By Brian Allred of Wilson Electronics for Field Technologies magazine
Data communication over cellular networks is an attractive option for M2M applications. Components are readily available, typically simple to deploy (since no hard-wired connection is needed), relatively inexpensive compared to wired or private radio systems, and they make use of existing cellular networks, including 2G and 3G technologies. But, those advantages can be rendered irrelevant when M2M installations are located in areas of weak or unreliable wireless signal. If wireless communication is spotty, there is a risk of losing functionality, or even worse — losing customers.