IoT Wireless Connectivity Services
What is the definition of IoT?
IoT is an abbreviation for Internet of Things. With little involvement from humans, IoT technology allows communication between machines to run more reliably, efficiently, and affordably. This is achieved by using telemetry, which is a language used by machines when speaking to one another. The hardware and software that enable physical devices to connect, also collects data that is incorporated into IT systems. This data provides valuable information that helps B2C and B2B monitor and optimize their businesses.
What is a SIM?
SIM or Subscriber Identity Module is a removable smart card that stores the service subscriber key, often abbreviated as IMSI. The service subscriber key and authentication codes are used to identify a subscriber’s mobile telephony device (computer) and mobile phones.
What is an APN?
APN is a common name for an access point on HSDPA/HSUPA/GPRS/3G/4G/.
There are three types of access points:
- Internet network where a mobile device can connect.
- The settings used to make that connection.
- A specific configuration in a group of settings on a mobile phone.
What is a Public APN?
All network providers have a Public APN. After a SIM card is enabled for data from GPRS/3G/4G or any other mobile telecommunication technology, the Public APN is added by default. The Public APN has no limitations on users and is open to use by everyone.
What is a Private APN?
With a Private APN a customer has direct access to their LAN and can specify specific parameters like the private address space allocated to the devices & RADIUS server attributes used for user authentication. This APN also allows users to access the internet.
What are the Benefits of a Private APN?
Security is one of the key benefits to a Private APN. By staying completely on a GPRS/3G, your exposure to external threats, such as viruses and spammers, is almost eliminated.
Another benefit of a Private APN is the lower complexity of the communication path, which also reduces chance of system failure.
What is an IP Address?
Think of it as an address for your internet connected devices. An IP address is a unique identification number assigned to every machine that interfaces with the internet. An example of an IP address looks like: 220.127.116.115
The decimals used to express IP addresses are used primarily to aid in recall of the numbers. Think of it as an international telephone number. First you have the country code, then you have the area code, and finally a regional prefix. With an IP address, data can be sent to any machine.
What is a Public IP Address?
A public IP address is an IP address visible to anyone. Since these IP addresses are public, other people can find and access devices, like a Web server.
What is a Private IP Address?
An IP number that lies within the IP address ranges designated for private use by the Internet standards groups. The ranges reserved for Private IP addresses are:
10.0.0.0 through 10.255.255.255
169.254.0.0 through 169.254.255.255 (APIPA only)
172.16.0.0 through 172.31.255.255
192.168.0.0 through 192.168.255.255
Private IP addresses are normally used on local networks such as schools, home and business LAN’s including many hotels and airports. Devices that have private IP address are unable to directly access the internet. Similarly, computers beyond the local network are unable to connect to a device with a Private IP address. The alternative lets these devices access the internet through a brokered router or similar device that is capable of supporting NAT or Network Address Translation. This acronym conceals the Private IP numbers, but allows selective exchange of messages between devices, adding another layer of security to the local network.
What is a Fixed IP Address?
Sometimes referred to as a static IP address, a fixed IP address is an address assigned to a computer by an Internet service provider (ISP) and is its permanent address on the Internet.
IP addresses are used by computers to locate and communicate with each other while on the internet. This process is similar to how we use our telephones to communicate and locate businesses and friends. Like a phone number, an IP address will be the same no matter the frequency it connects/disconnects from a network.
What is a Dynamic IP Address?
Upon connecting to a network a machine can be assigned a dynamic IP address, which will change when the machine disconnects. In its simplest terms a dynamic IP address is the opposite of a fixed IP address, because every time the machine connects to the network it will pick up a new IP address.
What is the Advantage of a Public IP Address Over a Private IP Address?
Public IP addresses have several advantage for customers who want to connect to a network from any machine anywhere. Setting up a VPN tunnel is not necessary and is one of the reasons a fixed public IP address can be ideal for users without a firewall or don’t mandate setup of a VPN tunnel of some type. Conversely, a device with a public IP address can be connected by anyone who knows the IP address.
This represents a potential security threat to the customer, and if you have a 3G/GPRS router it is strongly advised to set up a logon page to stop unauthorized access
What is the Advantage of a Private IP Address Over a Public IP Address?
Unlike a public IP address, a private IP address stays ‘hidden’ for the device. No machine can access the device without setting up a secure VPN tunnel between the device and the machine. This added layer of security is crucial to customers whose data is of the utmost importance.
What is a VPN Tunnel?
A VPN allows machines to connect from a public network (most often the internet) to devices that use private IP address. VPN’s use ‘virtual’ connections that are directed through the Internet from the business’ private network to the remote device. Used by those with a private IP address on their SIMs
What is a Site-to-Site VPN Tunnel?
Two firewalls used to create a VPN tunnel. We use IPSEC VPN tunnels at Ci2i. The configuration of the firewall is done on our side first and then sent with the appropriate configured parameters to the customer. The configured parameters are entered by the customer into their firewall/router.
This enables any machine or machines using a company’s LAN to connect to any of their devices using our M2M SIMs. This VPN connection is an always-on type. If a customer wanted to create a site-to-site tunnel, the customer would require a hardware firewall/router capable of setting up an IPSEC VPN tunnel.
What is the Netextender VPN Client?
For customers who need a Private IP address but lack a hardware firewall/router, they can quickly download the Sonicwall NetExtender VPN client. We will then setup the customer with a username and password. The customer would enter the login information to start up the VPN client.
This will create a VPN tunnel from the client’s machine to the devices that have the SIM cards. When the client has disconnected, the VPN tunnel will break. It doesn’t matter where any machine is once it has the VPN client installed. It will now be able to access the devices with private IP addresses.
What is GPRS?
General Packet Radio Service, is a wireless technology used by GSM (Global System for Mobile) networks to enable Internet and other data communication.
GPRS is packet based so you can stay online for an endless amount of time because only downloaded data is observed with this service.
What is 3G?
3G stands for third generation, a generic term in the wireless industry for mobile data at high speeds delivered over mobile cellular networks. 3G networks lets users send and receive high bandwidth information like video, virtual conferences, high quality audio and web data on-demand, almost anytime and anywhere in the world.
What is 4G?
4G is the next or fourth generation of mobile telephony, with an umbrella of standards beyond 3G that are being developed. One large reason for this is to bring mobile systems together with other networks like Wi-Fi and WiMAX.
What is HSDPA/HSUPA?
(HSDPA) High-Speed Downlink Packet Access is a new mobile telephony protocol and is often referred to as a 3.5G (or 3½G) technology. HSDPA provides a smooth evolutionary path for Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) networks allowing for data capacities of up to 14.4 Mbit/s per cell downlink and 2 Mbit/s in the uplink per cell.
High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) is a 3G mobile telephony protocol with up-link speeds up to 5.76 Mbit/s in the HSPA family.
What is GSM?
Global System for Mobile communications commands in excess of 71 per cent of the world market. It was originally created for Europe as their second generation digital technology.
Developed originally for operation in the 900MHz band. Modified for the 850, 1800 and 1900MHz bands. At one time GSM stood for Group Special Mobile, the CEPT committee which started the GSM standardization process.
What is a HLR?
HLR is the network database that contains the details of every customer SIM card, it stands for ‘Home Location Register.’ Before a customer can access a service, the network must check the HLR to see if the customer has the required authorization. HLR also keeps the customers’ locations, this SMS’ and incoming calls to be connected.
Why does my SIM Card Disconnect the Network after Different Time of Idle?
There are many circumstances where a PDP context will be closed by a local network, which may have come into play.
- Lack of radio access
- Roaming network initiated close (i.e. the network that you are roaming on is using a shorter timeout)
- Application closed access (Hang up)
HARDWARE - Product & Service
How long does it take to install each sensor?
Approximately 15 minutes per location depending on soil composition. Greens & tee boxes will take less time than fairways.
Regarding aeration, what do you suggest is done to guard against sensor damage?
There are two ways to go about aeration with our sensors. Due to our pinpoint GPS accuracy , it is easy to locate each sensor and remove for aeration operations; or simply flag off the location on each green. That would be approximately 1.5 square ft. per green not aerated.
How accurate is the location on each sensor?
Within 6 inches of the sensor. A GroundWorx locator puck is then used for exact location when unearthing or flagging each sensor for aerating.
What if there is a bad wireless signal at a location, I want to place a sensor in?
Our antennas are advanced so this will rarely happen, however, in greens sensors can be placed at ground level in the collar or the course can use our handheld spot check (GX-1H) device in these locations.
What types of data are measured and how accurate is the sensor?
We measure temperature, moisture (VWC), dielectric, and Bulk EC along with an additional 13 micro atmospheric readings via our GX-1 Weather Station. The internal sensor within each GX-1A soil sensor has been developed by Meter Group over the past 10 + years and they are recognized as a market leader in the soil measurement industry.
SOFTWARE - Product & Service
How many readings does the dashboard log each day?
24 readings per day are taken at each sensor and stored within the sensor until the wireless radio turns on to transmit such data to the cloud.
How often do you transmit the data?
Readings are scheduled starting at the beginning of each business day and between 6-8 transmissions occur. Via the alert’s platform, other transmissions will occur each day based on alerts settings as needed so essentially key data is transmitted in real-time.
What type of alerts are available in the system?
We have pre-set alerts based on regional pre-programmed optimal turf disease and moisture settings. All measurements can be mixed and matched to create custom alerts by the course Superintendent.
How do we match up your data with our watering times?
We publish API's so when the controller and irrigation companies want to integrate, we are ready. In lieu of that integration, we can receive all data via CSV in a simple uploading fashion each day.
How can I introduce the GroundWorx data into my irrigation system?
We are able to easily integrate if they publish an API or we can upload CSV data into their system following