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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:
- DASH7, a low latency, bi-directional firmware standard that operates over multiple LPWAN radio technologies including LoRa.
- 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.
- MIoTy, implementing Telegram Splitting technology.
- Weightless is an open standard, narrowband technology for LPWAN used by Ubiik
- Wize is an open and royalty free standard for LPWAN derived from the European Standard Wireless Mbus.
Ultra Narrowband (UNB), modulation technology used for LPWAN by various companies including:
- Sigfox, UNB-based technology and French company.
- Weightless, a set of communication standards from the Weightless SIG.
- NB-Fi Protocol, developed by WAVIoT company.
- 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-M), 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 .
- Random phase multiple access (RPMA) from Ingenu, formerly known as On-Ramp Wireless, is based on a variation of CDMA technology for cellular phones, but is purpose-built to use unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum.. RPMA is used in GE's AMI metering.
- Taggle Byron. A Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum (DSSS) technology from Taggle Systems in Australia. "How Taggle is spreading LPWAN across Australia"
- Wi-SUN, based on IEEE 802.15.4g.
- Internet of things
- Static Context Header Compression (SCHC)
- QRP operation
- Through-the-earth mine communications
- Short range device
- IEEE 802.15.4
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