Electronic Products & Technology

Sigfox Vs LoRaWAN Vs NB-IoT Vs…….a $40 billion arms race

By Dr David Pugh, technology analyst, IDTechEx   

Electronics Regulations & Standards Wireless Engineering IoT

Source: IDTechEx

More than 10-billion devices will be connected to low power IoT networks over the next decade, according to a new report from IDTechEx Research. Emerging low power wide area networks (LPWANs) are being deployed around the world, using both licensed and unlicensed spectrum by a number of key players in the communications industry to connect devices to the internet and get value from the data they produce.

An emerging market for low power networks communicating on unlicensed spectrum has been developing for the last four years. However, this could potentially be threatened by the emergence of a new cellular standard of communication, utilising existing infrastructure to roll out a global IoT network in a very short amount of time.

The IDTechEx report gives an independent and comprehensive analysis of the wireless networking ecosystem covering a range of technologies, using both licensed and unlicensed spectrum to communicate. The report mentions over 120 companies working in this space from across the value chain. Primary research has been conducted based on primary interviews with network operators, semiconductor manufacturers, licensing companies and device manufacturers.

The report covers both the well established wireless personal area networks (WPAN) – for smart home and wearables – and the LPWAN technologies, both using unlicensed and licensed spectrum. The report covers the following areas:


Smart home – Intelligent building networks are moving past the early adopter stage into the early majority, with government regulation driving the need for connected utilities and intelligent lighting and environmental management being used to make homes and offices more energy efficient, wireless networks play a key role in the connected building.

Smart city – Governments around the world are investing heavily in adding connected infrastructure to their environments, primarily in streetlighting and environmental monitoring solutions among other applications. Utilising low power wireless networks.

Asset tracking – While GPS is a popular source of asset location, it has high power requirements, making it unsuitable for low power applications, geolocation is possible using several low power networks and providing new methods of pallet, animal and people tracking.

Agriculture – Technology is increasingly entering the agricultural space with new ways to monitor crops, water usage, environmental conditions and other aspects designed to ensure produce uniformity and good yields on farms and vineyards. The long range and low power requirements of LPWAN networks make them ideal for such applications.



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