IoT has begun to be employed pervasively in industrial environments and critical infrastructures thanks to its positive impact on performance and efficiency. Among these environments, the Smart Grid (SG) excels as the perfect host for this technology, mainly due to its potential to become the motor of the rest of electrically-dependent infrastructures. To make this SG-oriented IoT cost-effective, most deployments employ unlicensed ISM bands, specifically the 2400 MHz one, due to its extended communication bandwidth in comparison with lower bands. This band has been extensively used for years by Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) and Mobile Ad-hoc Networks (MANET), from which the IoT technologically inherits. However, this work questions and evaluates the suitability of such a “default” communication band in SG environments, compared with the 915 MHz ISM band. A comprehensive quantitative comparison of these bands has been accomplished in terms of: power consumption, average network delay, and packet reception rate. To allow such a study, a dual-band propagation model specifically designed for the SG has been derived, tested, and incorporated into the well-known TOSSIM simulator. Simulation results reveal that only in the absence of other 2400 MHz interfering devices (such as WiFi or Bluetooth) or in small networks, is the 2400 MHz band the best option. In any other case, SG-oriented IoT quantitatively perform better if operating in the 915 MHz band.
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