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Low Power Wide Area Internet of Things: Market Forecasts and MNO Approaches

Published By :

Pyramid Research

Published Date : Apr 2016

Category :


No. of Pages : 84 Pages

Low power wide area (LPWA) IoT technologies in unlicensed spectrum are growing in coverage and adoption, while standardized technologies for use in licensed spectrum are to become available later this year. The benefits of low cost, low power and broad coverage (including indoor) address a wide range of different application requirements which cellular, short range wireless and other connectivity options cannot match. Therefore growth is forecast to be very high. A number of proprietary LPWA technologies are available today, with deployments widening. We see that there are three key contenders emerging: SIGFOX, LoRa and RPMA, each of which enjoys different advantages and disadvantages in terms of capability, industry support, business model, degree of coverage and level of adoption. 3GPP LPWA standards, notably LTE-M and NB-IoT, will be finalized by mid-2016, and the first products are expected by the end of 2016

Key Findings

  • LPWA technologies provide significant improvements in terms of power consumption, coverage and pricing over cellular and other M2M connectivity technologies, and as a result we expect to see strong adoption in coming years. Between 2015 and 2020, we forecast that cellular M2M connections will grow from 310m to 715m and LPWA M2M connections will grow from 20m to over 860m.
  • Smart meters will, by some margin, be the largest application with 45% of total LPWA connections in 2020. Industrial/financial applications will be the second largest, followed by consumer electronics, a broad category where we expect very high growth rates around 2020. Smart city applications, notably intelligent lighting/parking and smart buildings, are forecast to account for 12% of total LPWA connections in 2020. The adoption of LPWA in land vehicle-based applications is expected to be limited.
  • North America is initially the largest LPWA region, largely because of the adoption of RPMA devices in predominantly private networks. LoRa and SIGFOX networks are also being rolled out in US. Western Europe is expected to become the largest region in terms of LPWA connections in 2017, but Asia Pacific will overtake it in the following year and by 2020 the latter is expected to represent nearly 46% of the total.
  • Deployment of LPWA networks is expected to be much slower in developing markets, where the focus on M2M overall is much more limited. Africa & Middle East, Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America are expected to account for just 14% of LPWA global connections in 2020.
  • Mobile network operators are following a number of different approaches, depending on local market conditions, market maturity, degree of international exposure, market position and degree of focus on M2M. Most operators are waiting for 3GPP standard LPWA technologies to be ratified and commercialized. Some operators are backing a range of LPWA technologies, either because they operate across diverse markets which have different needs or for opportunistic reasons, combined with local competition.


‘Low Power Wide Area Internet of Things: Market Forecasts and MNO Approaches’ report provides a detailed overview of the LPWA networks and forecasts globally. It offers a deep quantitative and qualitative insight into the LPWA key trends, evaluating near-term opportunities and assessing risk factors, based on extensive research findings by 

Pyramid Research and consists of the following sections.

  • M2M and IoT Definitions and Overview: It provides a brief overview of M2M and IoT definitions, mapping of M2M applications and a comparison of M2M v/s cellular connections on a regional basis.
  • LPWA Technology Overview: This section provides a comparative overview of the LWPA wrt to other prevalent traditional cellular technologies.
  • Unlicensed LPWA Provider Profiles: It includes the profiles of LPWA providers like SIGFOX, LoRa Alliance, Weightless, Ingenu and their LWPA offerings and deployment details.
  • LPWA Technology Assessment: This section provides a comparative overview of LWPA providers and its impact on cellular technology (2G) and various comparisons across the six application categories as specified by Pyramid Research.
  • MNO Approaches to LPWA: The various approaches and intent of the MNOs for deployment, support and reselling of the LWPA network services.
  • M2M and LPWA Market Forecasts: This provides a detailed forecasts of LWPA technology and cellular M2M connections and revenues across key regions and M2M application categories as classified by Pyramid Research for the period 2014-2020. 
  • MNO LPWA Case Studies: This section highlights the LWPA deployment case studies by select telcos like KPN, Bouygues, Swisscom, Orange, AT&T and Telefonica and provides an overview of their M2M and IoT offerings and their approach towards adoption of LWPA technologies.
  • Key Findings and Recommendations: The report concludes with key findings and a set of recommendations for MNOs, vendors and for unlicensed LPWA service network operators (SNOs).

Reasons To Buy

  • This report helps executives gain understanding of the different LPWA IoT technologies and adoption trends across various geographies and industry verticals.
  • The LPWA IoT competitive landscape is given extra attention, enabling MNOs, vendors and unlicensed LPWA Service Network Operators (SNOs) to gain the insight they need.
  • The broad but detailed LPWA IoT perspective will enable MNOs, vendors and unlicensed LPWA Service Network Operators (SNOs) to succeed in LWPA deployment across various regions.
  • The report brings several case studies that showcase the main approaches major mobile network operators (MNOs) are following regarding LPWA IoT technologies.
  • The report is designed for an executive-level audience, boasting presentation quality that allows it to be turned into presentable material immediately.

Table of Contents

M2M and IoT Definitions and Overview 

LPWA Technology Overview 

Unlicensed LPWA Provider Profiles 

  • LoRa Alliance 
  • Weightless 
  • Ingenu 

LPWA Technology Assessment 

MNO Approaches to LPWA 

  • Deploy proprietary LPWA network 
  • Support range of LPWA technologies 
  • Await 3GPP LPWA standards 
  • Resell LPWA network services 

M2M and LPWA Market Forecasts 

MNO LPWA Case Studies 

Key Findings and Recommendations

List of Table


List of Chart

Exhibit 1: M2M Overview 
Exhibit 2: Pyramid Research’s M2M Application Categories 
Exhibit 3: Mapping M2M Applications by Bandwidth and Coverage/Mobility Requirements 
Exhibit 4: Cellular M2M Connections as a Percentage of Total Cellular Sims by Region, 2015 
Exhibit 5: Telefonica Cellular M2M Connections as a Percentage of Total Cellular Sims by Country, Q3 2015 
Exhibit 6: M2M Overview 
Exhibit 7: Wireless Technology Comparison of Bandwidth Vs. Range 
Exhibit 8: M2M Network Technologies: Licensed Vs. Unlicensed 
Exhibit 9: Comparison of Cellular and LPWA IoT Technologies 
Exhibit 10: 3GPP Standards Address Both IoT and High Data Usage Requirements 
Exhibit 11: LTE Categories and Details 
Exhibit 12: SIGFOX Growth and Key Milestones 
Exhibit 13: SIGFOX Network Deployments 
Exhibit 14: LORA Alliance Membership Growth 
Exhibit 15: LORA Network Deployments 
Exhibit 16: Weightless SIG Key Members 
Exhibit 17: Key Ingenu Energy Partners 
Exhibit 18: Mapping Wireless WAN M2M Technologies by Bandwidth and Battery Life 
Exhibit 19: Link Budget Comparison of LPWA Technologies
Exhibit 20: Wireless M2M Module Pricing Trends, 2014-2017
Exhibit 21: Cellular and LPWA IoT Technology Ecosystem Comparison 
Exhibit 22: LPWA Impact on 2G by Market Type
Exhibit 23: Network Discontinuation: Announcements and Timings 
Exhibit 24: Global Population Coverage Estimates, 2016 
Exhibit 25: M2M Connectivity Technology Comparison by Application 
Exhibit 26: MNO Main Approaches To LPWA Technologies 
Exhibit 27: MNO Deploys Proprietary LPWA Network Approach Summary 
Exhibit 28: MNO Supports a Range of LPWA Technologies Approach Summary 
Exhibit 29: MNO Waits For Standard LPWA Technology Approach Summary
Exhibit 30: MNO Resells LPWA Network Services Approach Summary 
Exhibit 31: Operator M2M Capabilities
Exhibit 32: LPWA Key Milestones and Forecast, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 33: Key LPWA Connections Forecast Assumptions by Region and by Type of Spectrum 
Exhibit 34: M2M Wireless WAN Connections by Technology, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 35: Cellular and LPWA M2M Connectivity Revenue, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 36: LPWA Connections by Application, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 37: LPWA Connections by Region, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 38: LPWA M2M Connections by Application In North America, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 39: LPWA M2M Connections by Application In Western Europe, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 40: LPWA M2M Connections by Application In Central and Eastern Europe, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 41: LPWA M2M Connections by Application In Asia Pacific, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 42: LPWA M2M Connections by Application In Latin America, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 43: LPWA M2M Connections by Application In Africa And Middle East, 2014-2020
Exhibit 44: Global Utility Meter Breakdown, 2015 
Exhibit 45: Smart Meter Forecast by Connection Technology, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 46: Cellular & LPWA M2M Connections Forecast, Telematics and Fleet Management, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 47: Cellular and LPWA M2M Connections Forecast, Consumer Electronics, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 48: Cellular and LPWA M2M Connections Forecast, Smart City, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 49: Cellular and LPWA M2M Connections Forecast, Industrial/Financial, 2014-2020 
Exhibit 50: KPN M2M Overview 
Exhibit 51: KPN M2M and LPWA Connections, 2013-2016 
Exhibit 52: Wireless WAN M2M Connections In France, 2013-2016 
Exhibit 53: Bouygues Group Overview 
Exhibit 54: Swisscom Mobile Data and Transmitter Capacity Breakdown by Cellular Generation, 2015 
Exhibit 55: Stromer EBIKE Connecting Through Swisscom Network 
Exhibit 56: Orange IoT 2015 Revenue, 2018 Target and as a Percentage of Business Services Group Revenue 
Exhibit 57: Orange’s Datavenue Suite of IoT Services 
Exhibit 58: AT&T Vertical M2M Services 
Exhibit 59: M2M Subscriptions, AT&T, US, 2013-2015 
Exhibit 60: Telefonica M2M Connections by Region, Q4 2014 Vs. Q4 2015 
Exhibit 61: Telefonica Movistar Verisure Hogar

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