Lightweight M2M or MQTT: Choosing the Right IoT Protocol for Your Needs

real time
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Choose a solution that considers your communication needs between your edge devices and your system and enables you to manage and troubleshoot those devices. It has been widely used in agriculture, manufacturing, and telemetry markets. On the other hand, LwM2M is a new, state-of-the-art architecture built by IoT industry practitioners. Use Protobuf for the messages no matter they are Request/Response or even event messages pushed by the IoT device.

It makes the interaction between devices efficient, whatever the number of devices there is. The technology is over twenty years and it is commonly used in communication networks of different types. The Internet of Things is one of the most popular application fields for this protocol. Here, we will provide insight into MQTT and its use in IoT applications. We will talk about the strong and weak points of this messaging standard and compare it with other competing technologies.

  • Although it may look complete I have been vaguely following gRPC and it is really brand spanking new.
  • These protocols cover everything from authentication, signalling, security, data transfer, flow control to error detection and handling.
  • The platform’s overall design access capacity reaches hundred-million levels.
  • OMA Lightweight M2M , built by the Open Mobile Alliance, is a light, fast and structured protocol, ideal for low-capacity devices.

Released in 1999, MQTT initially emerged to link sensors on oil pipelines and communications satellites. While it’s evolved over the past few decades, its original developers at IBM certainly did not have IoT use cases in view when they designed it. By choosing the right technology protocol, IoT developers will help enterprises bring their IoT solutions to market faster, save ongoing development and management costs, and future-proof their IoT solutions.

Both MQTT and LwM2M are standard protocols that help exchange data between devices, systems, sensors, and applications. LwM2M or Lightweight M2M, an open protocol for IoT device management. LwM2M interoperates with CoAP as it is light and energy-efficient and is often used for constrained devices. There are many available LwM2M specifications, SDKs, and implementations. STOMP (Simple Text Oriented Message Protocol), a TCP-based text protocol that is very similar to HTTP. We used MQTT as a light and energy-efficient communication protocol in ourcustomizable GPS tracking solution.

Although MQTT and LwM2M protocols have a number of differences, they are both suitable for device management that is resource-constrained. Security of data communication especially during provisioning or device management is crucial for IoT solutions. IoT systems are often plagued by proprietary vendor solutions and systems.

MachNation has spoken with many enterprises that are debating the use of LwM2M and MQTT for their IoT deployments. Based on these discussions, MachNation discovered three common themes. Application of MQTT protocol in oil & gas industry This article will explain in detail how the MQTT protocol works in the real-world application scenarios of the oil industry. • XMPP Protocol is open source that uses XML to define interactions between clients and servers. • XMPP is a distributed system where each server controls its own resources. • All XMPP information is based on XML, it is the de facto standard of information exchange with high scalability.

MQTT features a data and device management model that is clear-cut. Ideal for lightweight devices and sensor networks with low-power capacity. Both protocols, AMQP and MQTT, have features and opportunities to provide reliable messaging. They run on TCP and apply QoS to provide stable and ensured data transfer.

As part of this study, AT&T and AVSystem supplied technology and technology advice to support testing, reviewed drafts of this whitepaper, and provided edits. ZigBee technology has such outstanding advantages as low power consumption, large node capacity, short time delay, safety, and reliability, which can meet the application requirements of smart home. It is the core wireless networking connection technology of Smart Home. Thanks to the rapid development of the Smart Home market, the number of Smart Home Devices applying ZigBee technology is constantly increasing.

IoT Applications Which Use MQTT Protocol

We created a testing environment to measure latency and throughput. These are the measurable parameters that highlight a protocol’s performance. But it puts a strong emphasis on message delivery that adds overhead and makes it high compared to MQTT. To get a true picture of the performance and relevance of the MQTT protocol for Internet of Things, let’s put things into perspective. To improve authentication, you need to modify the protocol, and therefore the broker. Since an off-the-shelf broker does not allow for such modifications, you will have to deploy your own broker and customize it.

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Other protocols, such as HTTP, CoAP, AMQP have similar functionality. For example, you can use a firewall for the broker security on the network level. Or you can use encryption algorithms to make MQTT secure on the application level. Implementation of end-to-end encryption enables confidential messaging between clients.


IoT private TCP protocol service migration EMQX provides a complete IoT private TCP protocol access solution through server adaptation and device-side adaptation. XMPP features a mature protocol and extensions, and is designed specifically for instant messaging scenarios. XMPP is the oldest IM protocol, and lM programs like Google Hangouts, WhatsApp Messenger, and others are based on XMPP.

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MQTT is built to run over MQTT-SN and TCP/IP networks to provide bi-directional connection. It helps set APN and other features, such as cellular connectivity along with rebooting, activating, and disabling the device. By sending a declaration of withdrawal to the following email address As a form of contact I choose electronic messages and/or a phone call . Hi, the device we have is not too constrained; you can think of it like a raspberry pi. Protobuf & its IDL are a really helpful way to define and govern our APIs in a centralized way. Google’s api-linter as well as AIPs are high quality resources for keeping everything sane.

Digital twin development

For larger, more complex, longer-lived lwm2m vs mqtts with managed devices, LWM2M is the protocol that enterprises should consider. While deciding the right protocol for sending essential data from your connected devices to your application, the question is not whether you use MQTT or LwM2M. From the above description, you can see that both protocols were designed for different and specific purposes. So if your application needs a higher payload of data to be sent, you might choose MQTT and will have to implement functionalities like device provisioning, OTA on top of it. On the other hand, if the application needs to monitor critical statuses on the device, as well as needs the convenience of lightweight device management, you might want to choose LwM2M.

Smart metering and product quality monitoring solutions to industrial automation environments and autonomous vehicles – these are examples of large-scale IoT deployments. At the other end, there is LwM2M with its fresh, state-of-the-art architecture co-developed by IoT industry practitioners, reinforcing its market position in leaps and bounds. Generate our own stubs based on the IDL to create our own wrapper over CoAP and nanopb code. Unary calls are supported and also server streaming by leveraging this to the CoAP observable mechanisms. Although it may look complete I have been vaguely following gRPC and it is really brand spanking new.

It needs to be added that all of this is done without stifling the LwM2M protocol’s performance. One of the most important technology protocols is the one that facilitates platform-to-device communications and, in some cases, supports management of IoT devices. LwM2M and MQTT are two of the most common protocols that enterprise IoT developers consider to solve these challenges.


It is necessary to have a proper device management solution that is directly available from the IoT platform vendor used by an enterprise. Modern versions of MQTT include end-to-end encryption for Transport Layer Security , session persistence, and Quality of Service . Because it is client-server based, MQTT can publish messages to a broker and receive messages by subscribing to a broker-related issue. MQTT enables data exchange between sensors, middleware, and IoT apps. Z o.o., Radzikowskiego 47D, Cracow is the controller of your personal data. We will process your personal data to contact you in response to your message.

  • must be present in the same directory where you will run this program.
  • Supporting LwM2M is simply the latest evolutionary step in Telit’s long-term technology journey.
  • SSE uses HTTP as a transport protocol and provides one-way communication from server to client.
  • Having used both LWM2M and grPC, I would say that gRPC is more developer friendly; interface definition and implementation is fast,compared to OMA LWM2M process.Of course there is no Observer-Notify in gRPC, but for that MQTT should suffice.

MQTT message structureDepending on the CPU capabilities, MQTT can connect many thousands or even millions of devices. It has low system requirements and high compatibility with Internet-connected applications. Like any other binary protocol, MQTT has an edge over text protocols in machine-to-machine communication.

The server then uses REST APIs to perform either of the above functions. The common structure under all the above functions is a client – server model. The specific features and capabilities of technology are not the only considerations when choosing an IoT protocol. The backend technology must be secure, scalable, reliable and future-proof.

quality of service

MQTT is a strong competitor in the field of data transfer and network communication, although it is not number one at every point. The publisher hardware ran on a single-core processor with an operating frequency of 700 MHz and 512 MB of RAM. The payload size of each message that we sent using the protocols was 64 KB.

LWM2M is not just the interface but defines behavior in lot of IoT cases like BootStrap, Registration, KeepAlive , SW Upgrade etc and its universal HTTP like GET, PUT on an URL type addressable resource makes it very complete. However most of these behaviors can be custom defined with some effort. Having used both LWM2M and grPC, I would say that gRPC is more developer friendly; interface definition and implementation is fast,compared to OMA LWM2M process.Of course there is no Observer-Notify in gRPC, but for that MQTT should suffice. OMA-DM, also built by the Open Mobile Alliance, but more oriented to mobile applications. For enterprises that are looking to quickly and easily create a proof-of-concept , today’s ecosystem around MQTT makes it much easier than the ecosystem around LwM2M.

After carefully evaluating a variety of technologies and their applicability to several use cases, Telit is incorporating LwM2M within more and more of our solutions and services. For example, LwM2M support is deeply integrated intoTelit OneEdge™, our suite of software and tools that ensure secure cellular IoT deployment is easy to manage. Supporting LwM2M is simply the latest evolutionary step in Telit’s long-term technology journey. It is a perfect choice for more complicated and large-scale IoT applications involving heterogeneous hardware deployments. In an increasingly chaotic IoT landscape, standard protocols help exchange data between different sensors, gateways, modules and devices. Both LwM2M and MQTT are standard protocols that have gained prominence in IoT in the last few years and for a good reason.

Functions of MQTT

An already solved problem by nanopb which is a protobuf wire compatible C code generator for embedded systems. The thing I would miss in gRPC for IoT are the MQTT MQ capabilities like queueing of messages, broker bridging QoS Parameter. In this context gRPC is “just” an RPC framework which assumes to be always connected over TCP.


CoAP Protocol emerges as the times require, in order to make this part of devices connect to the network smoothly. The platform’s overall design access capacity reaches hundred-million levels. NB-IoT develops rapidly from 2017 to 2018, and many operators around the world have achieved commercial deployment. The low cost, low power consumption, and wide coverage of NB-IoT enable users to implement new scenarios and new applications that traditional cellular networks cannot support. MQTT is particularly known for fast data transfer, especially when it comes to one-to-many message distribution, which allows users to take necessary steps proactively in real-time. Nevertheless, system complexity and network architecture play a role as well.

This type of device needs to go to the Cloud through TCP/IP Protocol after gateway conversion. From the application perspective of the protocol in the IoT system, we can divide the protocol into Cloud Protocol and Gateway Protocol. Sufficient documentation and a strong developer community that simplify MQTT protocol implementation. To provide a clearer picture of MQTT performance in comparison with its alternatives, we carried out our own benchmark analysis.

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The current protocol that addresses the specific requirements of LPWA technologies best is Lightweight Machine-to-Machine , created by the Open Mobile Alliance . LwM2M answers the needs of low-power 4G because it was designed with resource-constrained devices in mind. It includes ready-to-use standard objects and device connectivity monitoring, and it supports firmware over-the-air and software over-the-air updates. Since its introduction, LwM2M has been adopted by the U.S.’s top cellular carriers. It has become a common choice for conditions-based IoT monitoring, which relies on triggered events to send out notifications (e.g., when a gas tank is running low or a security sensor detects a problem).

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