LPWA: disruptive new networks for IoT

26 November 2015
Report type: Strategy Report
Author(s): Aapo Markkanen
Keywords: M2M, Machine-to-Machine, IoT, Internet of Things, LPWA, Low Power Wide Area, connectivity, CSPs, Communication Service Providers, MNOs, Mobile Network Operators, telcos, telecoms, networks, cellular, LoRa, LoRaWAN, UNB, Ultra Narrow Band, RPMA, CIoT, Cellular IoT, NB-LTE, NarrowBand LTE, Weightless, 3GPP, standards, standardization, NB-IoT, NarrowBand IoT, LTE, MTC, EC-GSM, 5G, low bandwidth, ISM band, spectrum, unlicensed, regulation, short range, Wi-Fi, 802.11ah Thread, Zigbee, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, battery life, data rate, throughput, application design, developers, enterprise, OEMs, chipsets, proprietary, MAC, PHY, Accellus, Actility, Helium Systems, Ingenu, On-Ramp Wireless, Kerlink, Lace, Link Labs, M2Communication, M2M Spectrum Networks, MultiTech Systems, Nwave Technologies, Qowisio, Semtech Corporation, Sigfox, Stream Technologies, Telensa, Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, Altair Semiconductor, Sequans Communications, u-blox, Neul, Vodafone, Bouygues, Orange, France Telecom, KPN, Swisscom, FastNet, Telkom, SK Telecom, Tata Communications, Proximus, Belgacom, Samsung, Kamstrup, Silver Spring Networks, Samsara
Number of Pages: 46

Having coined the term back in 2013, Machina Research has for a long time identified the emergence of LPWA networks as one of the most far-reaching trends in M2M and IoT, and in the course of 2015 these technologies have truly come of age. At the moment, practically every technology supplier, service provider, and enterprise that can be regarded as the cutting edge of IoT is trying to understand how LPWA will enable, or impact, its business.

The purpose of this report is to serve as an overview of the current state of the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies. While Machina Research provides continuous and uniquely extensive coverage of the topic in the form of forecasts, Research Notes, as well as webinars and on-site presentations, there is also a need for a capstone-style Strategy Report that captures the most important industry dynamics and competitive developments in this fast-evolving market.

The report has three main sections. The first one includes an updated definition of LPWA – explaining what it actually is in the form of the defining criteria and additional characteristics. As well, the section breaks LPWA down to the different subsets that this technology domain comprises.

The second section of the report provides a descriptive analysis of the most significant LPWA technologies and the ecosystem that supports them. It is followed by profiles of leading ecosystem players, with a focus on the so-called dedicated LPWA vendors. These are companies that have been specifically founded to take advantage of the LPWA opportunity, or for whom LPWA has recently become the primary growth area.

The report’s third section consists of commentary on a number of market issues that are currently subject to a level of confusion, and that in Machina Research’s view warrant clarifying commentary. These include spectrum use, deployment models, battery life, and downlink capability. In addition, this section presents also four scenarios that Machina Research regards as the most probable for the future evolution of LPWA.

Finally, the report will end with the conclusions of the analysis, and recommendations that Machina Research has for various parts of the ecosystem.

Keywords: M2M, Machine-to-Machine, IoT, Internet of Things, LPWA, Low Power Wide Area, connectivity, CSPs, Communication Service Providers, MNOs, Mobile Network Operators, telcos, telecoms, networks, cellular, LoRa, LoRaWAN, UNB, Ultra Narrow Band, RPMA, CIoT, Cellular IoT, NB-LTE, NarrowBand LTE, Weightless, 3GPP, standards, standardization, NB-IoT, NarrowBand IoT, LTE, MTC, EC-GSM, 5G, low bandwidth, ISM band, spectrum, unlicensed, regulation, short range, Wi-Fi, 802.11ah Thread, Zigbee, Bluetooth, 802.15.4, battery life, data rate, throughput, application design, developers, enterprise, OEMs, chipsets, proprietary, MAC, PHY

Companies covered in this report: Accellus, Actility, Helium Systems, Ingenu, On-Ramp Wireless, Kerlink, Lace, Link Labs, M2Communication, M2M Spectrum Networks, MultiTech Systems, Nwave Technologies, Qowisio, Semtech Corporation, Sigfox, Stream Technologies, Telensa, Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Intel, Nokia, Altair Semiconductor, Sequans Communications, u-blox, Neul, Vodafone, Bouygues, Orange, France Telecom, KPN, Swisscom, FastNet, Telkom, SK Telecom, Tata Communications, Proximus, Belgacom, Samsung, Kamstrup, Silver Spring Networks, Samsara

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