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Open AccessArticle

Internet of THings Area Coverage Analyzer (ITHACA) for Complex Topographical Scenarios

1
Department of Information Engineering, University of Padua (UNIPD), Via Gradenigo 6/b, 35131 Padova, Italy
2
Faculty of Computer Science, Multimedia and Telecommunications, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Rambla del Poblenou 156, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
3
eLearn Center, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Rambla del Poble Nou 156, 08018 Barcelona, Spain
4
Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Av. Carl Friedrich Gauss 5, 08860 Castelldefels, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Symmetry 2017, 9(10), 237; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym9100237
Received: 31 August 2017 / Revised: 22 September 2017 / Accepted: 9 October 2017 / Published: 19 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Internet of Things)
The number of connected devices is increasing worldwide. Not only in contexts like the Smart City, but also in rural areas, to provide advanced features like smart farming or smart logistics. Thus, wireless network technologies to efficiently allocate Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) communications are necessary. Traditional cellular networks like Global System for Mobile communications (GSM) are widely used worldwide for IoT environments. Nevertheless, Low Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WAN) are becoming widespread as infrastructure for present and future IoT and M2M applications. Based also on a subscription service, the LP-WAN technology SIGFOXTM may compete with cellular networks in the M2M and IoT communications market, for instance in those projects where deploying the whole communications infrastructure is too complex or expensive. For decision makers to decide the most suitable technology for each specific application, signal coverage is within the key features. Unfortunately, besides simulated coverage maps, decision-makers do not have real coverage maps for SIGFOXTM, as they can be found for cellular networks. Thereby, we propose Internet of THings Area Coverage Analyzer (ITHACA), a signal analyzer prototype to provide automated signal coverage maps and analytics for LP-WAN. Experiments performed in the Gran Canaria Island, Spain (with both urban and complex topographic rural environments), returned a real SIGFOXTM service availability above 97% and above 11% more coverage with respect to the company-provided simulated maps. We expect that ITHACA may help decision makers to deploy the most suitable technologies for future IoT and M2M projects. View Full-Text
Keywords: Low Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WAN); Internet of Things (IoT); Machine to Machine (M2M); coverage; prototype; field trials; Global System for Mobile communications (GSM); sigfox Low Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WAN); Internet of Things (IoT); Machine to Machine (M2M); coverage; prototype; field trials; Global System for Mobile communications (GSM); sigfox
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Parada, R.; Cárdenes-Tacoronte, D.; Monzo, C.; Melià-Seguí, J. Internet of THings Area Coverage Analyzer (ITHACA) for Complex Topographical Scenarios. Symmetry 2017, 9, 237.

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