What Makes IoT Antennas and Their Design Unique?

In the realm of IoT antenna design, the requirements differ significantly from traditional antenna systems due to the diverse and often challenging deployment environments of IoT devices. Antenna design for IoT is crucial because these devices are frequently located in remote, hard-to-reach areas where reliable connectivity is a challenge. Here are three key characteristics of IoT antenna design:

1. Challenging Communication Environment

IoT devices often operate in environments where communication infrastructure is far away or obstructed by physical barriers such as concrete walls or underground placements. This makes connectivity a critical factor, limiting the usability of the device. Enhancing the communication range through effective IoT antenna design can significantly expand the potential customer base by improving connectivity in difficult environments.

2. Maintenance-Free Operation

Due to their remote locations, maintaining IoT devices can be costly and challenging. Battery-powered IoT devices should aim for long operational lifespans, ideally spanning several years to decades, without requiring maintenance. Efficient IoT antenna design plays a pivotal role in reducing power consumption by minimizing data transmission needs and optimizing the power required for transmission, thus extending the maintenance period.

3. Durability

IoT devices often operate in harsh environments, facing extremes in temperature, moisture, and mechanical stress. Some devices are used in potentially explosive environments such as ATEX zones, where gases, oils, or other flammable materials are present. Ensuring durability might involve using potting materials, metallic structures, or reducing device size, all of which pose challenges for wireless communication. High-quality IoT antenna design must account for these durability factors while maintaining effective performance.

Common nominator for the three characteristics above is the pressure those place on wireless performance and antenna design. There are many technologies that have been developed to tackle the performance requirements and they fall under the category of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN). However, selecting a suitable technology is not enough. Even the best system and best product can fail if it has a poor antenna design.

Quality Antenna Design for IoT

Many Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) systems, which are prevalent in IoT applications, utilize single-frequency ranges for long-distance communication. This allows antennas to fit into smaller spaces due to reduced bandwidth requirements. However, materials like potting compounds or metal can severely detune the antenna, making standard antennas difficult to match. High-quality IoT antenna design starts with identifying the optimal antenna solution within given mechanical constraints. Through an iterative development process, the overall product design is influenced to achieve the best possible antenna performance while maintaining a low BOM cost.

LPWAN Systems
Frequency [MHz]
LoraWAN 433, 868, 915
Sigfox (Partner) RC1 868, RC2 903, RC3 922, RC4 920, RC5 922, RC6 865
Zigbee 2450
Thread 868, 915, 2450
NB-IoT 699-960, 1710-2170
LTE Cat m1 699-960, 1710-3600

Radientum Services for IoT Antenna Design

At Radientum, we provide comprehensive IoT antenna design services that cover the full product development lifecycle, from feasibility studies to various design stages and consultancy during mass production. Our antenna simulations are critical for achieving accurate performance forecasts in the early stages of development, enabling informed decisions before prototype manufacturing. We leverage our extensive expertise in product integration to discover innovative antenna solutions.

We conduct TRP measurements in our anechoic chamber by configuring your device to transmit a carrier wave signal (CWS) at maximum power. This setup allows our power meter to assess the transmitted power in all directions, and the results are integrated to generate the total radiated power. Check our references!

HQ – Tampere
Visiokatu 4
33720 Tampere, Finland
+358 40 501 3535
Design Office – Espoo
Innopoli 2
Tekniikantie 14
02150 Espoo, Finland

By subscribing, you’ll receive insights of interesting case studies about customer’s projects, updates on our technologies and services, latest news and trends in antenna industry, our special offers and a lot more!