Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz : 6 Differences

The Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz RF battle! Who will win?

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Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz RF: Comparison Summary

You understand what is Sub 1 Ghz and you are looking to resolve the Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz debate. You have come to the right place.
This detailed graph below shows the major differences between Sub-1 Ghz and 2.4Ghz RF.

Feature Sub 1 Ghz Vswireless Sub 1Ghz RF for IOT 2.4Ghz
2.4Ghz
Range Sub 1 Ghz is better. Long Range mode can give upto 10km Range  Range in 2.4Ghz Not as good as Sub 1 Ghz
Compatibility Many Proprietary standards Many Existing Standards in 2.4Ghz
Antenna Size Higher Size for Sub 1 Ghz Lower Size for 2.4Ghz
Interference Lesser devices in Sub 1 Ghz means much lower interference More Interference in 2.4 Ghz
Performance in non clear line of sight Sub 1 Ghz waves can squeeze around buildings better Range not as good with obstructions

Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz : Detailed Comparison

Here is a detailed comparison of Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz with respect to a number of factors.

1Range of Sub 1 Ghz is better than 2.4Ghz

Firstly, lets understand why Sub 1 Ghz has a better range.
Assume the transmission starts at A with a power Pa and is received by B with a power Pb. Pb is directly proportional to Pa and inversely proportional to the square of the frequency and the distance. As a result, Sub 1 Ghz transmissions have a higher range for the same data rate compared to 2.4Ghz due to the lower frequency.

As a result, an additional repeater may be needed for the 2.4Ghz transmission,given the same distance

2Compatibility: 2.4Ghz is more established

Sub 1 Ghz loses the compatibility side of the Sub 1 Ghz vs 2.4Ghz debate. Our world is currently ruled by 2.4Ghz.Almost every IOT device that communicates thru RF uses 2.4Ghz. 2.4Ghz has been around for a long time and there are standards for almost every protocol. In comparison, Sub 1 Ghz proprietory technologies exist for many protocols.

3Antenna Size & Cost : Both Sub 1 Ghz and 2.4Ghz have their good points

Sub 1 Ghz needs a larger antenna size compared to 2.4Ghz. Any cost implications as a result of this, are offset in long ranges. Long range transmission may need a repeater for 2.4Ghz and this could once again tilt the cost calculations in the favor of Sub 1 Ghz.

4Interference: Sub 1 Ghz handles interference better than 2.4Ghz

Firstly, the Sub 1 Ghz band is less crowded compared to the popular 2.4Ghz frequency band. Too many devices are 2.4Ghz compatible and this makes interference a big problem for 2.4Ghz

Secondly, Sub 1 Ghz transmissions are good at weaving between obstructions such as buildings. As a result, Sub 1 Ghz transmissions can handle interference better

5Which modules are better to develop an IOT prototype: Sub 1 Ghz or 2.4Ghz?

Sub 1 Ghz has some fantastic modules and dev kits, and so does 2.4Ghz. One option to consider are modules and dev kits that are dual band and can work with a variety of frequencies. The Texas Instruments CC1350 Sensor Tag Kit is one such dual band dev kit that works with both Sub 1 Ghz and 2.4Ghz

6Applications for Sub 1 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz

2.4 Ghz speakers

The Sub 1 Ghz Vs 2.4Ghz debate isn’t settled yet, but there are some clear winners in terms of applications. Sub 1 Ghz is now a favorite for smart meters due to its ability to handle interference in industrial environments and range. 2.4 Ghz remains a favorite for home appliances such as printers and refrigerators that work well with Wifi and other standard protocols.

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