Why We Need Protocols for Communication?

Communication Protocols

The internet is a global network that provides a variety of communication facilities consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols. Having communication protocols is a necessary for the IoT to work.

There are six major ones: Satellite, WiFi, Radio Frequency, RFID, NFC and Bluetooth.


The Satellite communication enables the cell phone communication from a phone to the next antenna from about 10 to 15 miles. These are called GSM, GPRS, CDMA, LTE, EDGE and others.

They are usually based on connectivity speed which is very important for the IoT to function. Without  a protocol as such the IoT functions will be slow and hard to come by. It provides a stable connection which is needed for the IoT to function or administer properly.

See also: GSM & GPRS : What exactly these are? Difference between GSM and GPRS


The RF or the Radio Frequency is also an important aspect of the IoT. This is probably the easies form of communication protocol especially since it is between energy waves.

Protocols such as ZigBee and Z-wave use a low power RF radio embedded or retrofitted into electronic devices and systems. Z-Wave’s range is approximately 100 ft (30 m).

The radio frequency band used is specific to its country. For example, Europe has a 868.42 MHz SRD Band, a 900 MHz ISM or 908.42 MHz band (United States), a 916 MHz in Israel, 919.82 MHz in Hong Kong, 921.42 MHz in the regions of Australia/New Zealand) and 865.2 Mhz in India.

ZigBee is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard.  However, its low power consumption limits transmission distances to a range of 10 to 100 meters. The good thing about this is that Low energy and simplicity for its technology is not dependent on the new functionality of phones.

Radio frequency communication protocol is useful for large deployments such as hotels where high quantity of devices are required to be centrally and locally managed.

See also: ZigBee that Control your world


Radio frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to identify objects. Usually you would install an active reader, or reading tags that contain a stored information mostly authentication replies. Experts call that an Active Reader Passive Tag (ARPT) system. This does not require a power. It is established and is widely used.


Another such protocol is Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances. It serves well in simple applications where two devices are needed to connect with minimal configuration headsets and remote controls.

Every smartphone has Bluetooth where the technology is continuously being upgraded and improved through new hardware.

It is established and well used. It is expected to be key for wearable products in particular, again connecting to the IoT albeit probably via a smartphone in many cases.

The new Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) – or Bluetooth Smart, as it is now branded – is a significant protocol for IoT applications. Importantly, while it offers similar range to Bluetooth it has been designed to offer significantly reduced power consumption.

See also: Bluetooth vs. Bluetooth Low Energy || Wireless Protocol for IoT


WiFi connectivity is often an obvious choice for many developers, especially given the pervasiveness of WiFi within the home environment within LANs.

It requires little further explanation except to state the obvious that clearly there is a wide existing infrastructure as well as offering fast data transfer and the ability to handle high quantities of data.

Currently, the most common WiFi standard used in homes and many businesses is 802.11n, which offers serious throughput in the range of hundreds of megabit per second, which is fine for file transfers, but may be too power-consuming for many IoT applications. A series of RF development kits designed for building WiFi-based applications are available from RS.

See also: WiFi – Wireless IoT Protocol

Why We Need Communications Protocols ?

These protocols are very important for all IoT systems. Especially since they are used to transfer network from one place to another. In a network, the data that is transmitted may be at fault or distorted.

The causes are usually the poor quality of the transmission medium. The distortion of the data can be caused by external influences such as strong electro magnetic fields in the environment.

The IoT protocols help in preventing this from happening. The communication protocol does so in three ways: error control, flow control and congestion control. The Error Control includes all the functions in a communication protocol that is needed to detect and eliminate such distortions and loss during the transmission. Communication protocols check if there is distorted data in the transmission.

The flow control, whereas, means a mutual adaption of the transmitting and the receiving side in relation to the transmitted data volume.  During data communication, when using the transport protocol TCP (Transmission Control Protocol), between two computers via an IP network, the amount of data sent in the source computer must be adapted accordingly to the reception capability of the target computer.

The amount of data sent should not be larger than the amount of data that the target computer can store. Therefore, the amount of transferred data between the communicating computers must be agreed in such a way that the data can always be stored on the target computer – that is, not to be discarded due to the storage deficit.

The Congestion Control concerns all precautions that serve not to overload a network. When overloading a network, the transmitted data blocks often have to be discarded and the transmission time of data blocks in the network by ‘congestion’ in nodes increases sharply.

See also: Introducing MQTT- Connectivity protocol for M2M & IoT


Protocols, are number of rules in algorithmic way that could give us a specified service ,in IOT. it is also worth to mention that the in the IoT the system design highly influenced by the nature of communication between millions of micro devices.

The connection is everything in IoT and the fact that we intent to have autonomous machine-to-machine interactions, the role of communication protocols is crucial and highly influential.

See also: LTE Technology || Wireless IoT Technology for communication

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Sura Kazan
Sura Kazan is an engineering student with a keen interest in the Internet of Things (IoT), and its effects on the aerospace and automobile industries.