4 Bn IoT Devices To Rely On LPWANs By 2025: Study

by CXOtoday News Desk    Dec 15, 2016



With the spate of IoT devices becoming increasingly common, LPWANs (Low-Powered Wide Area Networks) will be the segment that will herald the technology into the future. According to a research by ABI Research, by the year 2025, there will be 4 billion IoT devices, which will be dependent on LPWANs for power, and will also translate into 1 billion chipset shipments across the world. In terms of business volume, this figure is said to be upwards of $2 billion in itself.

Samuel McLaughlin, Research Analyst at ABI Research commented, “The success, or otherwise, of different LPWAN technologies at stake will much depend on the market they are targeting case by case.Regardless of the targeted use case, LPWAN technology suppliers should aim to create solid ecosystems around their technologies by either partnering with service platform providers or building one of their own. Otherwise, they will face serious hurdles in this fast-moving and highly competitive market.”

While some technologies, mainly those operating in unlicensed spectrum, will continue to perform well in specific segments, notably utility and energy management, as well as in retail applications, other technologies will better suit service providers who want to address many segments using the same infrastructure.

Smart cities, smart homes, smart buildings, and industrial IoT applications are prime examples of such segments. Operators including Orange and SK Telecom are deploying various technologies operating in both licensed and unlicensed spectrums with the ultimate goal being to build service platforms that are agnostic to the access technology used. Their aim is to play the various LPWAN technologies at their strengths, depending on the market segment targeted.”

ABI Research finds the utility and energy management market will hold the largest share of the LPWAN market through 2025 due to the fact that the application requirements of smart electricity, water, and gas meters match fundamental characteristics of LPWAN technologies, such as long battery life, wide coverage area, and higher link budget. Moving forward, the market will expand to include best-fit use cases for all LPWAN technologies, with smart street lighting and smart parking applications also forecast to see significant shipments.

Demystifying LPWLANs

As the definition as published on Waviot, “LPWAN is low-power wide-area network also known as LPWA Network, is a new type of radio technology used for wireless data communication, in different Internet of Thing applications and M2M (machine-to-machine) solutions. Key features inherent in the technology are the long range of communication, low bit rate and small power budget of transmission.” Along with the basic features mentioned here, there are different characteristics which make, LPWAN a near perfect solution for IoT, especially industrial IoT because:

- The range of devices on a LPWAN go from 5 to 50 Km in a wirless network, and they would be seamlessly connected, without any disconnections from the network.

- Even with the use of lower power, data transmission between devices could vary between a few bits per second to 100 bits/sec. This means, a multitude of devices of varying capacities could be connected to one another.

- Ideal to make on a large scale, at the components can be bought and put together at a lower cost, so when implemented on a larger scale, overall costs could be kept in check.

- Even though their is low latency, it does not affect the IoT apps by much because latency is not such a big parameter here.

- Lesser number of access points needed when being implemented over a large area. Access points could be base stations or gateways, each of whom can cover wider and larger areas due to the geographical reach.

According to details published on Morpho, there could be multiple use cases in industries including assisted living, medical systems, critical infrastructures and automotive-related infrastructures must have a constant 24/7 survey of the devices’ integrity. Such activity can only be performed thanks to a combination between tamper-proof storage of credentials (identity keys) along with a secure remote device administration layer. In other words, if built-in credentials and security features, LPWAN can find practical uses in multiple industries, which can be customized and built as per need.