Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology is a network that enables connecting of devices requiring low bandwidth. LPWA can be used for connecting machine to machine (M2M) devices and serve as a low cost and power efficient solution in nature. Furthermore, the network has wide coverage area/range thereby supporting all kind of devices that can be connected through Internet of things (IOT). Wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee can only be used for consumer oriented devices having short range. However, industrial IoT and M2M devices demands uninterrupted and continuous flow of data which can be fulfilled by use of LPWA technology. LPWA technology strengthens the position of IoT market participants through helping suppliers to get closer to their customers.
Use of wire line and cellular network for M2M and IoT devices led to increase in cost and power consumption. However with the advent of LPWA technology, the problem of high cost and huge power consumption can be decreased effectively. Presently, LPWA technology is widely used in European region for controlling IoT devices such as smart-meter, parking management and traffic light controlling.
LPWA market is expected to grow in coming years due to increasing number of IoT based devices and the need for better connectivity. LPWA technology is expected to be widely applicable in the area of public administration, healthcare, energy and education sector. LPWA has strong propagation which implies that the technology has the ability to reach deep underground hence facilitating strong connectivity of devices in basement area or in sewer. The low cost characteristic of LPWA makes it a flexible solution that can be implemented in wide range of businesses and can be used adjacently with cellular or satellite connectivity. Therefore, the LPWA market is expected to witness strong growth in utility sector in order to monitor residential gas and water meter in coming years. Since gas and water meter are not connected to any electrical circuit and usually deployed underground, usage of cellular connectivity coupled with LPWA technology can fulfill the future monitoring demand effectively.
The LPWA technology presents great opportunity for MNO (mobile network operator) providers. The provision of LPWA connectivity for the MNOs shall be seen as a secured route for maintaining strong customer relationship. Such direct relationship with the customer will help MNO (mobile network operators) to create a repository of royal customer base which are more profitable. Furthermore, LPWA technologies can present good opportunity even for non-MNOs network providers. Organizations that operate radio tower network can very well position themselves by effectively deploying LPWA technology. Such technology can be leveraged to help non- MNOs to gain traction in the market as it will then become relatively easy to provide cellular mobile connectivity to those same end-users and even to the third parties. The LPWA market is expected to grow with the growth of smart cities and development of sensory devices that need long lasting connectivity for its operation.
Some of the key players in LPWA market are Vodafone Group PLC, U-blox AG, Telstera Corporation, Cisco Systems Inc., Semtech Corporation, SK Telecom Co. Ltd., Flashnet Communications Inc., Samsara Networks Inc., Proximus SADP, and Microchip Technol
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