A new report by ON World, forecasts revenue generation within the global market for low power wide area (LPWA) networks.
Driving the market is increasing demand for LPWA solutions as competition intensifies among IoT network operators, infrastructure vendors and service providers.
Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director, said: “There are dozens of LPWA network operators in various stages of development today, up from a handful just a few years ago.
“This has resulted in disruptive pricing for network connectivity and lower component costs for IoT developers.”
ON World analysed approximately 100 LPWA network operators and found that unlicensed networks including Sigfox and LoRa make up two thirds of IoT networks under operation.
The deployment of unlicensed networks has grown over the past few years owing to simplicity of installation and low operational costs associated with unlicensed spectrums.
The majority of Sigfox and LoRa networks have been deployed in Europe and many parts of Asia Pacific where they are being used for IoT services by telecom and independent IoT operators.
However, the rate at which licensed LPWA networks such as LTE-M and NB-IoT are being deployed has been increasing at a much faster pace as from last year compared to a few years back.
NB-IoT network operator activity has accelerated over the past year and will grow 1800% this year.
By the end of 2018, most of the US, Europe and Asia Pacific will be covered with licensed IoT networks
Mobile operators such as Deutsche Telekom, China Telecom and Vodafone are aggressively rolling out their licensed NB-IoT networks in Europe, China and Australia and in the US, all major operators including AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile have fast-tracked their licensed IoT .
LPWA technologies and applications
ON World has identified the fastest growing LPWA applications and these include:
Smart Cities: A third of the announced LPWA applications focus on smart city applications such as streetlight monitoring, parking solutions, waste management as well as air quality and noise pollution monitoring.
Smart Energy: Already deployed in >5 million meters, LPWA metering solutions are growing rapidly with the fastest growth projected for gas and electric metering.
LPWA technologies are also well suited to monitoring renewable energy sources.
Smart Water: In addition to water metering, LPWA technologies are being tested for other smart water network applications.
Smart Tags: Low cost/long range asset trackers or smart tags will be the largest and fastest growing LPWA market in the next 5-10 years. LPWA network technologies such as LoRa enable localisation capabilities to complement or even replace GPS that will lower service fees and enable wide area tracking, locating and monitoring of people, animals, vehicles, bicycles and other mobile assets.