Close this search box.

Choose the Right Protocol

The number of IoT and Industrial IoT (IIoT) wireless technologies can cause confusion. What are the best use cases for 5G? The United States FCC and the rest of the world regulate the frequencies (called bandwidth, or channels) for the so-called unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum. Which protocols are appropriate to use, and what are the pros and cons compared to the assigned telecom (5G, NB-IoT) bands? This little table explores those issues. 

In the end, we believe that 5G is best suited for backhaul (that is, from the edge computer, edge server, or on premises access points) to the cloud or the company’s main servers. 

If your factory, installation, facility, or manufacturing plant has AC power (that is, it’s on the mains), then the natural inclination to use industrial Ethernet (with its precision timing) is appropriate. But if your sensors, edge computers, and access points are remote, consider the battery life of those devices. The unlicensed 2.4 GHz spectrum is pervasive, a world-wide standard, and ideal for those situations.

But only if you can get the signal through. That’s where Spearix RADiS comes in. We can support any protocol you prefer. Contact us for more information.


A consolidated table of wireless technologies with pros and cons


A logo with a green and black text

Description automatically generated 

A green and white logo

Description automatically generated 

A blue and white sign

Description automatically generated 

Products | Centero A logo with text on it

Description automatically generated 

A black and red logo

Description automatically generated 

A bluetooth symbol in a blue oval

Description automatically generated  

Use Case 

Backhaul, direct to cloud, global/regional 

Backhaul, direct to cloud, global/regional 

Broadband, local area 

Sensors, devices, discrete items, local area   


Licensed sub-GHz, 1.7GHz 

Licensed sub-GHz, 1.7GHz 

Unlicensed 2.4 & 5GHz 

Unlicensed sub-GHz & 2.4GHz 


V2X, video, GNSS/GPS, fleets 

V2X, video, GNSS/GPS, fleets  

Video, robotics, security 

Temp, pressure, flow, energy, humidity, short messages 

Battery Life 

SIM card limited, weeks/months 

SIM card limited, weeks/months 

High data rate limited, Days/ weeks/months 

5 to 10yrs + 

Recurring Cost 

$50 to $150/yr. per connection + battery replacement 

$50 to $150/yr. per connection + battery replacement 

Operates on licensed spectrum, ensuring reliability and security 

Minimal recurring cost, scales cost effectively 


Extremely high data rates, ideal for real-time applications and high-definition video streaming 

Ultra-low latency, critical for mission-critical applications 

Massive device connectivity, enabling IoT deployments at scale. Good for backhaul. 

Operates on licensed spectrum, ensuring reliability and security. 

High data rates suitable for large volumes of data transfer. 

Ubiquitous infrastructure, often readily available in industrial settings. 

Well-established security protocols. 

Uses unlicensed frequency (2.4 GHz) and is less expensive on a total cost of ownership and ROI basis. 

Uses unlicensed frequency (2.4 GHz) and is less expensive in terms of total cost. of ownership and ROI basis. 

Industry standards. 

Targeted at industrial IoT (IIoT).  

All of these are made much better using Spearix RADiS technologies.  

Low and predictable power consumption.  

Perfect for sensors and edge computing applications (machine control, process control, building automation, and dozens of other use cases). 


Requires significant infrastructure investment.  

Higher power consumption compared to LPWAN technologies.    

Coverage may be limited initially, especially in rural areas.    

SIM card limits battery life when continuously connected. 

Relatively low uplink rate. Relatively low data rates, suitable for small packets of data. 

The cost of cellular subscriptions and devices are expensive operationally 

Requires cellular infrastructure, which might not be available in remote areas 

SIM cards impose monthly/annual fees increasing cost in high density deployments 

Failing to gain traction, exposed to risk of market failure. 

High power consumption, inadequate for battery-powered devices. 

Limited range compared to other LPWAN technologies. 

Battery life limitations impair operational ROI and long-term use in commercial & industrial. 

Unless Wi-Fi is using Spearix RADiS, aggressors can greatly interfere with transmit and receive (subject to aggressors). 

Not suitable for long-haul, backhaul. 

Need to create a network topology that takes the best of these protocols