Iocast is a wide area network technology for sensors, detectors, and other battery powered devices, as well as higher performance fixed and mobile data terminals. It is optimized to operate over narrowband land mobile radio (LMR) channels, offering a wider and more reliable area of coverage than ISM band approaches, and a deterministic level of performance not possible with cellular solutions.

An Iocast network includes one Linux-based control stack, along with base transceivers, application servers, and nodes. Each node connects to the network with its embedded node transceiver using the NXI interface. Each application server connects to the network using the Iocast API. Once connected, application servers and nodes communicate securely by exchanging datagrams. Application servers have a one-to-many relationship with their nodes, and together form complete wide-area applications such as asset tracking or clinical alerting systems.

Iocast features high reliability, long range, strong encryption, and multicast as well as unicast datagrams. An Iocast system can concurrently support multiple application servers and multiple applications ranging from a few nodes to millions of nodes, with each node running at a different levels of speed and power consumption.

Iocast brings much of the toughness and field-proven capability of digital mobile radio into the LPWAN arena, including high reliability, high availability, high security, and deterministic performance.

  • Secure and reliable Land Mobile Radio (LMR) channels
  • Deterministic protocol with synchronous MAC layer
  • Per-node configurable latency and power consumption
  • Bidirectional unicast and multicast datagrams
  • 10-30 mile base transceiver coverage radius
  • Node mobility and secure roaming
  • Node authentication and security using shared-key encryption
  • Over-the-air ("touch free") remote node configuration
  • Hundreds to millions of nodes per base transceiver

Iocast offers significant benefits where cellular coverage is not reliable, or where NFPA-1221 or similar standards preclude use of cellular networks. Iocast can also deliver a cost advantage over LTE-M where a high node density can be served by a few base transceivers, and practical advantages over NB-IOT where mobility is required.

  • Patient Monitoring and Clinical Alarms
  • Public Safety Dispatch and Alerting
  • Public Works and Utilities
  • Fleet Vehicle and Asset Tracking
  • Public Transportation Systems
  • Microtransportation Systems
  • Environmental and Water Monitoring
  • Mining and Pipeline Management
  • Oil Field Monitoring
  • Radiation Monitoring
  • Rail and Shipping Container Tracking
  • Perimeter Security

What is Iocast?

Iocast is a Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology, designed to enable communications with low-energy objects such as sensors, monitors, and tracking devices. Iocast is unique in its use of LMR channels but has other benefits such as full bidirectional communications, support for both low-power nodes and low-latency nodes, and MAC-level multicast.

What is the Iocast air protocol?

The Iocast air protocol is a synchronous, centrally arbitrated physical layer based on dedicated send-receive channels, with a PHY layer similar to that of digital mobile radio. Base transceivers are "always on" devices that provide coordination, synchronization, and control, while nodes are low-power devices that sleep between packet bursts.

Why use LMR channels?

Land Mobile Radio channels offer two big advantages. First, the FCC makes this type of channel available to private enterprise on an exclusive basis, at relatively low cost. Second, these channels have a fixed, low noise floor that greatly improves overall system performance. Additionally, narrowband channels generally have other advantages which can be seen here.

How do I get an authorization to deploy an Iocast system?

For a private system, the FCC maintains several pools of private, wide-area LMR channels available to commercial enterprise for a small filing and coordination fee. To become a service provider, you may need a different kind of license, which varies in cost according to location and geographical size.