According to IDC, the global IoT market size is expected to exceed 930 billion in 2017 with the total number of installed devices reaching 30 billion in the next three years. With all these devices rely heavily on wireless technologies for effective two-way communication, GSMA forecasted that there will be over one billion devices connected over low-power wide area network (LPWAN) by the end of 2018.
As IoT applications exploded, numerous LPWAN technologies have emerged to enable long range, low power consumption transmission of small data between IoT devices. Although the traditional cellular network is also capable of long range communications, its high power consumption and unstable coverage affected by the density of base stations deployed has made LPWAN a more cost effective, efficient and ideal option to use in the IoT era. Currently there are at least six wireless technologies developed, but the LPWAN market is mainly dominated by three technologies: NB-IOT, LoRa and Sigfox, with each supported by the prestigious firms.
LPWAN: NB-IOT, LoRa, Sigfox
LPWAN technologies can be divided into two groups: ones that use licensed spectrum, such as NB-IOT and eMTC, and the others that use unlicensed spectrum like LoRa and Sigfox.
NB-IOT, which works in the same spectrum as LTE, unsurprisingly, has gained the most popularity from mobile network operators across the globe because it can be quickly and easily deployed on the existing cellular networks without additional infrastructure investment while ensuring security and reliability. With more than one hundred mobile network operators investing in this technology, the global NB-IOT market is expected to reach 321 million in 2017 and growing to 822.1 million in 2022, attaining a CAGR of 91.3%. As the result, chipset manufacturers are actively preparing for the rising demand. With its inherent characteristics of low data rate, wide coverage, low consumption and flexible installation, NB-IoT is applicable in smart parking, smart home and smart healthcare.
Endorsed primarily by ICT companies, LoRa and Sigfox have the greatest competitive advantage of licensing free channels, especially in the private network. Operating on wide spectrum, LoRa has a higher and faster throughput than Sigfox, which makes it suitable for monitoring and transmitting data at manufacturing bases. On the other hand, Sigfox has a low data rate of 100 bits per second with extremely low power consumption, which makes it preferable for monitoring and detecting landslide and sewage. Out of all, LoRa is the most popular and has a comprehensive ecosystem formed by more than 400 companies in its alliance. However, unlike LoRa that requires partners to use only Semtech manufactured chip, Sigfox’s partners are allowed to produce chips under agreed terms, and such flexibility is in fact gradually attracting more companies to join its ecosystem.
With the IoT market growing exponentially and driving demand for network communication equipment, Secutech 2018 will highlight different wireless technologies and equipment for global IT/security distributors, systems integrators, telecom companies and end-users to stay updated of the technology development and applications. Register Today
What to see
- Zigbee, Z-wave, Bluetooh, Wi-Fi, Li-Fi
- LoRa, NB-IoT, SigFox
- PoE and PLC technologies
- 3G/4G/5G broadband networks
- Enterprise multi node wireless networks