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Useful terms when working with IoT

When working with IoT projects, it's common to encounter unfamiliar terms and acronyms. To help you out, we've compiled a list of key definitions.

IoT Glossary

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence involves creating machines that can think and interact like humans, or even better.

Big data

Big data refers to vast amounts of data that traditional methods of collection and analysis cannot handle due to their size or type.


Bluetooth is a wireless technology used for short-range communication in IoT projects.

Category M1 (Cat M1)

Category M1(Cat M1) is a low-power, wide-area cellular technology designed specifically for IoT projects.

Cellular IoT

Cellular IoT projects often use the same cellular networks as mobile devices like smartphones, such as 2G, 3G, 4G LTE, and Cat M1.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing provides on-demand computing services like servers, storage, and analytics over the internet.

Communication Platform as-a-Service (CPaas)

CPaaS (Communication Platform as-a-Service) is a cloud-based service that enables developers and businesses to add real-time communication capabilities to their applications and services. It provides a set of APIs and tools that allow developers to easily integrate voice, video, messaging, and other communication functionalities into their existing applications without having to build and manage the underlying infrastructure themselves.


C-V2X stands for "Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything" and is a wireless communication technology that enables vehicles to communicate with other vehicles, infrastructure, pedestrians, and other devices

Edge Computing

A computing model that processes data at or near the edge of the network, closer to the source of data, rather than sending it to a central data center for processing, which can result in faster processing and reduced latency.


An eSIM, short for “embedded Subscriber Identity Module,” is a type of SIM card that is embedded directly into a device - typically soldered as part of an industrial process - and not inserted later. Unlike traditional physical SIM cards, which can be removed and replaced, eSIMs are embedded into the device’s circuitry and cannot be physically removed or swapped out. You can today find eSIMs in both consumer products (smartphones, tablets, smart watches …)  and they are widely deployed B2B in the IoT space as they reduce footprint, improve logistics and security.

Embedded SIMs are a good match with eUICC technologies, where the profile controlling the connectivity can be modified and activated remotely, allowing the mobile network providers to optimize eUICC profil for use cases, and allowing users to switch between mobile network providers without having to physically replace the SIM card.

Firmware-over-the-air (FOTA)

Firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) is a Mobile Software Management (MSM) technology that allows cellular device firmware to be upgraded wirelessly over the network.


The fifth generation of cellular network technology that promises faster data transfer rates, lower latency, and greater network capacity, which makes it an ideal technology for supporting IoT devices.



IoT (Internet of Things) is the concept of connecting devices and their components to the internet to add intelligence and value.

IoT gateway

An IoT (Internet of Things) gateway is a device or software program that serves as a bridge between IoT devices and the cloud. It collects data from sensors, cameras, and other IoT devices, and then filters, processes, and analyzes that data before sending it to the cloud for further analysis and storage.

IoT gateways may also perform other functions, such as security and protocol translation, to ensure that the data transmitted between devices and the cloud is secure and compatible with the relevant protocols.

IoT router

Routers can be used to connect IoT devices to the internet or to other devices in a network. They may also include security features, such as firewalls or virtual private networks (VPNs), to protect against unauthorized access or data breaches.

Integrated SIM (iSIM)

An iSIM (integrated SIM) is a type of SIM card that is integrated directly into a device's chipset or processor, eliminating the need for a physical SIM card. iSIMs are smaller and more energy-efficient than traditional SIM cards, making them ideal for use in IoT devices and other small, connected devices that may not have the physical space to accommodate a traditional SIM card.

iSIMs can be remotely provisioned, activated, and managed, making them highly flexible and adaptable to changing network requirements or service provider preferences.


Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) are a class of networks designed for low-power, long-range communication. Some popular LPWAN networks include LoRaWAN, SigFox, LTE-M, NB-IoT, RPMA, Symphony Link, and Weightless.


A wireless communication protocol designed specifically for long-range, low-power IoT devices that operate in the unlicensed radio spectrum.

LTE Cat-1

LTE Cat-1 (Category 1) is a cellular communication technology that provides low-cost, low-power, and low-complexity connectivity for IoT and M2M (machine-to-machine) devices.

Compared to traditional LTE connections, LTE Cat-1 provides lower data rates (up to 10 Mbps download and up to 5 Mbps upload) but also has lower power consumption and cost. This makes it an ideal solution for IoT devices that need to transmit smaller amounts of data over long periods of time, such as remote sensors, smart meters, or asset trackers.

LTE Cat-1 also supports voice and SMS (text messaging) services, allowing devices to provide basic communication capabilities in addition to data transmission.

LTE Cat-M2

LTE Cat-M2 (Category M2) is a low-power, wide-area (LPWA) cellular communication technology designed specifically for IoT and M2M (machine-to-machine) applications.

Compared to other LTE categories, Cat-M2 provides even lower data rates (up to 1 Mbps download and up to 375 kbps upload) but also has extremely low power consumption, allowing devices to operate on a single battery charge for years. This makes it an ideal solution for IoT devices that need to transmit small amounts of data infrequently, such as smart sensors, wearables, and asset trackers.

Cat-M2 also supports features such as voice and SMS (text messaging), as well as device positioning using GPS, which can be useful for location-based IoT applications. It also provides enhanced security features, such as secure boot and encrypted communication, to protect against unauthorized access or data breaches.


Machine-to-machine communication (M2M) occurs when multiple machines interact with one another without human intervention.

Machine Learning

Machine learning involves feeding information to computer systems so that they can learn how to solve problems and predict events like humans do.

Mesh networks are an infrastructure of wirelessly connected nodes, including gateways, repeaters, and endpoints.


A lightweight messaging protocol designed for IoT devices that enables efficient and reliable communication between devices, applications, and servers.

Network Redundancy

Network redundancy is a feature of IoT connectivity that provides backup or duplicate network paths between IoT devices and the cloud, ensuring that data can still be transmitted even if the primary network connection fails.

In other words, if the primary network connection becomes unavailable due to a network outage or other issue, the IoT device can automatically switch to a backup network path, such as a secondary cellular network or a Wi-Fi network, to maintain connectivity and ensure that data can still be transmitted to the cloud.


Narrowband IoT (Nb-IoT) is a low-power, wide-area network that powers various cellular devices and services without operating in licensed LTE construct.

Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)

OCPP is a communication protocol that enables electric vehicle charging stations and central management systems to communicate with each other using a standard set of messages and protocols, regardless of the equipment manufacturer or type.


OpenVPN is an open-source software application that provides a secure and encrypted VPN connection to protect data and ensure privacy.


The PCS Type Certification Review Board (PTCRB) is a certification board established by North American cellular operators to test mobile phones, IoT devices, M2M devices and modules, and similar hardware operating on mobile networks.

Remote Condition Monitoring

Remote Condition Monitoring (RCM) is the process of remotely monitoring and analyzing the operational status and performance of equipment or machinery using sensors and IoT devices to prevent problems and reduce maintenance costs.

Remote SIM Provisioning

Remote SIM Provisioning (RSP) is a process of remotely provisioning and managing SIM cards in IoT devices, without the need to physically replace or update the SIM card.

Using RSP, IoT devices can be remotely provisioned with the necessary SIM profile and credentials, enabling them to connect to cellular networks and transmit data.

Satellite IoT

Satellite IoT (Internet of Things) refers to the use of satellite communication technology to enable IoT devices to connect to the internet and transmit data.

Satellite IoT can be particularly useful in remote or rural areas where traditional cellular or wired connectivity may not be available or cost-effective. It can also be used in industries such as maritime, aviation, and transportation, where devices may need to transmit data across long distances or in areas with limited terrestrial coverage.

SIM Card

Subscriber Identity Module, a small chip that is inserted into an IoT device and contains unique identification information that enables the device to connect to a cellular network and access the internet.

Transport Layer Security (TLS)

Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol designed to provide secure communication over a network by encrypting data between two endpoints. It is commonly used to protect sensitive information, such as passwords, credit card numbers, and other personal data, transmitted over the internet. TLS is the successor to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and is commonly used in web browsers, email clients, and other network applications to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity of data.

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