There are “6 degrees of separation” between you and a successful IoT deployment

Ok, this is a bit of a play on the famous saying that all of us are connected by 6 degrees of separation, or in the case of Hollywood, “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon.”  In this case, we are more referring to the various steps that are between you and your data in the world of IoT.


Starting from your device in the field:


Information gathering

This can vary based on upon what/where you are looking to gather information from.  For instance, your device may have the ability to provide you with all of the valuable data that you wish to know simply by plugging in a cable or connecting it to your Wi-Fi network.  On the other hand, if you are looking to know the temperature of a room, it may involve using a simple sensor.


Local Area Network

Once you have the data, it needs to be transported.  The first step to doing that is to move it from the device to your gateway.  This may be done using a cable, Wi-Fi or a more IoT-focused network like LoRa or Bluetooth.


Edge Devices

All of your information that you have gathered now has to be sent up to your application.  This usually happens at your edge device.  It may be a simple router/gateway, like those used in home applications or a more complex one that is capable of performing advanced functions at the site.


Wide Area Network

The information now needs to make its way from your location up to your server to be processed.  In most cases, this involves using a Wide Area network.  This may use an existing landline network that you have, use a cellular-based network or if you are more remote, may use a satellite or Private radio network to make its journey.


IoT Application

Now that your data has been received, it needs to be put into your application.  More and more, these applications are hosted in the cloud, but some organizations still host their own data servers.  The application will take this information and start to make it more useful for the user.


End user experience

Once the data has been processed by the application, it needs to be shown to the user in a manner that they find useful.  It may be in the form of a text message to alert to a critical situation, a graph that allows a user to see historical changes or it may be used in a financial application to better project expenses.


During each step of the way, there are two important things that must be accounted for.  The first is device management.  If any piece of hardware is not available, the chain breaks and you are not connecting to your remote devices.  Device management can be done via your hardware provider’s platform and/or by your IoT application.


As important as keeping devices up and running is, keeping your data secure is equally important.  Many different technologies help to keep your data safe; passwords to access your portal and devices, encryption of data being sent across networks and biometrics to control access to end-user devices are a few key ones.


If you are more of a visual kind of person, here is a graphic to help:

Virtual Conference: Grow Your Business with Sierra Wireless and Novotech Technologies 

Conference Details

We have expert speakers from both Sierra Wireless and Novotech Technologies to let you know what's new in the world of IoT.

Here's what you will take away from the conference: 

  • New and innovative strategies to increase profit with Novotech
  • Exciting information about new 5G Sierra Wireless products
  • How to gain more market share
  • Your technical questions are answered live by engineers and product experts
  • Lots and lots of prizes!

Join us online for an afternoon of learning, launches and exciting prizes like Yeti mugs, virtual gift cards and more!


Start End Seminar Duration
1:00 1:10 Kick-off & Introductions 10 minutes
1:10 1:20 The Canadian Channel in 2021: Important News and Business Development Updates 20 minutes
1:20 1:35 Strategies to Increase Profit: Financing, Kitting, Bundling Exclusively for Novotech Channel Partners 15 minutes
1:35 1:55 "Not-as-hard-as-trivial-persuit-Trivia" With Over $1000 in Prizes 20 minutes
5 Minute Break
2:00 2:15 Sierra Wireless and Novotech: Finally, A Demo Unit Program 15 minutes
2:15 2:35 Digital Marketing 101: Reach More Customers 20 minutes
2:35 3:05 XR Product Launch: Deep Dive With the Experts on Sierra's New 5G Lineup 30 minutes
5 Minute Break
3:10 3:30 Airlink OS: Software Information Session 20 minutes
3:30 3:50 20 Minutes with an Engineer: Live Q&A + Closing Remarks 30 minutes

Register Now!

Don't miss out on your chance to win a GIFT CARD of your choice!

Every 10th person who registers will receive a gift card!

IoT is Going to Save Commercial Property Owners Time and Money in 2021

Date: April 28th, 2021 
By: Larry Bellehumeur


“Buy land, they aren’t making any more of it” is a very famous expression, and there is some truth to it. While it may have some ups and downs in the short term, most agree that real estate tends to do well if you are patient enough. However, a change in how we work, thanks to COVID, may challenge this theory.


Pre-COVID, tens of millions of North Americans either got in their car (or on public transit) to make their way to the office. The thinking was that Workers could never do most office jobs remotely. 

While there was likely some drop in productivity, COVID showed that this is not the case, as millions could do their job from the comfort of their own home. This brings up the obvious question, is office life as we know it dead?


The quick answer is no; office life is not dead, but it is going to change. The vast majority of businesses will not go back to the routine of everyone being in the office each day. Some will go to a flex schedule (where employees can pick their days in the office), while some will go to a rotation (everyone is in 2-3 days a week on a set schedule), and others will pretty much abandon the office altogether.


Depending on how you look at it, there is much less future demand for office space in many markets. This is a frightening proposition to most real estate owners. To find ways to entice companies to keep their space, landlords will have to become creative. One of the obvious ways this can be done is through the use of IoT solutions.


Here are a few ways that IoT solutions can help landlords stay competitive in this new world:


Reduced costs 

One of the highest costs to operate a building is the day-to-day running costs, including building maintenance, HVAC costs and minor repairs. As I have stated for years, IoT is about information, and the right information can help reduce these costs, often dramatically. 

Why heat/cool a building when no one is there to enjoy it? Occupancy alerts tell you when areas are occupied and when they are not.


It goes beyond that, though. Smart elevators/escalators/lighting systems alert to possible issues early so that you can both maintain service levels and often reduce the size/complexity of a potential repair.


Improved safety

Imagine you are the last one on your floor and it is late at night. While the building owner may not want to light an area where no one is, you may be more worried about your security going to your car. 

Why not take care of both using IoT?


Occupancy sensors can tell that you are the last one in the building. When you use your access card to call for an elevator, this alerts that lighting and cooling system to go into standby mode, reducing electricity costs. It also alerts the parking garage to help keep you safe. It can ensure that the smart cameras follow you to your car, and it can turn up the lights in the garage to brighten your walk. After you are gone, it can return everything to normal.


Better productivity         

Few things cause fights in an office, like the temperature and the amount of light. Some like it cool and dark, others like it are bright and warm. Why not have both? The combination of smart IoT HVAC systems, smart blinds/windows, and individual area controls allows everyone to get the setup they like, increasing productivity. 

Even better, when you swipe into the building, the system can set up your particular area exactly how you like it before you arrive at your desk.


Flexible billing options

This is an idea that was basically “borrowed” from the car insurance industry. 

Knowing that not all of us drive the same (or the same amount), companies have started to use IoT technology to allow you to pay as you go, based on your driving habits and mileage. 

The same could be used for flexible office spaces.


Imagine one large open area of office space. You would be able to choose your number of cubicles/workspaces for the day and have them set up to your preference of temperature, light, etc. 

It would even go so far as to remember your favourite setup. You get right to work and just leave when you are done. IoT sensors can calculate the amount of electricity you used, how long you used each space, and how many parking spaces you used. 


This allows a company to only pay for what they use, and it will enable the landlord to have a unique space that appeals to many companies. It could even go one step further and apply this to labs, data centers and more.


The bottom line

COVID has just given commercial landlords a colossal headache to deal with. While no single solution will solve all of the issues, IoT allows the forward-thinking ones to be creative to maintain their occupancy rates and income and stand out from the competition.



AI and IoT Will Revolutionize and Improve Healthcare in 2021 and Beyond


Microsoft recently announced that they'd acquired AI-based company Nuance. 

Nuance's offerings assist in helping medical professionals reduce clerical time by improving how they enter in data using their voice and allowing for faster indexing of records for keyword searches.


However, this is far from the only way that the combination of AI and IoT (let's use the term "AIoT" to simplify) changes healthcare. I think these changes were inevitable, but the pandemic certainly has helped in two key ways. The first was it reduced much of the anxiety that patients had to deal with technology, such as Zoom, to communicate with their doctors. The second was that it forced doctors to adapt themselves, opening up the avenue for many older doctors to embrace new technology.


As we advance, here are a few other ways that AIoT will change the way healthcare is delivered:


Speaking of "delivery" from a literal point of view


If you live in the city, you are likely no more than a 10-minute walk from a local pharmacy. Since many of them also deliver, you can get your medication quite quickly. This is not the case for many rural customers to help patients get timely delivery of their vital medications; drones are being used. Expect this to continue even more.


Gone is the issue of "white coat hypertension."


You work out, you eat well, and you mostly get a good night's sleep. So, why are you taking medication for high blood pressure? 

While you may have a high BP, it might have been that you were nervous being on that little bench (covered in white paper) in your doctor's office. Your doctor has no way of knowing that your elevated BP is just temporary and prescribes you some medication. This is referred to as "white coat hypertension."


Instead, taking your own BP each morning in the comfort of your home would give your doctor a much better indication as to your health.


Taking your meds on time is vital.


It is estimated that up to 50% of all medication is either not taken or taken incorrectly. Smart pill bottles can help in two different ways. First, they can remind the patient which medication to take and any requirements (such as taking an empty stomach). Secondly, they can alert your pharmacy that you are low on medicine and arrange for a delivery, possibly via a drone.


You may or may not have a broken arm.


After talking to an X-ray technician, I was surprised to hear about how there is both science and art to reading x-rays. In some cases, even a child could see a break in a bone, but in other cases, there is some interpretation to be done. 


For the most part, the trained eye of a technician is the most critical determining factor until now. AI-based solutions are emerging that allow a much more refined look at the x-rays, resulting in improved reading and a reduction in misdiagnosis.


The 2021 Chip Shortage: Could it Speed up the 5G Rollout?

By: Larry Bellehumeur
Date: Tuesday, April 20th, 2021.

You know a problem in the world of technology is bad when even your most non-tech savvy friends are talking about it. I am, of course, talking about all of the news about the shortage of various chips. These are used in just about everything IoT, from cars to appliances to toasters.


Companies like General Motors and Stellantis (the former Fiat-Chrysler) have announced shutdowns of their production lines due to a lack of critical components. More recently, news has revealed that many landline modems are now seeing lead times stretch over a year for vital components. While the carriers seem to have plenty of inventory now, it looks like a significant issue as 2021 progresses.


I have written before about how 5G will change the way that offices communicate. While some offices have cut the cord using a 4G connection, most need both a faster connection speed and a lower monthly data rate. Both of those items will change with 5G; offices will see speeds that match (or likely exceed) their current landline offering, and I expect to see some attractive data rate plans to come forward.


So, will the combination of 5G’s attractive offer, combined with a lack of ability for landline providers to deploy new lines (or upgrade existing ones), speed up the 5G rollout of routers?


I would have to say yes, with a couple of caveats. The first is the initial launch date of 5G routers. 5G smartphones have been on the market for a while but are the first to any new technology. 


The smartphone market is enormous, and they get the good stuff first. It looks like we will start seeing 5G routers launched later this year, but if this gets pushed, it will hurt the chances of 5G stealing away landline business in 2021.


The 2nd has to do with the first but in a different way. Let’s assume that hardware and IoT manufacturers are ready to bring out 5G routers in the later part of 2021 to grab some early market share. If some of the components they need to get things built are unavailable due to shortages, this won’t help them damage the landline’s market share.


Either way, 5G fixed routers will likely steal away a significant amount of landline business when they come out. If they can come out when landline routers are not available, it will help build some tremendous early momentum.


You Should Ask These 5 Questions Before Deploying an IoT solution


There are a few items that a company may add without changing how they do business to any degree. It may be switching their courier, upgrading some lights or changing the coffee brand in the cafeteria (on second thought, maybe not the last one, this may cause riots).


However, few things can have positive impacts on an organization as a well-thought-out IoT solution. For it to be as effective as possible, companies need to know what they are getting into. By answering these questions, you can better understand what is involved and what the benefits may be.


Are we open to change? 


Moving towards IoT does impact your business routines, and many do not factor this into their decisions. When you stop recording information manually on a clipboard and have it automatically uploaded, some may feel unwanted. It may throw off the daily routine that you have had for years. Companies need to know the different ways they can be impacted and plan accordingly.


How much time can we dedicate to the rollout?


Like any other change, your company needs to commit to it before, during and after your rollout for your IoT solution for it to be successful. Before any rollout, it makes sense to consult with your team to see where the deficiencies are and how the solution may change their day-to-day routine. During your rollout, you need to focus on getting things out smoothly and efficiently. 

Finally, after deployment, you need to revisit the solution to see if you have accomplished your goals.


If all of this is not feasible for your company, using a turn-key service may make more sense. While it may cost more, it will give you the benefits of an IoT solution while allowing your team to focus entirely on their day-to-day work.


How “rugged” of a solution do we need?


When you deploy things inside your office, there are many things you do not have to worry about. Your AC plug from the wall provides reasonably steady and consistent power, devices do not have to worry about heat/cold/moisture, and there isn’t the same vibration level you might see in a vehicle. Because of this, you don’t need to worry about using a rugged device to meet your needs.


However, this may not be the case for an IoT device. Is there heat/cooling all of the time at that site? If it is used on a vehicle, vibration and changing power levels may be an issue. 


On top of this, you may need to factor in if the device can run on battery power in a power outage event. Taking a bit of time to go through this will save you many headaches down the road.


 Who needs access to the great information that this solution will generate?


Imagine your company rents printing/photocopier machines. When you add IoT to the mix, you now have so much more information in real-time than ever before. You know how many hours devices are running for if any are having potential issues, what features are used the most, and you can perform over-the-air software updates, just to name a few.


When you factor these things in, just about areas of your organization may benefit from this data. Finance will be able to determine capital costs better, Operations will be able to maintain a better uptime level, and Sales may create more lucrative billing models for customers. You must plan your solution to know how to disperse the data before deployment best.


Why are you doing this?


This sounds obvious, but it does play into your decisions quite well. Is it because you are falling behind a competitor with better offerings?

Are you looking to have more of a “modern” image? 

Are you hoping to reduce costs?

 Or all of the above?


When you know why you are doing this, it can help you plan on what your solutions need to deliver now and ensure that the solution can grow to meet your needs in the future with minimal upgrades.


What To Consider When Buying An Antenna – Mobile Mark Inc.

What should you consider when choosing an antenna? From low profile mobile antennas that are designed for fleet management and smart highway systems to Omni-Directional base station antennas that are designed for cellular infrastructure and FirstNet rollouts, the right antenna is critical. But how do you know which antenna best fits your needs? Here are five things to consider when choosing an antenna and how Mobile Mark Antenna Solutions can help.


1. Antenna Frequency:  The bandwidth and frequency range of an antenna are related terms.  The bandwidth of an antenna refers to the range of frequencies over which the antenna satisfies a particular parameter specification. The parameters generally specified are gain, radiation pattern, the VSWR etc. Most commonly, the VSWR is chosen as the parameter for bandwidth considerations and this bandwidth is called the impedance bandwidth.


2. VSWR Specification:  The Voltage Standing Wave Ratio (VSWR) is an indication of the amount of mismatch between an antenna and the feed line connecting to it. The range of values for VSWR is from 1 to infinity. A VSWR value under 2 is considered suitable for most antenna applications. A VSWR specification commonly adopted is a 2:1 VSWR, which means that the range of frequencies over which the VSWR is less than 2 is chosen as the bandwidth of operation.


3. Antenna Gain: The Gain of an antenna is related to its directivity. Directivity is a numerical indication of the ability of an antenna to focus energy in a particular direction rather than spreading energy out uniformly over a wide-angle range. The gain of an antenna is its directivity reduced by the loss introduced by the antenna. The parameter that characterizes the loss of the antenna is called the radiation efficiency which has a value between 0 and 1.


4. Omni-directional or DirectionalAn antenna that radiates and receives energy equally well in all horizontal directions is an omnidirectional antenna. An antenna also has the ability to focus energy in a particular direction which means it’s directional. Omni-directional antennas are best suited for applications requiring good all-round coverage. For some applications, all-round coverage is either not required or it is desirable to be able to focus the available energy radiated by the antenna in a specific direction. This will dictate the choice of antenna.


5. Placement: To ensure the most optimal antenna placement, line-of-sight, height & distance between antennas and the curvature of the earth are all critical factors that must be considered. Antennas must be mounted as high as possible due to the line-of-sight range restrictions with VHF signals.  The orientation of your antennas should always match (vertical-to-vertical/horizontal-to-horizontal) or be as close to the same plane as the transmit


This is just to get you started, stay tuned for 5 more things you need to know when choosing the right antenna!

Don’t Despair; Compare!

There are 100's of products and product variations to choose from when it comes to IoT hardware. We've got multiple product comparison charts to help you compare features like hardware technology, cable length, device measurements and more!

Router, Modem & Gateway Comparison Charts

A cellular router uses a wireless cellular network to provide connectivity vs traditional wired cabling. Cellular routers and gateways connect and route communications between devices, machines, applications and cloud services. They can be used as the primary connection, or as backup connectivity for wired connections. Novotech carries a wide range of cellular modems from Sierra Wireless, InHand, Teltonika, Cradlepoint, Digi, CalAmp, and Perle.

Teltonika Logo

Terminal Comparison Charts

Thales's broad portfolio of Cinterion® IoT Modules, Gateways and Modem Cards enable always-on cellular communications for virtually any IoT or M2M application. Their rugged design, unparalleled engineering and manufacturing standards make them reliable in the most extreme environments and over the long life of your M2M solution. Offered for all cellular technology standards including 5G, LTE, NB-IoT and LTE Cat.M, Cinterion IoT modules and gateways provide voice, high-speed data and IP-based wireless communications with seamless global roaming.

Antenna Comparison Charts

Cellular antennas play an essential role in the operation of cellular routers. They help improve the signal quality and strength received by or sent from a cellular device. While some cellular devices work without an antenna, most require an internal or external antenna. Internal antennas are mounted inside the case of the cellular router and are not usually accessible. External antennas are either attached directly to the device or connected via a cable. Antennas can be single or multiple functions. For instance, an LTE antenna will boost only one frequency, LTE, while a 3-in-1 antenna may boost LTE, WiFi, and GPS. It is possible to get up to a 9-in-1 antenna.

Signal Booster Comparison Charts

Signal Boosters solve the challenge of bad cellular coverage in the office, at home, or on the road. In an office, boosters can reduce dropped calls and boost data transfer speeds. In automobile applications, a signal booster can ensure uninterrupted calls, reliable GPS, and constant connectivity in even the most remote areas. Novotech carriers signal boosters from the major manufacturers, including Cel-Fi (by Nextivity) and WeBoost. All units are available carrier approved for 3G/4G/LTE voice and data.

You Asked About Sierra Wireless, We Answered. See the FAQs here.

General Questions


1. What Does Sierra Wireless Do? 


Sierra Wireless Manufactures secure, manageable, high-performance cellular networking for mission-critical applications. They are a leader in the emerging world of the Internet of Things. Their product mix ranges from cellular components to accessories to turn-key solutions. Specifically, their Airlink division produces secure, manageable and high-performance gateways designed to enable many key IoT applications. These include remote office connectivity, vehicle tracking, in-vehicle communication and more. You can learn more about Sierra Wireless on Novotech's page here.


2. What Are the Best Sierra Wireless Products?


That depends entirely on your application. Like public safety vehicles, some applications require more complex and high-grade solutions- like Sierra Wireless's top of the line MG90. Other enterprise solutions- like failover for retail applications, require cellular IoT products with different features.

To make their product mix appeal to as many customers as possible, Sierra manufactures a wide variety of cellular gateways to meet their customers' needs.

They are available in various form factors, offer a different level of performance, and have multiple ruggedness levels. So, the best Sierra product is the one that serves your business needs today and in the future. You can compare Sierra Wireless Gateways and Routers on our comparison page here. 


3. Is Sierra Wireless A Good Stock Investment?  


At Novotech, we're IoT experts; we wouldn't dream of giving out stock advice. If you want to purchase Sierra Wireless hardware or services from us, see the "Buying Sierra Wireless" FAQs below. If you want to check our SWIR Stock summary, you can visit or follow this link to Sierra Wireless Stock Summary or see stock history here. Just about any stock can be a good investment, depending on the current market conditions and its current price. Sierra Wireless may be a stock to consider for those looking at financial exposure to the ever-growing IoT marketplace. However, as with any investment, we recommend that you consult your Financial planner before proceeding.


4. Where does Sierra Wireless Operate?


Sierra Wireless is a Canadian multinational wireless communications equipment designer and manufacturer headquartered in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada. It also maintains offices and operations in California, Georgia, Brazil, Germany, Sweden, Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, France, Guangdong and Hong Kong

Buying Sierra Wireless



5. Can I Buy Directly From Sierra Wireless?


No, Sierra Wireless Distributes its product through a partner reseller program. There are many partners around the world, including us at Novotech- we ship worldwide!

As much as the IoT industry has tried to simplify using their products, most people still require specialized expertise to procure and deploy their units. As such, companies like Sierra Wireless have wisely set up Partner Reseller programs through distributors to allow customers to easily and securely set up their products quickly. Novotech is proud to be a part of the Sierra Wireless distribution network!


6. Where Can I Buy Sierra Wireless? 


You can buy from Novotech today!

 Create an account with us to join our reseller program, and buy online. You can also reach out to our sales team for more information about a product and all the details you need to make the best choice for your organization. 

Why not start with Novotech? You can either start by joining our reseller program or by connecting with one of Novotech's experienced Sales team members.


7. How Do I Get Discounts On Sierra Wireless Products?


Sierra Wireless's Partner program allows for discounts based on different purchase points and volume of units. More information is available through Novotech's Reseller portal or a member of Novotech's Sales team.


8. How Do I Become A Sierra Wireless Premier Partner? 


The best place to start is through Novotech's reseller program or by talking to one of Novotech's Sales team members.

The program offers many benefits:

  • Next-day fulfillment is availableNet30 credit terms are available (upon credit check)
  • Deferred Payment programs
  • Inventory levels maintained in Canada and the US
  • Drop shipments directly to end customers
  • Specialized services (provisioning, kitting and custom SKUs) are available

Technical Questions



9. How Do I Purchase Airlink Management Service?


Access to ALMS is included as part of AirLink Complete management and support plan. Access is included in the first year with supported device packages. About AirLink Management Service Managing remote assets and infrastructure is a demanding task. You need to maintain multiple device configurations, update device software, and remotely diagnose reported issues.

AirLink Management Service (ALMS) is the industry's leading network management solution. This highly advanced application supports over-the-air device registration, configuration and software updates. Dashboards display up-to-date views of the entire fleet, and custom reports can be set up to monitor critical events and prevent downtime.

The interactive monitoring dashboard and map show the status, signal strength, and location of all AirLink gateways¹ deployed. Drill down to quickly troubleshoot devices or update older versions of firmware with one-click. Advanced heartbeat reporting and custom alerts can be set up to notify you when devices go offline, resulting in faster issue identification, less downtime, and fewer field trips.

Access to the AirLink Management Service (ALMS) is part of AirLink's management and support plan.

The first year is included with the purchase of a supported device.

ALMS offers functionality that helps to reduce much of the demand for supporting your devices remotely, including:

  • Supporting over-the-Air (OTA) device registration, configuration and updates
  • Displaying the real-time status of your fleet
  • Customized reporting to monitor critical events and prevent unwanted downtime
  • Viewing the status, signal strength and location of your gateways
  • Quickly troubleshooting a device with a single click
  • Alerts when your device goes offline


10. How Is Airlink Management Service Different From ACEmanager?


ACEmanager allows you to configure an AirLink ALEOS device using a web browser. ACEmanager resides on the device and will enable you to configure only that device. AirLink Management Service provides a one-to-many solution for monitoring all your devices' status and configuring all of your devices. ACEManager is a solution that is designed to offer the ability to communicate with your devices on a one-to-one basis. This communication took place via a web browser. ALMS is a more advanced solution, offering "one-to-many" capabilities to monitor and configure all of your devices.


11. Does Airvantage Require My Devices To Have Public IP Addresses? Can Airvantage Work With Operator Private Networks?


No. Unlike many other device management applications, AirVantage has been designed to work with device-initiated communications.

This allows for your devices to remain securely behind a firewall and still have the ability to communicate with AirVantate.


12. Are Both SMA Connectors Required On Airlink Gateways?


When using any of the newer cellular networks (such as 3G, 4G, or soon, 5G), it is always best to use two antennas (more if the device supports it). Simply, this creates a more stable and higher bandwidth connection than if fewer antennas are used.

Sierra Wireless' LTE gateways (such as the RV50 / RV50X) utilize 2x2 MIMO (Multi-in, Multi-Out) technology. This is to improve the level of cellular signal/quality on both the uplink and the downlink. This differs from legacy 2G/3G connections using Rx Diversity.

MIMO uses two distinct Tx/Rx signals, intelligently combined, to increase data throughput speeds where signal multipath is available. This means there is an improvement in performance in areas that may have customarily experienced degradation.

Finally, when using the Verizon Wireless network, two antennas are required for reliable operation.


13. Do I have to use both SMA connectors on Sierra Wireless Airlink Cellular Gateways for the Radio Modem antennas?


Sierra Wireless Airlink, LTE Cellular Gateways such as the RV50 and RV50X, utilize 2×2 MIMO technology. MIMO equals Multi-In/Multi-out and is designed to improve the cellular signal and quality on both the downlink and uplink.

MIMO for LTE works differently from the older optional 2G/3G Rx Diversity antenna. It utilizes two distinct Tx and Rx signals intelligently combined with increasing throughput where signal multipath is available. MIMO will increase throughput in areas where interference would otherwise cause throughput degradation.

Two antennas must be used to achieve this performance and comply with several updated network operators' transmission requirements. Verizon's TM4, for example, requires two antennas for reliable operation, not just understanding.


14. Can I Remotely Change Acemanager Password On ALEOS Gateway


ALEOS Application Framework (ALEOS AF) provides developers with a complete set of building blocks and tools for creating applications that run inside Sierra Wireless AirLink GX gateways. ALEOS AF makes on the proven ALEOS built-in embedded intelligence and integrates with the AirVantage M2M Cloud Platform to offer developers and customers a platform for creating tailored end-to-end M2M solution.

ALEOS AF provides M2M and network protocol stacks, remote application and data management, access to existing ALEOS services, and direct access to hardware interfaces for building custom M2M applications.

ALEOS AF gets solutions to market faster, simplifies deployment, and allows for specialized features that yield cheaper and more focused solutions. Intelligence at the edge reduces hardware and communication costs by preprocessing and transmitting only necessary data.

For a visual introduction to what is ALEOS AF and what it enables, please see the ALEOS AF video below.



15. What Is This Difference Between AirLink Manager (AM) AirLink Mobility Manager (AMM)?


Follow this link for a chart detailing the key features included in the Sierra Wireless ALMS AM vs ALMS AMM.



16. Do I Need To Use Sierra Wireless Branded Antennas In Order To Achieve Optimal Device Performance?


Sierra Wireless antennas have been tested and certified to provide guaranteed performance with all AirLink routers and gateways. If the Antenna you need isn't available, Novotech can help you find a compatible antenna for your device.

6 Reasons You Should Invest In eSIM Technology For Your Business

When you decide to venture into the world of IoT, many decisions need to be made. This can range from what platforms you use to host your data, do you build a brand new unit or use an existing one and how you plan to connect your devices to the Internet.

In this post, we look at an aspect of the last one, namely, should you consider using a standard SIM slot or venture down the path of an eSIM. For a great explanation of what an eSIM is, click here. We examine six things you need to know, three on the “pro” side and three on the “con” side. 

Finally, we decided to add in “Scott’s take” for each one, where Novotech’s VP of Engineering, Scott Deyoe, adds in a comment on each point.

Advantages of eSIMs you should know:

Smaller footprint

If you are adding connectivity to something the size of an automobile, you may not care as much about the advantage of a smaller footprint (space is taken up) on your system board. However, since many IoT devices are small, even worn on the wrist, any extra space savings is much appreciated. Simply, the size taken up by any physical SIM card is multiple times bigger than what is needed for an eSIM solution.

Scott’s take -– While size may not be an issue for an automobile, harsh environmental conditions are an excellent application for eSIMs as their temperature range typically exceeds that of a plastic moulded SIM.

No mechanical failure of the socket

More and more, IoT devices are being used in vital applications. This includes things like water treatment systems, traffic control applications and monitoring of critical energy facilities. 

For these applications, failure can lead to significant issues, both financial and safety-related. Engineers designing these solutions must do what they can to remove any possible failure points.

As there is no actual physical socket, an eSIM solution's reliability level is generally much higher than on a traditional SIM-based design.

Scott’s take: Like the first issue, removing the mechanical socket associated with a traditional SIM also eliminates the requirement for ESD protection for a SIM socket.

Easier / simpler design

While many like to add fancy features into devices that may not need it, engineers of critical systems know that the simpler, the better. Simple designs mean that there are fewer ways for failure and, as a bonus, are generally lower cost to design, build and maintain.

Scott’s take -– Combining the improved environmental performance by eliminating the mechanical socket and extra circuitry required for ESD protection results in the most robust design possible.

Improved ESD protection

By removing the need to insert a physical device into the SIM slot, there is a reduction in [SD] the potential for ESD (electrostatic discharge). This is ideal for protecting the components on the board, especially in a critical application.

Scott’s take –[SD]  Reducing ESD exposure is always a plus as the symptoms of ESD can be sporadic.

Disadvantages of eSIM that you may want to consider:

May be more difficult to switch than you would think it should be

In theory, this point should be on the positive side, and it may very well be as the technology develops. When you do not have to physically swap out one SIM card for another to change providers, the switch should be effortless, especially for hard to reach devices in the field. However, according to many customers, this has not always been the case. Many have complained that the swaps have not gone as smoothly as desired. This is something to keep in mind, especially related to the second point.

Scott’s take: Typically, the SIM profile changing is managed by a third party clearing house with the credential profile required to change carriers.

Not all carriers support all features.

Related to the previous point, not all carriers support all of the features of eSIMs at this time. This means that if you wish to switch cellular providers during your deployment, you may find you have fewer options to do so. This would limit your choices, which can hurt both from a coverage standpoint and from the ability to get competitive pricing in some cases.

Scott’s take -– As mentioned previously, the carriers decide whether to participate in the eSIM exchange process. While almost all carriers have eSIM available today, not all support changing the carrier.

No ESD protection 

As we spoke of earlier, many IoT deployments involve very sensitive deployment, such as monitoring critical infrastructure. One of the ways that these devices are protected is against Electrostatic discharge to prevent damaging vital components. 

Traditional SIM card based deployments offer a higher level of protection than eSIMs, which may be a drawback for some.