New LPWA Reports Highlight the Advantages of Licensed Spectrum Solutions

July 20, 2017

Mobile IoT, the family of technologies use that LPWA networks in licensed spectrum, has been given another boost after market researcher IDTechEx published research that concluded it can be deployed more quickly and will be better suited than unlicensed alternatives for the various applications that are likely to require government regulation.

The Cambridge-based researcher estimates that over 12 billion devices will be connected to LPWA networks over the next decade with smart home, smart city, asset tracking and agriculture acting as the principle drivers for such rapid uptake. According to the research company ‘the large network infrastructure that already exists for such operators means a global IoT network can be launched much faster than unlicensed LPWAN providers building such infrastructure themselves.’

Another study by Mobile Experts has found that the shipments of LTE-M and NB-IoT devices are expected to grow at a 200 percent CAGR over the next four years. According to the analysts, the biggest applications in the IoT explosion will be asset tracking, building automation, and smart meters.

Last week, there were indications that Mobile IoT was making significant progress in the utilities sector after Portuguese operator NOS announced that it had established the first operational pilot project using electrical energy smart meters and NB-IoT.

Delivered alongside Huawei, EDP Distribuição, JANZ CE and u-blox, the new solution is expected to deliver a variety of new capabilities such as automatic detection of failures; in the case of storms, quicker detection of affected areas; online measurement of consumption and on demand response functionality. This latter feature is said to be particularly useful for the ongoing and progressive adoption of electric vehicles and the increasing pace of transition towards renewable sources of electrical energy.

Module and chip manufacturer U-blox, who are working on the pilot, also announced the release of their SARA-R410M-02B, which they claim to be the world’s smallest configurable LTE Cat M1/NB1 multi-mode module with worldwide coverage. It measures 16 x 26 mm, offers both LTE Cat M1 and Cat NB1 in a single hardware package and allows fo software-based configurability for all deployed bands. The SARA-R410M-02B multi-mode global module supports ultra-low power consumption and cost-optimized solutions making it ideal for the development of LPWA IoT applications.

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