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A low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) or low-power wide-area (LPWA) network or low-power network (LPN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery. The low power, low bit rate and intended use distinguish this type of network from a wireless WAN that is designed to connect users or businesses, and carry more data, using more power. The LPWAN data rate ranges from 0.3 kbit/s to 50 kbit/s per channel.
A LPWAN may be used to create a private wireless sensor network, but may also be a service or infrastructure offered by a third party, allowing the owners of sensors to deploy them in the field without investing in gateway technology.
- Long Range: The operating range of LPWAN technology varies from a few kilometers in urban areas to over 10 km in rural settings. It can also enable effective data communication in previously infeasible indoor and underground locations.
- Low Power: Optimized for power consumption, LPWAN transceivers can run on small, inexpensive batteries for up to 20 years
- Low Cost: LPWAN's simplified, lightweight protocols reduce complexity in hardware design and lower device costs. Its long range combined with a star topology reduce expensive infrastructure requirements, and the use of license-free or licensed bands reduce network costs.
Platforms and technologies
There are a number of competing standards and vendors in the LPWAN space, the most prominent of which include:
- Chirp spread spectrum based
- LoRa is a proprietary, chirp spread spectrum (CSS) radio modulation technology for LPWAN used by LoRaWAN, Haystack Technologies, and Symphony Link.
Ultra Narrowband (UNB), modulation technology used for LPWAN by various companies including:
- Sigfox, UNB-based technology and French company.
- Telensa A Cambridge based company using UNB-based technology to connect and control streetlights and other city infrastructure.
- Nwave, proprietary technology developed in cooperation with MIT. Its first release without error correcting codes also forms the basis of the Weightless-N open protocol.
- Weightless, a set of communication standards from the Weightless SIG.
- NB-Fi Protocol, developed by WAVIoT company.
Telegram Splitting is a standardized LPWAN technology in the license-free spectrum.
- MIOTY, telegram splitting technology standardized by ETSI (TS 103 357).
- DASH7 Mode 2 development framework for low power wireless networks, by Haystack Technologies. Runs over many wireless radio standards like LoRa, LTE, 802.15.4g, and others.
- LTE Advanced for Machine Type Communications (LTE-MTC), an evolution of LTE communications for connected things by 3GPP.
- MySensors, DIY Home Automation framework supporting different radios including LoRa.
- NarrowBand IoT (NB-IOT), standardization effort by 3GPP for a LPWAN used in cellular networks, that evolved from Huawei's NB-CIoT effort.
- Random phase multiple access (RPMA), technology from Ingenu, formerly known as On-Ramp Wireless.
- Taggle Byron. A Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology from Taggle Systems in Australia. "How Taggle is spreading LPWAN across Australia"
- Beser, Nurettin Burcak. "Operating cable modems in a low power mode." U.S. Patent No. 7,389,528. 17 June 2008.
- Schwartzman, Alejandro, and Chrisanto Leano. "Methods and apparatus for enabling and disabling cable modem receiver circuitry." U.S. Patent No. 7,587,746. 8 September 2009.
- Ferran Adelantado, Xavier Vilajosana, Pere Tuset-Peiro, Borja Martinez, Joan Melià-Seguí and Thomas Watteyne. Understanding the Limits of LoRaWAN (January 2017).
- Ramon Sanchez-Iborra; Maria-Dolores Cano (2016). "State of the Art in LP-WAN Solutions for Industrial IoT Services". Sensors. 16: 708. doi:10.3390/s16050708.
- "SIGFOX Technology". Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "LoRa Integration - Link Labs". Link Labs. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- Jesus Sanchez-Gomez; Ramon Sanchez-Iborra (2017). "Experimental comparison of LoRa and FSK as IoT-communication-enabling modulations". IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom'17).
- "SIGFOX Technology". Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "UNB Wireless - Telensa". Telensa. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Nwave Network | Nwave". www.nwave.io. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Weightless-N - Weightless". www.weightless.org. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "What is NB-Fi Protocol – WAVIoT LPWAN". WAVIoT LPWAN. Retrieved 2018-05-18.
- "Framework Details". haystacktechnologies.com. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- Flynn, Kevin. "Evolution of LTE in Release 13". www.3gpp.org. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "LTE-M, NB-LTE-M, & NB-IOT: Three 3GPP IoT Technologies To Get Familiar With". Link Labs. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- Huawei. "Huawei and partners Leading NB-IoT Standardization -- PHOENIX, Sept. 21, 20 15 /PR Newswire UK/ --". www.prnewswire.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-02-01.
- "Ingenu's RPMA Technology". Ingenu. Retrieved 2016-02-01.