Out in Front

Digitimes Research: Narrow-Band IoT, LoRaWAN likely to become LPWAN technologies

Benson Wu, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

Narrow-Band IoT (Internet of Things) and LoRaWAN (long range wide area network) are seeing increased application for wireless long-distance communications at low power consumption, and thereby are likely to become two significantly important LPWAN (low-power wide-area network) standards, according to Digitimes Research.

CAT-1 in LTE R8 by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) in 2009 and CAT-0 in LTE R12 in 2014 are regarded as transitional standards for IoT because specifications in power consumption and bandwidth do not meet requirements, Digitimes Research indicated. 3GPP in September 2015 proposed LTE R13 of which CAT-M focuses on NB-IoT.

LoRA Alliance in June 2015 released LoRaWAN 1.0 in competition with NB-IoT. As of the end of March 2016, LoRaWANs had been commercially deployed in 13 countries and LoRaWAN trialled in more than 60 other countries.

In comparison, NB-IoT has competitive advantages of an already mature ecosystem for cellular networks, support from telecom equipment vendors including Ericsson, Nokia, Huawei Technologies and ZTE, large telecom carriers including AT&T, China Mobile and China Unicom, as well as chip solution providers such as Qualcomm. NB-IoT also uses licensed spectrum to provide secure and stable services. LoRaWAN has the advantage of being an open platform to facilitate various enterprises entering the IoT application market.

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