LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) connectivity enables low-power and wide-area functionality for IoT deployments in which lengthy battery life and low frequency are key requirements. There are a number of licensed and unlicensed LPWA networks available, each with different benefits suiting different business applications. The most widely used LPWA standards are NB-IoT, LTE-M, LoRaWAN, and SigFox.
LPWAN provides an alternative solution for applications that would traditionally require wired connectivity. LPWAN connectivity is usually deployed in hard-to-reach areas where traditional cellular connectivity is poor, making it the perfect solution for IoT devices located in deep urban infrastructure. Because Low Power Wide Area Network connectivity consumes very little power, devices and sensors can last for up to 10 years without needing a battery replacement. As a result, management and maintenance is usually very minimal, making it a very cost-effective option in the long-term.
A great example of LPWAN in action is in multi-storey car parks. Most multi-storey car parks use sensors to identify how many parking spots are available. However, because they are built using thick concrete, mobile signal is very poor (or in some cases, non-existent). The low frequency properties of LPWAN enables the signal to penetrate through the thick walls of the car park, allowing the sensors to traverse data and show the number of free parking spaces.
Low Power Wide Area Network services can be split into two categories, licensed and unlicensed…