Managing Critical Assets with Industrial IoT Communications

Whether you’re a long-time employee at an industrial organization, or someone who is new to the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 – you likely understand what it means to be agile. To be ahead of the game and thrive in a quickly evolving industrial landscape, you must start with data. Edge Intelligent, rugged and app-programmable platforms and devices like the ZumLink 900 Series and ZumIQ App Server from FreeWave can get you there.

The proliferation of data created and collected in remote areas has led companies of all sizes to search for technology that maximizes data efficiency and protection while keeping costs down. Managing and monitoring assets in rugged environments is a priority and innovative technologies continue to be introduced to provide industrial organizations with solutions to these issues. However, there exists a communications technology that has been around for decades, but continues to work effectively in relative obscurity.

For collection and control of data in remote Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) networks, Frequency-Hopping, Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology provides a proven, resilient, robust and industrial cyber-secure data transmission technology. It’s an ideal technology for areas without cellular or WiFi coverage – such as in the APAC region. And it’s been around for a very long time.

What is Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum?

FHSS is a wireless Radio Frequency (RF) technology that spreads its signal over rapidly-hopping frequencies. It transmits much longer distances and requires lower power than traditional IoT wireless infrastructure including WiFi, Bluetooth, LoRa or ZigBee. It is also highly resistant to interference and difficult to intercept – there are 186,000 possible parameters to be on the same channel with an FHSS radio and data is only on a specific channel for 1/100th of a second.

Why is this technology critical in remote industrial settings?

Currently, 60 percent of rural and remote Asia-Pacific does not have access to fixed broadband or WiFi. FHSS technology has been used for over 100 years by businesses, and governments can link wireless devices and smart sensors at long ranges – in 900MHz and 2.4GHz – for a long-range alternative to Bluetooth, ZigBee and LoRa.  From a cost standpoint, significant CAPEX and OPEX savings can be realized with FHSS relative to cellular.

How safe is my data with Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum?

FreeWave FHSS radios utilize advanced encryption protocols to insure additional layers of cybersecurity, including:

  • FIPS 140-2 Level 2 Encryption
  • 128 or 256-bit AES Encryption

Additional benefits?

Coupled with the ZumIQ App Environment Platform, organizations can create custom industrial applications to control sensors and gather data in remote locations in real-time. Networks can extend up to 40 miles in remote areas and transmit data at speeds up to 4 Mbps for voice, video, data and sensor links. We are talking LONG range IIoT.

Intelligent FHSS technology is leveraged in industrial settings across oil & gas, water/wastewater, precision agriculture, irrigation, unmanned systems, robotics, utilities, and more.

At its inaugural Ingram Micro ONE APAC 2018 event in Singapore, Ingram Micro (a FreeWave Technologies partner) unveiled FreeWave’s ZumIQ Platform that combines rugged, intelligent, app-programmability with FHSS technology to link wireless devices at long ranges.

Tough AND intelligent data. It’s win-win.

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