LPWA – low power wide area, is a term used to describe a group of technologies that possess affordable chipsets and networks, extended battery life (often longer than ten years), restricted data communications throughput capacity, and wide area connectivity features. LPWA technologies are complementary to existing short range and cellular network technologies, but are associated with lower costs and better power consumption.
Most Internet of Things (IoT) and machine-to-machine (M2M) services are dependent on licensed satellite, cellular and wireline networks for wide area connectivity. Cellular networks, in particular, have dominated this space in the recent past. However, cellular networks consume a lot of power. Moreover, they are riddled with complex protocols that lower battery life.
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This renders them expensive for many low bandwidth IoT applications. LPWA, on the other hand, typically rely on unlicensed frequencies and have low data rates. Research indicates that the cost-per-module of LPWA could lower from USD 5-20 to USD 1-2 in volume quantities.
Although non-existent in early 2013, LPWA is presently one of the fastest-growing components of IoT. This exponential growth is a result of the wide application scope facilitated by an evolving technological space.
LPWA is already prevalent in applications like smart metering, parking management and lighting control. It is anticipated to contribute significantly to the IoT and M2M ecosystem in forthcoming years. Revenues in the global LPWA networks ecosystem market are expected to exceed USD 26 billion by 2020. Chief regional markets include North America, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and Latin & Central America.
LPWA will enable connection of power-consuming assets to an electricity grid, thereby saving resources. It could be used to connect consumer devices, especially in domains like assisted living and home automation. It may equip a variety of smart city applications to improve efficiencies in everyday functioning. Its adoption in supply chain management would increase operational efficiencies and customer satisfaction, and create pathways for new business models.
Lack of a universally-adopted standard for LPWA may restrict market growth. However, it is expected that a significant level of standardization will be achieved in the years to come. Initiatives are underway to introduce regulations that will dedicate spectrum bands exclusively for LPWA networks. LPWA is a priority for the mobile industry. Mobile companies are investing in their own LPWA networks so as to support low bandwidth IoT applications.
Historical Revenue & Forecast Segmentation
Connection and service revenue forecasts are provided for the following submarkets:
– Asset Management & Logistics
– Automotive & Transportation
– Consumer Applications & Home Automation
– Energy & Utilities
– Intelligent Buildings & Infrastructure
– Public Safety, Security & Surveillance
– Retail & Vending
– Asia Pacific
– Eastern Europe
– Middle East & Africa
– Latin & Central America
– North America
– Western Europe
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