IoT Connectivity Trends: Navigating the IoT Evolution

In the ever-evolving realm of the Internet of Things (IoT), the shift from 2G/3G to 4G/5G networks is steering the course of connectivity into uncharted territories. This article  from thethings.iO aims to unravel this transformative journey, offering insights into IoT evolution and considering the implications that lie ahead.

The technological landscape is witnessing a monumental embrace of the next wave. The introduction of 4G and the imminent arrival of 5G signal a new era, redefining the parameters of IoT connectivity. For businesses and innovators, understanding the nuances of these advancements isn’t just beneficial – it’s imperative.

Embracing the Next Wave

4G’s Impact

The proliferation of 4G networks is creating a myriad of opportunities for IoT devices. Increased data transfer speeds and reduced latency are key elements that are taking IoT applications to new heights. Whether it’s orchestrating smart cities or optimizing industrial IoT solutions, the impact of 4G is everywhere.

Anticipating 5G’s Arrival

As we stand on the brink of 5G deployment, the anticipation is nothing short of revolutionary. The promise of ultra-fast, low-latency communications opens the door to unprecedented possibilities. From autonomous vehicles to real-time healthcare applications, 5G is ready to redefine the scope and scale of IoT use cases.

Navigating Challenges

Rural Connectivity Disparities

While urban centers reap the benefits of advanced networks, rural areas face a severe digital divide. Understanding the challenges that prevent seamless IoT integration in remote locations is paramount. Bridging this gap requires strategic interventions that go beyond traditional connectivity solutions.

Satellite Networks as a Panacea

In the pursuit of overcoming connectivity challenges, satellite communications are emerging as a viable solution thanks to IoT evolution. Examining the role of satellite networks in expanding IoT connectivity reveals opportunities to overcome geographic constraints and ensure a more inclusive IoT ecosystem.

Future-Proofing Strategies

Security and Privacy Imperative

Amidst the connectivity revolution, security and privacy concerns loom large. Navigating the evolving landscape of IoT security becomes imperative. This section delves into the dynamic nature of IoT security and outlines measures to safeguard sensitive data in an interconnected world.

The Power of Collaborative Ecosystems

In the era of IoT network evolution, collaboration takes center stage. The interconnected future necessitates ecosystems where diverse stakeholders, from tech giants to startups, contribute collectively to shape the trajectory of connected technologies.


As we witness the paradigm shift from 2G/3G to 4G/5G networks, the IoT connectivity landscape undergoes a profound metamorphosis. This article provides a nuanced exploration of the trends, challenges, and strategies defining this evolution. Embracing these changes is not just a necessity—it’s a strategic imperative for those aiming to unlock the true potential of IoT in the years to come.

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MWC 23 highlights for Iot

What a show! Diprotech – thethings.io teams were out at MWC 2023 in Barcelona – and we were not disappointed.

We spent exciting days there, discovering the stands of the different exhibitors. The show is huge, so we focused on the topics that interest us most at thethings.io: the latest developments in private LTE/5G, the 5G IoT device ecosystem, SIM cards and IoT connectivity. Here are a few things we will remember about it: 

Private 5G is on the rise

For the past few years, we’ve realized that private 5G is a hot topic in the mobile industry. Continued functional improvements in cellular technology, as well as a massive increase in the availability of dedicated spectrum for industries, are opening up a wide range of opportunities for the cellular ecosystem, fueling a wave of investment.

Major players in the field Microsoft, Cisco, AT&T… continue on the trajectory announced last year that Rather than replacing Wi-Fi networks, private 5G networks will likely sit alongside them to serve security and reliability demanding applications.

Even if 5G was in very strong presence, 6G has also been attracting people!
While some of the big names in telecom have admitted at various conferences that we don’t yet know exactly what 6G is, how much it will cost and what problems it will solve, the technology is already here and is getting a lot of attention.
All stressed the value of bringing together the operator community and the broader value chain to solicit input and understand the potential use cases in the 6G era, perhaps especially in areas where 5G may not support some of the new applications being considered, such as telepresence and immersive video. So keep an eye out this year and we’ll know more at MWC 24!

The wireless factory is the new paperless office

A decade ago, for security, ecological and economic reasons, the trend was towards paperless offices. The craze was huge. Today, the consumption has been greatly reduced but not totally eliminated. This is an analogy for 5G factories. Wireless adoption is a goal, but the implementation process will be gradual and cables will survive. 

More security via IoT SAFE 

There’s a lot going on in the SIM world. Innovations are constant, and the technology is getting more modern every year. The form factor of SIM cards is evolving from traditional plastic SIM cards to dedicated chips, which will soon be integrated into system-on-chips (SoCs). 

Find out more about this in our article on SIMs, eSIMS, iSIMS

A parallel development, which may not be talked about as much, is the use of the SIM as a “root of trust” for end-to-end security of IoT products and services.

This is now a key issue in the choice of SIM vendors, providing an interoperable framework. Following the presentation at MWC22 of the development of the GSMA IoT SAFE standard, we can see one year later that IoT SAFE has been deployed.


Of course, the Mobile World Congress is also about innovations and prototypes that appeal to the general public… Little overview here of the stars of the show:

Visitors’ stars: VR/AR/MR glasses

While we are still waiting for Apple on the subject, big names have shown several products and concepts around virtual reality, mixed or augmented. In this area we saw for example the AirGlass 2 from Oppo, the NEOVISION Glass from ZTE, or the VIVE XR ELITE from HTC which made us shake a lot… 

But the product that was undoubtedly the most dreamy was called Xiaomi Wireless AR Smart Glass Discovery Edition. Okay, the brand would have found shorter. However, between the electrochromic glass, the light guides and other futuristic technologies gathered in this concept, everything seemed to say that Xiaomi wants to overtake Apple on the subject… at least on what the brand imagines of the next category of products that could (or could not) be launched by the firm of Cupertino.

Easy and quick to test, we saw it on many stands, and it is definitely the product that all visitors turned to in order to enjoy experimenting things during the show. 

And after all… it is still a Mobile show

The most attractive stands and innovations for the public were of course those concerning mobile phone innovations. 

Launch announcements

Xiaomi took advantage of the event to present its latest model. We already knew a bit about the smartphone for a week, since it had already been launched in China. Where Xiaomi stands out is on the photo and video – points, on which the brand has not always shone in the past.

The manufacturer signs a very successful smartphone especially on this point thanks to a triple main 50 Mp camera designed (and calibrated) by Leica, for a simply breathtaking result.

Rolling screen technology

We had already seen smartphones, tablets and TVs with scrolling screens – the kind of flexible slab that allows to deliver a device that can change the physical size of its screen, via a mechanism. However, it seemed far from being commercialized as the industrial part seemed complex.  

The last concepts of the kind showed now at MWC23 are however convincing us that this type of devices is finally about to land.

Motorola Rizr – Rollable screen

Foldable smartphones, again

Samsung has been preparing for the rise of foldable smartphones for a few years. And this year, we could see that this technology is now in place at many manufacturers. Like Honor, which continues to move upmarket by launching the Magic Vs. Like Samsung’s Z Fold4, the Magic Vs embeds two screens, one of which is a 6.45″ OLED Full HD 120 Hz seconded by an internal 7.9″flexible screen with a 90 Hz refresh rate and QHD definition.


All in all, the show was interesting and back to the size of the editions before the Covid crisis. 

We are glad to have participated and can already say that we will be present and look forward to the 2024 edition! 



Industrial IoT trends in 2022

The global Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) market size was estimated at $216.14 billion in 2020. And by 2026, it is expected to reach $771.072 billion, according to Polaris Market Research projections.

The rapid digital transformations that have occurred during the pandemics are among the primary drivers of this aggressive growth rate. IIoT equipment manufacturers continue to find cheaper and more affordable ways to develop sensors and processors to meet the demand for increased automation.

Yet, despite favorable winds, lower computing power costs, and improvements in IIoT platform integration, connectivity, and management, few manufacturers have been able to scale their IIoT use cases in a way that yields significant operational or financial benefits. A combination of technical and organizational challenges are often cited as causes.

Find out below how companies can prepare for IIoT and how to turn challenges into opportunities using the top industrial IoT trends for 2022:

1. 5G Growth and private networks

The evolution of 5G and IoT are correlated. Indeed, the rapid adoption of 5G networks is accelerating the world of IoT… And IIoT as it offers enterprises significant advantages over 4G such as global internet coverage or much faster data transfers. 

In addition, many manufacturers are implementing private 5G networks in their smart factories to automate manufacturing processes by reducing workloads and error margins. 

2. Cloud and Edge Computing

One of the most important benefits of industrial IoT (IIoT) is the ability to create a common data model from any connected data source.

In short, Edge computing allows companies to process sensor and device data locally and in real time. Edge computing is evolving as a solution to latency issues common in cloud-based solutions. This allows companies to avoid lags and delays; that frequently  lead to production problems, security issues and open the door to security threats.

Find out more about the Cloud-Code solution offered by thethings.iO

3. Cybersecurity Concerns 

Like any new technology development, the growth of IoT devices will lead to new security vulnerabilities for businesses. Indeed, if one device is compromised, the other devices it communicates with could be just as vulnerable.

Currently, there are very few government standards at the European or global level requiring companies to stay on top of their cybersecurity. In most cases, investment in cybersecurity is a decision made voluntarily by the business owners themselves.

In fact, to keep up with the technological advances of 2022, it is important to monitor and grow cybersecurity tools. 

4. Bundled IoT for enterprises

While the IoT space is growing rapidly, there is an initial learning curve that could discourage companies and business leaders from adopting it.

Because bundled IoT solutions offer user-friendly features and integrated analytics, they are driving IoT adoption.

At thethings.iO, we leverage each new solution developed for a particular need by offering it to other similar applications where it can be useful.


How to integrate LoRa with thethings.iO IoT platform

As you know, thethings.iO is the most simple enterprise IoT platform. An IoT platform consists of helping and improving life of developers that are connecting products to the Internet. And as good makers, we love integrating new systems and platforms to thethings.iO that enable our clients of connecting to the Internet more devices.

In today’s post we will show you what is LoRa and its basics. We’ll also show how can it be integrated within thethings.iO platform.

LPWAN protocols

Nowadays, there is a growing interest to connect devices to the Internet, and there is an emphasis on low power wireless commutations (LPWAN).

LPWAN is designed to allow long range communications at a low rate transmission among low power connected things. LPWAN stands for Low Power Wide Area Network standard.

Devices, such as ESP8266 are capable to connect to WiFi networks. We all know that its reach is limited to few meters around the access point. IoT devices require to bridge much bigger distances since we want to use them everywhere. IoT devices usually work on batteries and we don’t have lots of power for transmission.

The dilemma is… how to reach many kilometres without spending too much power? To create radio connections for a certain distance we can either increase transmission power of the system or decrease the bandwidth of the channel and that’s the key of LPWAN protocols. LPWAN is not comparable with WiFi or 2G networks, and not all a replacement for these technologies since size of data payload is not a strong point of LPWAN. On the other hand, we have all the numerous benefits that we commented before.

As you probably know there are different LPWAN protocols such as SigFox, NB-IoT or LTE-M. As you know thethings.iO is the most simple IoT platform for Sigfox, is getting compatible with NB-IoT (I don’t want to spoiler now). Nevertheless today we want to connect thethings.iO with LoRa.


LoRa is a Low Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) solution coming out France and it is intended for systems that require the ability to send and receive low amounts of data over a range of many kilometres without high power costs. It is not an open protocol as it is driven by a chip company called Semtech.

The LoRa wireless system makes use of the unlicensed frequencies that are available worldwide. The most widely used frequencies / bands are 868 MHz (Europe), 915 MHz (North America) and 433 MHz (Asia). LoRa is capable of providing data rates from between 0.3kbps to 50kbps which varies based on required range and interference. The LoRaWAN protocol provides both signing and encryption for parts of LoRaWAN packets.

LoRa topology. Source: https://www.mwrinfosecurity.com/

LoRa solutions are made up of nodes and gateways that communicate with a network server. Nodes represent connected things and they are typically low powered and communicate wirelessly with one or many gateways. Gateways are fewer in number, and transfer data from the nodes back to the network server using standard IP connections. A LoRa solution therefore follows a “star of star” topology, where multiple nodes talk to one or more gateways. Network server represents the edge of the systems that would store and parse the data sent from the nodes.

About The Things Network

The Things Network is a community-based, global initiative to provide free LPWAN coverage over LoRa. LoRaWAN coverage is entirely crowdsourced. Members also contribute by providing support or through software development.

The Things Network Backend route messages from gateways to the right application through the Internet, and back. In our case, the application would be thethings.iO platform. The question is, how can we integrate The Things Network data with our platform? How can receive the data  sent through The Things Network in thethings.iO

Integrating The Things Network within thethings.iO

In order to integrate both platforms we encourage you to read this article https://developers.thethings.io/docs/http-integrations#section-a-integration-example-with-the-things-network in our Developer Center at the thethings.iO, but here you can find a summary of the steps.

  1. Get and customize your callback URL with the productid and the hash. You can find both parameter in the Product Details of the Things Manager. The base path of the URL should be like this https://subscription.thethings.io/http/{productId}/{hash}?idname=dev_id*.
  2. Insert this url at the HTTP Integration section of The Things Network Platform.
  3. Finally, go back to thethings.iO Cloud Code section a create function with the name http_parser. Here you can find an example:
function main(params, callback){
  var result = [
        "key": "temperature",
        "value": params.payload.payload_fields.temperature
        "key": "$settings.name",
        "value": params.payload.hardware_serial
        "key": "$geo",
        "value": [params.payload.metadata.longitude,params.payload.metadata.latitude]

   callback(null, result);

Once the URL is configured and the Cloud Code function is coded, everything is ready to start receiving data and monitoring from thethings.iO IoT Platform.

We hope all this information will be helpful for you. If you want to know more about us, you can create an account by clicking here, sign up to receive our monthly newsletter or follow us on Twitter! Stay tuned and be the first in knowing the latest news of the IoT world and thethings.iO


How Internet of Things Will Change Your Workplace

Connected workplace

Connected workplace.

Imagine your workplace becoming what we call a “connected workplace.” In this “connected workplace,” your technologies will be connected on the internet and you will be simply be able to share information from one colleague to another in offices around the world. Through thethings.io this is very possible. We enable companies to connect future office devices to the internet, quicker, easier, and for a fraction of the cost.

We want to explain a few key points in which will help you further understand the offices of the future:

  • Connected access. For example, you enter your workplace and you check in with a personalized ID card. The requirement to use an ID to enter the building creates a more safe and secure environment. In addition, if there are any questionable incidences that occur, emergency services are contacted automatically.

Read more


How Internet of Things will change our cities and mobility

Connected City

Connected City

Today we’re going to give you some interesting ways IoT will change our lives in the near future. According to Gartner statistics, by 2020 about 26 billion devices will be connected to the Internet and thething.iO is here to help companies quickly introduce the internet-connected devices into our everyday lives. Be ready to see a vast change in areas such our cities and transportation.

Your city

As stated by the European Comission, the term “Smart City” is a place where the traditional networks and service are made more efficient with the use of digital and telecommunication technologies, for the benefit of its inhabitants and businesses.

For Example:

Read more

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Internet of Things; Why? Because we can…

IoT - The Big Bang Theory

Everyone knows the comedy show The Big Bang Theory. We knew everyone was talking about the Internet of Things, but to our surprise, an episode of this hit comedy show suggests the main characters, Leonard and Sheldon, connect their flat lights and stereo using an X-10 system.

You can notice this in the video:


For anyone out there wondering why this is done, the most famous nerds of The Big Bang Theory have a simple answer for you: “Because we can.”

Technology is always growing and advancing for one main reason: convenience and simplicity. We use technology to make our lives easier. We are always looking for ways to efficiently use our time and technology provides that incentive for us. The Internet of Things also does this; it has become a big part of our daily lives whether we realize it or not.

We provide simple ways to help companies and developers connect to the internet in a timely and easy manner through our APIs.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and be sure to check out our #IoTFriday blog!


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thethings.iO Datacenter: Security and Privacy

As a client based company, we love answering any questions we receive from our customers. The most common one is: Where will my data be hosted? Is that secure and private?

We are happy to announce that our datacenter is in one of the most disruptive places in Barcelona: The Zoo of Barcelona.

One of the new services of the Zoo of Barcelona is the Lion tier. This is where we ensure that the servers are safe and secure in the lions cage. The only people who have access to the servers are the lions and the caregivers of the lions, who sometimes reset the servers when we call them to deploy new versions of the software.

Servers of thethings.iO

Servers of thethings.iO

We are very proud to say that our datacenter is very sustainable. If there is any problem with the manure from the zoo animals, we provide bikes at the monkeys cage that can bring extra energy at the datacenter SAI. Next year, we hope to bring in machines with more intensive CPUs to the shark swimming pool; first to cool down the temperature of the computers and then to increase security.

We hope to see you at one of our datacenters in the city. If you ask the Zoo of Barcelona to bring your cloud solution into their datacenter, they will give you a 10% discount during the first year.

Happy April Fools for the team at thethings.iO! We hope we didn’t scare you too much.