Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology with multi-mile ranges and multi-year battery lifetimes has created a growing smart city developer opportunity, according to a recently published report by global Internet of Things (IoT) research firm ON World.
Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director, says:
“In the last few years, city IT administrators have been leveraging Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud services and infrastructures. LPWANs with integrated cloud stacks and simplified networking leverages this trend. This cloud centric approach greatly simplifies installation, networking and web integration that significantly drives down service costs for smart cities.”
For the past decade, smart city IoT development consisted of retrofitting existing wireless protocols with traditional information technologies. The next ten years will see enormous intelligent city IoT growth as smart devices, sensors, cloud infrastructure and LPWANs transform city services. City residents are driving smart city solutions, as they demand more efficient, less costly services and quality of life enhancements such as electric vehicle and bike-friendly transportation systems, location monitoring of people places and things, parking assistance and pollution-monitored environments.
The LPWAN ecosystem is experiencing exponential growth with several standards initiatives and nation-wide network rollouts of LoRa, SigFox and RPMA. By 2025, there will be 152 million LPWAN connections for smart water networks, transportation, waste management, environmental monitoring and public safety up from less than 4 million in 2015.
ON World identified 100+ companies that currently offer or are developing LPWAN products and services and many are targeting smart cities. A few of these include established OEMs and smart grid platform providers such as Endetec Homerider Systems, Honeywell, Itron and Trilliant as well as a growing number of startups and newer entrants such as Enevo, Flashnet, Libelium, Telensa, Urbiotica and Worldsensing.