Jan 29, 2018

Cellular LPWA Technologies Move IoT Vision Closer to Reality

Last modified on March 21, 2022

The vision of smart connected IoT devices is quickly becoming a reality.  The promise of billions of devices, deployed in any location and seamlessly interacting, is now enabled by the latest generation of cellular LPWA (Low-Power Wide-Area) technologies.

LPWA technologies are expected to have a huge impact on the growth of IoT, unlocking its potential by cutting the costs of embedded connectivity. In terms of average revenue per connection (ARPC), LPWA will be lower than expected. However, it will enable a huge number of connections and business models.

With standards-based Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA technology), cellular networks can easily be used for low-bandwidth devices in a cost-effective manner, simplifying deployment. LPWA lowers the barriers for market entry by service providers, attracting companies from once-disparate backgrounds to compete with eachother.

Carriers are currently making progress  in deploying LPWA networks, and many are now using both LTE-M and NB-IoT versions of LPWA.

The new technologies serve LPWA use cases by enabling smaller, lower power and more cost effective devices.  These price points and device sizes will enable deployments in scale that was not possible with previous generations of cellular technologies, not to mention proprietary non-cellular LPWA technologies.  New LPWA use cases such as smart lighting, asset tracking and e-health applications are enabled by this technology.

Altair’s commitment to this vision is the industry’s most highly integrated dual-mode chipsets with the lowest form factors and power consumption parameters. Market leaders like Sierra Wireless, which recently introduced the industry’s smallest, lowest power, multi-mode cellular LPWA modules with 2G fallback, based upon the Altair ALT1250 chipset, are key to the future of IoT deployments.

For LPWA use cases in applications such as smart meters, e-health, vehicle telematics or wearable devices – connectivity is paramount. The technology must facilitate the deployment of mobile and real-time applications, while guaranteeing secure data transmissions. Network coverage and compatibility are key metrics in the decision to develop and deploy connected devices.   These devices must be able to operate in any location, regardless of whether the prevalent network is CAT-M, NB-IoT or future (5G) network deployments.

Standards-based cellular LPWA technologies provide these connectivity requirements, extending coverage by more than 20dB, lowering costs and reducing power consumption to enable devices with up to 15 years of battery life.

On February 1, Sierra Wireless will present a webinar on designing low-power applications for LTE-M and NB-IoT LPWA networks. This event, which includes a section by Dima Feldman, Altair’s Director of Product Management, is ideal for anyone thinking of deploying low powered IoT applications. Full details and registration for the webinar are available via here.