Low Power Wide Area Netwoks Using Unlicensed and Licensed Spectrum Will Support 1.4 Billion IoT Devices by 2022

One more sign of the growing role played by unlicensed technologies in “public communications” is the expected use of unlicensed spectrum to support Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) services.

Such LPWA services will play a large part in supporting 1.4 billion Internet of Things (IoT) connections by 2022, according to Machina Research, even as NB-IoT and LTE-M, using licensed spectrum, also contribute.

The GSMA’s Mobile IoT Initiative, which promotes adoption of LPWA technologies, is currently backed by 67 global mobile operators, device makers, chipset, module and infrastructure companies worldwide, GSMA says.

LPWA networks are an emerging, high-growth area of the IoT, designed to support M2M applications that have low data rates, require long battery lives and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote locations. They will be used for a wide variety of applications such as industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering, smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting.
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