ON World: LPWAN Developers Prefer LoRa for Industrial IoT

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ON World's recently published LPWAN technology study found that one LoRa $1,000 gateway is capable of supporting thousands of nodes at two-way, relatively high transmission rates.

LoRa stands out for its standards efforts, strong ecosystem with thousands of developers and recently announced products and services from ARM/SoftBank, Cisco, Comcast and Murata

Competition for LPWAN technologies is intensifying with LoRa offering the best all-around industrial LPWAN developer opportunities, according to ON World.

“While other LPWAN technologies such as RPMA, SigFox, LTE-M and NB-IoT are or will have an impact on the industrial IoT landscape, LoRa stands out for its standards efforts, strong ecosystem with thousands of developers and recently announced products and services from ARM/SoftBank, Cisco, Comcast and Murata,” says Jeff Kreegar, ON World’s chief technologist.

The LPWAN industrial ecosystem has two major networking landscapes: unlicensed (e.g., RPMA, LoRa, SigFox, Weightless) and licensed spectrum with 3GPP standards such as LTE-M and NB-IoT. SigFox and LoRa in particular have created fast-moving ecosystems that are already significant forces in Europe with momentum growing worldwide. As licensed NB-IoT gets deployed globally within the next few years it will have its largest impact on consumer and enterprise markets.

In general, industrial IoT applications require radio features such as adaptive power, over-the-air updates, robust in-building penetration and immunity against multipath fading. Given those requirements, LoRa is the LPWAN industrial technology of choice. 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.

Standards based LoRa solutions, through the LoRaWAN specification, are promoted by the LoRa Alliance, a growing ecosystem of 300+ automation leaders, startups, major chipset suppliers and network operators. There are currently over 60,000 individuals worldwide working on LoRaWAN solutions and live networks operating in more than 150 cities. LoRa’s growing developer community includes industrial IoT leaders such as ARM (SoftBank), Cisco, IBM, Microchip and Murata as well as innovators such as Actility, Beep Networks, Kerlink, Link Labs, Multi-Tech Systems and OrbiWise. LoRa networks are being tested/rolled out by major Telecom operators such as Bouygues, KPN, Orange, Proximus, SK Telecom, SoftBank and Swisscom. Comcast recently announced intentions to deploy LoRaWAN networks in 50 major U.S. cities.

Ingenu’s RPMA technology also provides several advantages for industrial developers. RPMA offers an exceptionally sensitive radio operating at the global 2.4GHz frequency that provide multi-mile network range, high gateway node densities and a distinguished technical development team. RPMA technology has been deployed in dozens of networks worldwide including distribution automation for San Diego Gas & Electric as well as wellhead monitoring and pipeline surveillance for Shell Nigeria.

ON World’s network tests found that LPWAN technologies can be used for advanced wireless sensing and tracking applications over several miles with multi-year battery lifetimes. A few of these tests include the following:

1)    Near real-time pressure sensing in environments with high node density.
2)    Long range moisture detection with multi-year battery lifetimes.
3)    Precision indoor/outdoor asset tracking using coin cell batteries.

ON World welcomes feedback on the LPWAN technology study and contributors will receive a free copy. For more information, go to: http://www.onworld.com/ilpwaneco

About ON World:
ON World (http://www.onworld.com) provides global business intelligence on Internet of Things markets.

Mary Purvis
p: 858-259-2397
e: purvis(at)onworld(dot)com

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Mareca Hatler
ON World
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