As demand for Internet of Things solutions continues to accelerate, Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies are disrupting existing wireless IoT technologies while enabling new applications and services, according to global technology research firm ON World.
Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director, says:
“While many of the initial LPWAN products are focused on replacing cellular technologies, the largest opportunities are enterprise IoT solutions using unlicensed wireless technologies such as ZigBee, Thread, Bluetooth and WiFi. Therefore, LPWANs will disrupt existing technologies for some markets but the majority of LPWAN connections will be for unique solutions.”
Today, $10 LPWAN radios are capable of ten-mile ranges with 10-year battery lifetimes. However, the most disruptive aspect of LPWANs is that end node complexity is off loaded to the cloud, simplifying installation, maintenance, application development and integration.
ON World’s April 2016 survey with IoT developers found that:
- 59% are researching, pilot testing or developing LPWAN solutions
- Two in five are developing new LPWAN solutions that cannot be done with other wireless technologies and one third are targeting existing applications that use other wireless techologies
Enterprise and industrial LPWAN applications available on the market include the following:
- Smart campuses and smart construction sites by SmartSensor Labs
- A digital software platform for collecting and sharing IoT information by Intent Technologies
- An open development and integration platform by relayer
- Smart buttons by The Button Corporation
- Remote asset monitoring by Oceasoft, SENET and Worldsensing
- Smart crop systems by Libelium, Weenat and Yzatec
- Animal health monitoring by Quantified Ag
- Asset tracking by HidnSeek, Sensolus, Senso Wave and Traqueur
LPWAN solutions are ramping up with LPWAN networks rolling out worldwide. Standards developments are accelerating with hundreds of participating companies in initiatives and industry groups such as the LoRa Alliance, SigFox Partner Network, Weightless SIG, 3GPP NB-IoT and GSMA’s Mobile IoT.
By 2025, there will be nearly 1 billion connected wireless sensors/actuators, asset trackers and other wireless smart devices for building automation and other enterprise IoT solutions. LPWAN solutions will be the fastest growing wireless technology and will make up the majority of new applications and services over the next decade.
By 2025, there will be over a quarter billion LPWAN devices installed worldwide for smart building, industrial, agriculture and logistics applications. The majority of these will be new applications that are not feasible with other technologies.