IoT creating demand for low-power, wide-area networks, says Strategy Analytics

Strategy Analytics is forecasting that more than 5 billion connections will use low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networks by 2022, up from just 11 million in 2014.

LWPA networks are used in Internet of Things (IoT) cases "where connectivity costs are expressed in dollars per year rather than dollars per month," Strategy Analytics said.

The firm expects LPWA networks will generate $13.4 billion in revenue by 2022. The largest revenue-generating opportunity in LPWA by that year will be in Asia-Pacific, at $4.6 billion, followed by North America and Western Europe.

Non-cellular players in LWPA, such as Neul and SIGFOX, face a number of stumbling blocks, however. "LPWA network vendors will face new challenges. They have to balance expanding their networks with growing revenue from a business that has long life cycles and potentially lower revenues per connection than cellular M2M. Many cellular providers have established relationships and operations globally in the M2M space and can exploit synergies with selective partnerships in the LPWA space," said Andrew Brown, director of enterprise research at Strategy Analytics. 

But there a number of approaches that new players can leverage. Brown noted  BT now operates the NeulNet LPWA network in the United Kingdom using the Weightless standard created by Neul.

Strategy Analytics also noted that local area technologies, such as ZigBee mesh, can be combined with cellular backhaul to address wide-area use cases. Such hybrid networks are being used by application builders and providers to address vertical solutions such as smart street lighting and parking.

For more:
- see this Strategy Analytics release

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