You don’t have to be a software engineer to understand the Internet of Things. Below you’ll find simple, non-technical explanations of key IoT concepts you need to know.
What Is IPsec? Internet Protocol Security Explained
Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) is one of the key layers of protocols developers use to secure the exchange of data through a network. (If you wish to know more about protocols and IoT check out our Comprehensive Guide to IoT Protocols.)
What Is GSM? The Global System for Mobile Communication Explained
GSM is currently the most widely used network technology in Internet of Things (IoT) applications for its simplicity, affordability, and accessibility. But that’s likely to change over the next few years.
What Is HLR? Home Location Register Explained
Home Location Registers are a component of 2G and 3G mobile networks. Every cellular carrier that facilitates telecommunications on one of these networks maintains its own HLR. Instead of an HLR, 4G networks have a Home Subscriber Server (HSS). In 5G networks, Unified Database Management (UDM) performs these functions.
What Is USSD? Unstructured Supplementary Service Data
USSD allows you to send small data packages without a data connection and without incurring SMS costs. It’s typically used for sending short requests and commands, and these messages can only contain a maximum of 182 characters (16 bits of data). USSD doesn’t support Multimedia Messages (MMS) like audio, video, or images.
What Is an MSISDN?
The abbreviation MSISDN is a little ambiguous. Major telecommunications organizations and standardization bodies have slightly different terms with this same abbreviation, but they all represent the same thing. Depending on the source and context, MSISDN can stand for:
What Is 4G? Fourth Generation Cellular Networks Explained
Two main branches of technology have been marketed as 4G: LTE (Long Term Evolution) and WiMax. Many Internet of Things applications rely on 4G LTE or specialized “categories” of it: LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines) and LTE-Cat 1 (category one).
What Is LTE-M? Long Term Evolution for Machines Explained
These Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) offer affordable and efficient connectivity for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Between its Power Saving Mode (PSM) and Discontinuous Reception (DRX), batteries in LTE-M devices can last 10 years or more.
What Is Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)?
Unlike User Datagram Protocol (UDP)—another standard that applications use to exchange data—TCP is designed for accuracy, not speed. In data transport, data packets can sometimes arrive out of order or get lost. TCP numbers each packet to ensure that every piece reaches its destination and can be rearranged if needed. When packets don’t arrive within a specified timeframe, Transmission Control Protocol requests re-transmission of the lost data.