Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology will account for a significant share of Internet of Things (IoT) connections globally by 2020. This will be at the expense the fragmented M2M. With LPWAN being implemented by both mobile network operators (MNOs) and non-telcos, MNOs will require careful planning due to increasing competition and upcoming Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT) and Massive Internet of Things (MIoT) that will all address the IoT market concurrently.
In the interim, the IoT market will be dominated by proprietary technologies that meet the immediate requirements of being low cost, ultra power-efficient, and long range, which currently mobile cellular cannot address in a cost-effective way.
MNOs are increasingly realizing that experience in delivering connectivity services, regardless of the technology, supports their credentials for enterprises seeking nationwide or regional IoT partners. This is because no one technology will serve all the different IoT applications equally. However, in the case of LPWAN, end-to-end solutions required to drive the market are clearly lacking. MNOs need to work more with end-to-end solutions providers, for example, Atilze, to offer more versatile and technology agnostic IoT solutions.
Successful implementation of LPWAN to solve challenges within Southeast Asian countries will require government intervention. Environmental, city, and agricultural use cases in particular will bring significant benefit to Southeast Asian countries but it will require government intervention and funding.
Implementing LPWAN alongside CIoT helps MNOs target gaps with cellular networks to reap early-to-market advantage and address low-power applications cost effectively. LPWAN is already capturing market share from CIoT in power and water telemetry, agriculture, building security, asset tracking, waste collection, pollution monitoring, and street lighting control, and parking. However, MNOs can leverage on CIoT in mobile and cross-border use cases as well as complex managed services once commercialized. MNOs can also leverage on CIoT technology to address the real-time and high-bandwidth use cases involving video.
Companies mentioned in this study include Agnov8, Circumtec, Connit, DHL, FedEx, Flashnet, Ingenu, KPN, KT, Libelium, LoRa, M1, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, SemTech, Sigfox, Tele2, Telefonica, Telenor Connexion, Telia, Telstra, Three, Vodafone, and Weightless.
Key Issues Addressed
- What are key attributes of LPWAN solutions in the market?
- Are LPWAN networks a complement or threat to MNOs?
- Should MNOs implement LPWAN or wait for Cellular IoT or offer both?
- How can LPWAN networks solve challenges faced in Southeast Asian countries?
- How are LPWAN networks being implemented?