LPWA Technologies Disrupt the Industrial Internet of Things
San Diego, California, December 8, 2016— Growth of Low Power Wide Area networking (LPWAN) solutions combined with post-election optimism will accelerate development and deployments for industrial Internet of Things markets, according to ON World.
“LPWAN technologies provide multi-mile, multi-year battery powered solutions that are disruptive to existing industrial wireless IoT technologies,” says Jeff Kreegar, ON World’s chief technologist. “LPWAN device stacks push network complexity into the cloud and this has created new IoT opportunities for developers.”
The completion of 3GPP’s Release 13 is accelerating development for licensed LPWA standards such as LTE Cat-M1 and NB1. This is a challenge to unlicensed LPWA technologies such as LoRa, Sigfox and RPMA that are seeing rapidly expanding ecosystems and worldwide network rollouts.
Sigfox has network coverage of over 1.6 million square kilometers and deployments on track to be in 30 countries by the end of 2016. Standards based LoRaWAN solutions are actively being developed with thousands of developers working on networks operating in more than 150 cities. The latest LoRaWAN specification, announced in mid-November, already has over 10,000 downloads. The LoRa Alliance Certification Program has been operational in Europe over the past year with LoraWAN Specification certification supported in North American by the end of the year. Comcast announced it would deploy LoRaWAN networks in 30 major U.S. cities within the next 30 months.
Ingenu’s Machine Network using its Random Phase Multiple Access (RPMA) technology is being deployed across the U.S. Ingenu’s partner WellAware services Texas oil wells from some individual RPMA access points that cover 450 square miles. Other industrial RPMA deployments include distribution automation for San Diego Gas & Electric as well as wellhead monitoring and pipeline surveillance for Shell in Nigeria.
ON World’s recently completed survey with 180+ industrial automation professionals in collaboration with ISA found that wireless sensor networking including LPWAN technologies are considered one of the most important technology-related strategic investments. Two-thirds also view investments in an IoT platform as “important” or “most important.”
ON World conducted network tests to compare the performance and capabilities of current LPWAN technologies focused on industrial IoT application requirements such as radio adaptive power, over-the-air updates, robust in-building penetration and immunity against multipath fading. The tests found that compared with ultra-narrowband LPWAN technologies, LoRa provides enough two-way bandwidth to solve most industrial application needs. Additionally, it can be used for synchronized transmissions which is a requirement for many high-end industrial IoT applications that are currently targeted by wireless mesh standards such as WirelessHART and ISA100.11a.
Free executive summaries for ON World’s recently published studies on industrial wireless sensor networking and LPWA technologies are available from: http://www.onworld.com/ilpwanset
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