IoT – connection via WLAN. Tempting BUT with consequences. An incomplete checklist.

An incomplete checklist.

Connecting connectivity products via WLAN is en vogue. The temptation to do so is great, because this type of connection is free and widely available. And this type of connection is also easier to handle technically, thanks to good support from out-of-the-box solutions.

However, as is so often the case, overly simple solutions are deceptive, because we know from our IoT development projects the underestimated consequences of this path. The following topics are therefore intended to provide you with information on possible pitfalls of the supposedly simple and cost-effective connection of your connective product:

WIFI on site 

  • Is there access to the WLAN where the connective products are used?
    In practice, this only makes sense if the operator of the WLAN is also the person responsible for operating the connective product.
  • How is continuity of access to the WLAN ensured over time (configuration, policies, contracts,…)?

WIFI on the product

  • How does the WIFI connection work on the product itself? Is there, for example, a user interface on the product?
  • Who configures the WLAN connection? Are these e.g. end users of the product or (service) experts of your company?
  • How does the necessary feedback about the successful connection or the correct configuration of the WIFI connection come about?

Availability of the digital service

  • How is the availability of the WLAN ensured in order to guarantee the digital service (which is enabled with the connectivity product)?

Conclusion

Underestimating the cost of the “technical” solution. These management costs in the field can quickly exceed the transmission costs saved.

WIFI ist dann eine interessante Alternative zu Mobilfunk oder anderen gemanagten Netzwerken, wenn zwei WIFI is an interesting alternative to cellular or other managed networks when two conditions are met:

  • First, if the device operation responsibility lies in the same organization as the operation of the WLAN infrastructure. At the very least, there should be an explicit usage and management agreement between the parties involved.
  • And second, if the IoT asset can provide simple and reliable configurability (including feedback) of the WLAN connection.

By the way: If in-building localization of the product is relevant, WLAN offers an advantage over other technologies – it can be used wonderfully for this purpose.

Do you have questions, need support in this area or are you looking for a one-stop store for your (IoT) product development? We are happy to be there for you.