Wireless IoT communication protocols comparison

There is no one-size-fits-all connectivity technology that can provide an optimal solution for all IoT applications. It is a question of selecting the best-suited option for each use-case at hand.

FeaturesLTE Cat 1LTE Cat M1EC-GSM-IoTNB-IoT Rel 14ZigbeeSigFoxLoRaGoogle ThreadBluetooth LEWirepas Mesh
Channel Bandwidth1.4 MHz1.08 MHz200 KHz180 KHz600 KHz - 5 MHz0.1 KHz 100 Hz125 KHz600 kHz - 5 MHz2 MHz2 MHz
Transmission DuplexityFullFull/HalfHalf (FDD)HalfHalfHalfHalfHalfFull/HalfFull/Half
Downlink (DL) peak rate10 Mbps1 Mbps70 kbps (GMSK) - 240kbps (8PSK)127 Kbps20 - 250 kbps100 - 600 bps300 bps - 50 kbps20 – 250 kbps125 kbps, 500 kbps, 1 Mbps, 2 Mbps1 Mbps
Uplink (UL) peak rate5 Mbps1 Mbps70 kbps (GMSK) - 240kbps (8PSK)159 kbps20 - 250 kbps100 to 600 bps (depending on the country)~300 bps - 50 kbps20 – 250 kbps125 kbps, 500 kbps, 1 Mbps, 2 Mbps1 Mbps
Number of Antennae21111111
Latency range10-15 msec10-15 msec700 msec - 2 sec<10 sec15 msec> 20 sec1 - 100 msec< 100 msec,13.5 msec - 1 sec< 3 msec,< 10 msec
Data limitNot definedNot definedNot definedNot definedNot defined140 msg/day uplink, 4 msg/day downlinkNot definedNot definedNot definedNot defined
Size of payload in a data packetNot definedNot definedNot definedNot definedMAC PDU 0 – 102 bytesPayload 0-12 B uplink, 8 B downlinkPayload 51-222 BMAC PDU 0 – 102 B0 - 2790 bits102 bytes
Duty cycleNot definedNot definedNot definedNot defined<1%Max 30 sec/hour (<1%)<1%<1% in some bandsNot definedNot defined
Data EncryptionEPS-AKAEPS-AKAUMTS AKA(EPS-AKA)AES 128Private key, VPN+SSL128-bit NwkSkey/ AppSkeyTLS, DTLS,SHA-256AES-CCM, HMAC-SHA256, P256 ECDH, HMAC-SHA-256AES 128
Device AuthenticationSIMSIMSIMSIMZigbee device authenticationUnique ID/ Private key64-bit DevEUIEC-JPAKESAFER+, HMAC SHA256Authentication Key
Voice communication supportVoLTEVoLTEGSMNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
PositioningE-CDIE-CDICell IDOTDOA, E-CIDYesSigfox GeolocationNative positioningiBeaconWirepas Positioning Engine / Thingsee Positioning Engine
Standardization organization3GPP Rel83GPP Rel133GPP Rel133GPP Release 14Zigbee alliancePrivate company, open standardLoRa allianceThread groupBluetooth Special Interest GroupPrivate Company
UE bandwidth20 MHz1.4 MHz2.4 MHz200 kHz200 kHz125 kHz
Maximum Transmission power23 dBm20/23 dBm23/33 dBm14, 20, 23 dBm (depending on UE power class)Case dependent (~0 dBm)22 dBm22 dBmCase dependent (~0 dBm)0, 4, 20 dBm< 10 dBm in EU, < 19 dBm in US
iot-connectivity-protocol-comparison-table