Comms management firm’s acknowledgement feature will form part of a ‘unique’ integration platform, aiming to increase significantly the reliability of low-energy networks

Internet-of-things (IoT) network device communications management firm M2MC claims to have made a breakthrough in delivery of IoT messages through an upgrade to its Miotiq integration platform.

Looking at balancing the equation of energy optimisation and the reliability of low-power networks within IoT networks, the company – an integration partner of Vodafone, AT&T, A1, Telia and Telefónica for the NB-IoT network – said that use of the acknowledgement (ACK) function in Miotiq significantly increases the reliability of low-power networks.

The background to its work in this area comes through the necessity of IoT networks providing the ability to operate devices, in particular sensors, for several years without having to change or recharge the battery.

This requirement has meant the use of the energy-optimal connectionless user datagram protocol (UDP), but because UDP is a connectionless protocol, no connection back to the server is required. However, M2MC said this does not include the possibility of acknowledging the delivery of a message from the sensor and could mean that in the event of a failure of the wireless part of the mobile operator’s network, or another problem in delivering the message to the end device, a device would not be informed that a sent message could not be delivered to the destination server.

M2MC described this scenario as like “shooting an arrow and believing it hits the target”. It painted a scenario in which a device “wakes up” with the aim of the lowest possible electricity consumption, performing the required action, such as reading a water meter status, sending data to the mobile network and then falling asleep again.

“In the majority of situations, it really happens, and the end server successfully processes the information provided by the ‘arrow’,” said M2MC CEO Karel Krčmář. “However, it is possible that someone will move the target and the arrow will miss it. In this situation, if the device continued to send arrows – valuable information from sensors – many of them would be irretrievably lost.”

The company regards the Miotiq integration platform for low-power 5G networks NB-IoT and LTE-M as providing a solution to this problem. With the technology implemented, after sending a message, the device can immediately receive a confirmation that the message has been delivered to the destination server.

Also, using the Miotiq platform for IoT communication means further improvements are offered, allowing communication to be switched to the combined TCP/IP protocol and additional features can be deployed to increase the security and reliability of communication.

If a device does not receive confirmation, it can go into “power save” mode and wait until everything is fixed in the network and the “target” is turned in the right direction again. Unconfirmed messages can be sent at a later date.

M2MC suggested that for device manufacturers, this functionality means not only increasing the reliability of data transmission, but also the ability to change the device configuration. The acknowledgement message can be user-defined, which means the firmware can be programmed to change, for example, the frequency of sending messages or the alarm for critical values.

For integrators and developers, M2MC said the introduction of ACK directly in the platform means the possibility of accelerating and reducing the cost of implementing communication between the device and its application.

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