4G IoT devices and tech for your business

Mar 1 2024 | General, Logistics, Technology

As demand on mobile networks increases, 3G is making way for the more advanced and efficient 4G and 5G networks. 

3G networks take up a valuable wireless spectrum, and shutting them down allows 4G to use the spectrum. The change will bring about enhanced and uninterrupted connectivity, increased data speeds and a host of new functionalities that were previously unimaginable. 

Upgrading and replacing devices takes time and both operational and technical know-how. If your business relies on 3G networks for its IoT devices and processes, there’s no time to lose. But what are the new devices you’ll need for your business? This article explores a range of 4G IoT device options and their suitability for various business applications.  


View from a truck's cab looking out to the road ahead

Telematic devices for fleet management are best used on 4G LTE or LTE-M networks due to the need for high-speed data transfer and real-time feedback


Types of 4G IoT devices

3G allowed smartphone users to move beyond simple calls and texts, supporting a range of applications such as video chatting and mobile internet access. But 3G has its limitations, and 4G has proven to be an excellent technology for IoT applications. Here’s why:

  • 4G networks have greater bandwidth and can move data faster than 3G.
  • This high-speed transfer also makes data transfer more efficient and reliable.
  • 4G supports a range of applications and uses like industrial automation, healthcare devices, agricultural applications, smart homes and more.
  • IoT devices on the 4G network have lower latency, meaning they offer much quicker response times, which is important for uses such as remote monitoring and autonomous vehicles.
  • 4G networks offer better security and, given how widespread they have become, cost-saving benefits.
  • 4G’s extensive coverage and efficiency enables NB-IOT and LTE-M technology, robust connectivity solutions that are ideal for IoT devices that require long-range connectivity, mobility and extended indoors coverage. These technologies were created with 5G standards in mind.

Some examples of 4G devices and applications include the following:

  • Industrial sensors and actuators
  • Telematic devices in fleet management
  • GPS trackers and wearables


Industrial sensors and actuators

These devices are crucial in monitoring conditions such as temperature, humidity and vibration while automating tasks like opening valves and starting engines. Their key advantages include the ability to collect and process data in real-time, assisting with predictive maintenance and enhancing operational efficiency. 

These devices frequently use NB-IOT or LoRaWAN  4G tech for their long-range data transmission and longevity and reliability.  LoRaWAN is a low-power wide-area network, so it caters to applications requiring low-to-medium data rates, prolonged battery life and superior coverage. This makes it perfect for sensors, wearables and small actuators in industrial environments where reliability is critical, including cold chain monitoring, food safety and efficient workspaces


Telematic devices in fleet management

Used to track vehicle locations, monitor driver behaviour and optimise fleet operations, telematic devices are a game changer for fleet management. They have led to improved safety, better route planning and reduced operational costs.

This tech relies on 4G LTE or LTE-M networks, which, thanks to high-speed data transfer, allow for real-time feedback. That means tracking is accurate, and communication is instant. For applications where speed and low latency are crucial, LTE is a must. Thanks to 4G, telematics devices can transmit large amounts of data in real-time, and industrial gateways can aggregate data from multiple sources.


Real-time trackers and wearables

4G LTE-M supports various devices and wearable tech, such as wearable environmental sensors and emergency alert systems. This tech can also be used to monitor workers’ wellbeing in hazardous environments, improving safety outcomes by providing real-time health monitoring. 

Thanks to 4G, these GPS trackers and devices have extended battery life and wide coverage, which is vital for workers operating in remote areas or vast sites. The tech is particularly useful for devices like automated external defibrillators, which generally stay in one place and are not used often but still need to be monitored.


A construction manager tracks assets using Inauro’s data fusion platform

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing the right 4G IoT device for your needs


How to choose the right 4G IoT device for your needs

Here are some considerations when selecting 4G devices for your business.

  • Determine the type of data your device will transmit. Will small amounts of data be transferred intermittently, or do you have higher data needs for more consistent transmission? 
  • Want your device to operate for long periods? It will need extended battery life. Can you wire it in and use a separate battery or solar?
  • What kind of coverage do you need? A device used predominantly in dense urban areas has different needs than one required in rural locations. 
  • Does the device or tracker need to comply with industry standards? If so, this might narrow your choices.
  • Choose devices from reputable vendors that offer strong technical support.

Inauro Chief Commercial Officer Max Girault offers this advice: “When we talk to customers about the best device to upgrade from 3G for their business, we don’t start from the asset. We actually start from the operational process that is impacted by that asset, and we work from there. We want to make sure they get the right solution based on these factors.”


A graphical depiction of asset and vehicle tracking showing connected assets and devices

The time to upgrade your asset and vehicle tracking devices to 4G compatible devices is now


A powerful partner for the 4G future

The impending shutdown of 3G networks marks a pivotal moment for businesses relying on IoT devices. If you haven’t already transitioned to 4G IoT technologies, now is the time. Choosing the right 4G device can significantly enhance operational efficiency and reduce costs. Inauro’s team of experts can help you prepare for the 3G network shutdown and integrate 4G devices into your operations. Find out how today.

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