Key Differences Between Serial and Ethernet Networks

The Oil & Gas industry is being challenged to maximize their investment in the capability of its wireless infrastructure. Current economic pressures are making competitiveness and profitability more important than ever.

Migrating existing SCADA networks from Serial to Ethernet allows for industry standardization while maximizing investment in existing licenses and antenna infrastructure. Production and field personnel are adapting to the demands from IT for network protocols such as IP (Internet Protocol) thus allowing them the ability to take advantage of remote management and security. Overall, IP is more convenient for all, especially in the area of remote diagnostics.

Serial is Simple and Efficient

  • Simplicity: Serial is simple to configure and the field trades are familiar with the technology.
  • Efficiency: Serial has low overhead, resulting in Low Latency.

Ethernet is More Flexible

  • Ethernet allows for interfacing to the  IT management and security systems, such as 128 bit encryption.
  • Ethernet offers advanced functionality and tools such as Telnet, SNMP Management, and packet forwarding.
  • Ethernet interfaces are standardized.
  • Mixed multiple data streams and protocols are easier to implement on Ethernet.
  • Licensed UHF radios offering Ethernet capability now support QAM modulation for greater throughput, distances and reliability.
  • Higher data rates.
  • Prioritized data packets for QoS.


IP based solutions make your SCADA network future-proof, particularly important today as the SCADA world becomes more complex, with growing security concerns and environmental performance requirements. Incorporating comprehensive multi-layered security and based upon industry standards, the modern SCADA radio networks support all your serial, IP and Ethernet RTUs and improves network efficiency and performance.

If you have any questions regarding Serial vs Ethernet, or how to maximize your investment in wireless infrastructure, feel free to contact me directly.

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