IoT Connectivity Can Be Pretty Complicated. Luckily, We Handle It for You. 

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The right IoT connectivity technology is the first step towards effective and profitable IoT deployments but picking the right one can be really difficult.

At Arm we are connectivity experts, embedded in the IoT ecosystem and can work with you to find the right choice for your deployment.

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What IoT Connectivity Technology Should You Use?

There are three major groupings of connectivity technology used for IoT deployments. Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN) / Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPAN), cellular and satellite. Each technology type has its own set of pros and cons and careful consideration should be used to match the right technology to your deployment and device requirements.


Wi-Fi / Bluetooth / BLE etc.

  • Simple
  • Short range
  • Low latency
  • Low-high bandwidth
  • Some have high power usage
  • WLAN common for connecting routers to tablets, laptops, phones etc.

5G/4G, LPWA etc.

  • Lots of options
  • Medium to long range
  • Availability of standards varies by location
  • Significant difference between standards in latency, performance and battery usage
  • Flexibility makes it the best choice for lots of use cases
  • Complete coverage
  • Only option in more remote locations
  • High network availability
  • Used in more extreme deployments
  • Often used as back up for cellular connectivity
Low Power Wide Area Networks

LPWA Network technologies enable high performance IoT deployments which are both cost efficient and low maintenance. They make previously impossible deployments not only possible but profitable.


NB-IoT facilitates hyper efficient communication for devices whilst minimizing power usage for considerably longer battery life. It also enables devices to communicate reliably in locations that would make many other connectivity technologies non-viable such as deep underground.

  • Cost efficient
  • High performance
  • Most power efficient
  • Secure two-way communication on a licensed spectrum
  • Deepest penetration and longest reach of any LPWAN

NB-IoT enables cost efficient, high performance and low maintenance IoT deployments in situations which would have previously been impractical.

LTE-M (Cat-M1 / eMTC)

LTE-M is similar to NB-IoT but with a slightly different set of characteristics. Using the existing 4G LTE networks LTE-M provides the highest bandwidth of any LPWA technology. LTE-M is also likely to have much better coverage in the US than NB-IoT.

  • Cost efficient
  • Lowest latency and highest speed
  • Power efficient
  • Uses existing LTE networks
  • Good penetration

LTE-M facilitates IoT deployments that need fast and more frequent communication but where cost and power efficiency are still of critical importance.


5G NR is part of the 3GPP grouping of cellular technologies and is considered as the next big thing which is going to drive an explosion in IoT connectivity and provide a leap in what’s possible. It promises significant performance improvements over existing technology including lower latency, higher bandwidth and improved energy efficiency.


5G was designed to deliver benefits which would enhance the connectivity potential in three specific use case groupings, mMTC, URLLC and eMBB. It will allow more devices to transfer more information, more quickly and more reliably than ever.

3G and 4G LTE

3G and 4G LTE have very comprehensive coverage in most locations and are designed for high speed and high-performance applications. 3G and 4G LTE remain the connectivity technologies of choice for many IoT deployments.

4G LTE in particular provides fast upload and download speeds, reliable signal and low latency bringing significant benefits to deployments with more demanding requirements. The tradeoff for the performance is increased power consumption.

How Best to Deploy, Scale, and Manage global IoT Solutions 

Effective IoT connectivity management is key to a successful IoT deployment. With the right connectivity solution, every IoT connected device can be managed and secured throughout its lifecycle – from device onboarding, provisioning and updates, through to end-of-life decommissioning. Arm Pelion Connectivity Management enables global, seamless connectivity across multiple device types, protocols, networks, and regions, with one cost-effective contract.

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