Pathways to Hybrid Connectivity

March 31

Many businesses are venturing into hybrid connectivity that includes both wired and wireless internet solutions. On the wireless side, Bluetooth LE combined with low-power cellular technology is poised to escalate IoT adoption around the world. Rising populations will demand greater energy and connectivity in the future, setting the stage for the mass proliferation of IoT devices embedded across business networks and smart cities.

Emerging Hybrid Gateways

The need for hybrid connectivity is growing to improve business continuity. Although the grid infrastructure of the past century is decaying, which is evident by an increase in power shortages during storms, utilities are adopting renewable energy to fill in power gaps. Meanwhile, IoT sensors are being installed in power plants to make operations more efficient. Businesses that adopt hybrid connectivity solutions will be able to handle power outages more effectively.

Life for society, in general, will improve in terms of the speed of information exchange. Real-time data monitoring is the key to IoT viability, which requires the strategic placement of sensors in vehicles and production equipment. The use of Bluetooth combined with new low-power cellular IoT technology has already proven to be an effective hybrid solution.

Wired devices provide the most stable and reliable internet connectivity performance, whereas wireless IoT devices can be installed in a lot more places. Embedding sensors within machinery is part of the hybrid solution. Tech experts have estimated there are already over 70 billion devices connected to the internet. As IoT devices expand across the internet, more electric power will be needed to meet energy demands, as utilities adopt backup renewable energy as a solution. IoT sensors will be responsible for alerting utilities on power consumption.

Certain IoT devices only need to transfer data short distances, such as within about 500 feet. Bluetooth operates on a 2.4GHz frequency to deliver high-quality short-range wireless connectivity with throughput of 2 Mbps. Wi-Fi is another short-range solution up to about 200 feet, but with faster transmission speed up to 600 Mbps. The main issue with Wi-Fi, however, is privacy. A more energy-efficient wireless solution is Z-Wave, which transfers data at a frequency of 900 MHz while extending the hardware's battery life.

Long-Term Connectivity Management

As connectivity quality improves, IoT installations will expand among companies looking to streamline operations. Nowadays, only a small percentage of supply chain data is even utilized, but in time early adopters will set new models for logistics efficiency with the help of countless IoT devices.

Wired internet solutions are by no means outdated and are usually most appropriate for stationary equipment. Making sure heavy-duty equipment is connected online while mobile devices can be wireless is a strong hybrid strategy. Wired internet makes sense for smart grids, extended wiring, home networks, and municipal use, such as for smart parking meters and street lights. Meanwhile, Bluetooth can handle many short-range wireless data exchanges with the advent of mobile personal area networks (PANS).

Future of Business Connectivity

Within the next decade, the rise of IoT will be more visible among big producers since they have the most need to cut wasteful costs. New IoT technology, 5G, and more flexible networking will open the door to less strain on the electric grid system and more efficiency for manufacturing operations. The expansion of available data at faster delivery speeds will also accelerate the pace of quality control to help improve operations.


The concept of hybrid connectivity will play a significant role in the transformation toward omnipresent smart technology. Building an interconnected IoT ecosystem and using appropriate data delivery methods through either wired or wireless connectivity will streamline data processing. The result will be more data-centric organizations that save money through real-time decision making and more efficient sharing of resources.

Johannes Beekman

About the author

After 25 years in engineering, Johannes Beekman founded IoT Marketing with the goal of helping companies bring wide-scale awareness to their inventions. He received a Master of Science in Physics degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology, and a Master in Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and started his career in the semiconductor field. Johannes pioneered two successful wafer fab startups for Philips Electronics; one in Europe and the second one in Asia. And served as Senior Program Manager for Sematech, where he provided solutions for semiconductor industry-wide product improvement and cost reduction challenges. Johannes has also published articles on several trade-focused websites.


Bluetooth LE, energy and connectivity, IoT Devices, long-term connectivity, renewable energy

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