Wireless communication protocols in smart agriculture: A review on applications, challenges and future trends

Avşar E., Mowla M. N.

AD HOC NETWORKS, vol.136, pp.1-25, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 136
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.adhoc.2022.102982
  • Journal Name: AD HOC NETWORKS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Applied Science & Technology Source, Communication Abstracts, Compendex, Computer & Applied Sciences, INSPEC, Metadex, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-25
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


IoT based smart agriculture systems are important for efficient usage of lands, water, and energy resources. Wireless communication protocols constitute a critical part of smart agriculture systems because the fields, in general, cover a large area requiring system components to be placed at distant locations. There are various communication protocols with different features that can be utilized in smart agriculture applications. When designing a smart agriculture system, it is required to carefully consider the features of possible protocols to make a suitable and optimal selection. Therefore, this review paper aims to underline the specifications of the wireless communication protocols that are widely used in smart agriculture applications. Furthermore, application-specific requirements, which may be useful during the design stage of the smart agriculture systems, are highlighted. To accomplish these aims, this paper compares the technical properties and investigates the practical applications of five different wireless communication protocols that are commonly used in IoT applications: ZigBee, Wi-Fi, Sigfox, NB-IoT, and LoRaWAN. In particular, the inconsistencies in the technical properties of these protocols reported in different resources have been highlighted and the reason for this situation has been discussed. Considering the features offered by the protocols and the requirements of smart agriculture applications, the appropriateness of a particular protocol to a particular smart agriculture application is examined. In addition, issues about cost, communication quality, and hardware of the five protocols have been mentioned. The trending technologies with high potential for the future applications of smart agriculture have been introduced. In this context, the relation of the technologies like aerial systems, cellular communication, and big data analytics with wireless have been specified. Finally, the leading protocol and the smart agriculture application area have been highlighted through observing the year-based distribution of the recent publications. It has been shown that usage of LoRaWAN protocol has become more widespread in recent years.