The growing trend of IoT and Machine to Machine (M2M) communication is fuelling the global IoT LPWANs market.
Internet of Things Low Power Wide Area Networks (IoT LPWANs) is a technology that connects low-bandwidth and low-power devices with a low bit rate over long ranges.
IoT LPWANs have major applications in M2M communication. The major advantages of using IoT LPWANs are that they operate at low cost and have greater power efficiency as compared to traditional mobile networks. IoT LPWANs support a large number of connected devices over a wide area.
- The data rates of IoT LPWANs range from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps per channel.
- IoT LPWANs accommodate packet sizes from 10 bytes to 1,000 bytes with uplinks of up to 200 kbps.
- Depending upon the technology, the range of IoT LPWANs varies from 2km to 1,000km.
- Most of the IoT LPWANs use star topology, which is similar to Wi-Fi, where each endpoint is connected to a common central access point.
IoT LPWANs are broadly classified as cellular IoT LPWANs and wireless IoT LPWANs.
Cellular IoT LPWANs
Cellular IoT LPWANs use licensed spectrum. Examples of cellular IoT LPWANs are LTE category M1 and NB-IoT.
Wireless IoT LPWANs
Wireless IoT LPWANs make use of unlicensed frequency bands. Along with licensed and unlicensed frequency, they also include open standards or proprietary options.
The proprietary unlicensed Sigfox IoT LPWANs are the most commonly deployed IoT LPWANs. Sigfox IoT LPWANs run over the public network in 868 MHz or 902 MHz bands. The ultra-narrowband technology allows only a single operator per country. Sigfox IoT LPWANs deliver messages over 35-50km in rural areas, 3-10km in urban areas, and up to 1,000km in line-of-site applications. The packet size of Sigfox IoT LPWANs is limited to 150 messages for 12 bytes per day. Downlink packets are smaller compared to Uplink with 4 messages of 8 bytes per day.
Ingenu Inc. offers Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA), a proprietary of IoT LPWANs. They have a shorter range of up to 50km of line of sight and 5-10km non-line of sight. RPMA IoT LPWANs offer improved bidirectional communication as compared to Sigfox IoT LPWANs. Since they run in the 2.4 GHz spectrum, they are prone to interface from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and other physical structures. They also consume high power as compared to other IoT LPWANs.
The unlicensed LoRa IoT LPWANs transmit in several sub-gigahertz frequencies, thus making them less prone to an interface. LoRa IoT LPWANs allow users to define packet size. LoRa IoT LPWANs are Media Access Control (MAC) layer protocols that manage communication between gateways and IoT LPWANs devices. Weightless SIG has developed three IoT LPWANs standards, i.e., unidirectional weightless-N, weightless-W, and bi-directional weightless-P. Several developments in IoT LPWANs with reference to communication technology, the steady growth of the market, as well as recent developments & innovations are among factors expected to drive the global IoT LPWANs market during the forecast period.
IoT LPWANs Market: Drivers and challenges
The high adoption of IoT and M2M across the industry is fuelling the global IoT LPWANs market. Other factors expected to drive the global IoT LPWANs market are government projects such as smart cities, asset tracking, gas metering, the process of real-time tracking, and others. The increasing demand for long-range connectivity with precise bandwidth, improved battery life, low power consumption, and low-cost communication is expected to contribute significantly to the growth of the global IoT LPWANs market.
However, the threat of data hacking and security concerns due to open standards IoT LPWANs are hindering the global growth of the IoT LPWANs market. Vendors are continuously focused on the improvement of the security of data and are expected to overcome this challenge by the end of the forecast period.
Some of the key players in the IoT LPWANs market are:
Semtech Corporation, Guangdong Dapu Communication Technology Co., Ltd., HOPE Microelectronics CO., Ltd., Embit s.r.l., IMST GmbH; LINK LABS, Libelium Comunicaciones Distribuidas S.L., Laird Technologies, MultiTech Systems, Inc., Murata Manufacturing Co., Microchip Technology Inc., Nemeus, NiceRF Wireless Technology Co., Ltd., MANTHINK Corporation, GlobalSat WorldCom Corporation, and others.