An Empirical Analysis Using the SIM7020 Module


The expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT) has created a need for reliable and fault-tolerant communication networks. However, ensuring consistent signal quality and power efficiency has proven to be challenging. This study evaluated the performance of Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) communications using the SIM7020 module connected to a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B, focusing on signal quality across indoor, outdoor, urban and rural areas. Supervised machine learning for indoor localisation based on Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) has been introduced, for example, to enhance NB-IoT performance. However, this and other approaches have encountered difficulties in mobile and obstructed environments, including signal attenuation, connectivity variability and increased power consumption. The objective of this study was to analyse NB-IoT signal strength and power consumption, providing guidance for deploying real-time communication IoT applications. Empirical data was analysed to understand the RSSI and Cellular Signal Quality (CSQ) in different locations. Signal quality in urban and outdoor environments was prone to fluctuations due to mobility and interference, whereas rural areas had weaker but more consistent signals. Indoor environments suffered from significant signal attenuation. The results emphasise the importance of improved handover mechanisms and adaptive deployment strategies to ensure reliable connectivity across various IoT applications.