LPWAN Progress: Are We There Yet?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • Operators were racing to roll out LPWAN networks in 2017, with the aim of generating massive numbers of new IoT deals and new connections.
  • The LPWA World event in London on May 22 and 23 may help provide a reality check on market traction.

The agenda for LPWA World this week in London provides some clues about the burning issues that need to be addressed, as the networks that mobile operators built out in 2017 are now in place and looking for action. Nearly every major operator offering IoT services and some that are new to the game got on the LPWAN bandwagon in 2017, as the market for inexpensive, energy- and battery-efficient technologies to support low-bandwidth IoT use cases looked hugely promising. The hope was (and remains) that many companies that wanted to deploy IoT for mobile use cases but couldn’t afford the high cost of traditional 3G/4G cellular networks would flock to these new fit-for-purpose low-cost/low-power networks. The operators also see potential new growth opportunities in market segments they haven’t been able to penetrate well, such as smart cities/smart lighting and agriculture. While some providers are offering non-standardized networks based on LoRa and SigFox, most mobile operators launched NB-IoT and LTE-M in 2017. Continue reading “LPWAN Progress: Are We There Yet?”