LPWAN technologies face off in crowded IoT battlefield

You know all those technologies being pursued for the low power wide area network (LPWAN) Internet of Things? It's an alphabet soup of acronyms, but analyst Steve Hilton of MachNation has another way of describing it: "The LPWA world is a bit like a nicely prepared minestrone. Stir the bowl a little bit and up pops another surprising vegetable you didn't see a moment ago," he told FierceWirelessEurope.

Competing technologies continue to emerge in the LPWAN segment. Supporters behind proprietary technologies such as Sigfox, Ingenu and LoRa already have made clear their ambitions to become globally available standards for public LPWA networks using unlicensed spectrum. They now face increasing competition from so-called cellular IoT technologies that fall under the 3GPP standardization umbrella and will operate in licensed spectrum.

Aapo Markkanen, principal analyst at Machina Research, also notes that there are more technologies still: "Weightless-N, Weightless-P, NB-Fi (WAVIoT), Accellus, Flexnet (Sensus), Telensa UNB, and Synergize (Aclara) come to mind," he said. "And those are only the ones that are LPWA in the real sense of the term. You can also find a bunch of others that are going after many of the key applications, but they've built on a mesh architecture so they sit under a different technology umbrella." For the full rundown on the current state of LPWAN technologies for IoT, check out this special report at FierceWirelessEurope.