LPWA to connect 140 million smart city sensing devices

Metering.com 6 FEBRUARY 2018

IoT market research firm ON World, forecasts Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networking technologies to connect 140 million smart city sensing devices to low cost multi-kilometer cloud connected networks, over the next five years.

The LPWA networking technologies include Sigfox, LoRa, LTE-M and NB-IoT.

The research firm predicts the number of IoT connections to reach 141 million as smart city LPWA connected devices will increase by 12 times over the next five years.

The number of wireless connected IoT devices for smart cities is expected to reach 2.6 billion, of which 3 in 5 will use low power networks to connect.

Revenue generation from LPWA enabled equipment and services is expected to reach $32 billion over the next half decade.

Improvements to existing communication standards will enhance the use of LPWA in smart city initiatives. For instance, the recently released LoRaWAN™ 1.1 specification provides several enhancements for network operators targeting smart cities including support for passive and active roaming, class B devices as well as security enhancements.

Mareca Hatler, research director at ON World, said: “Intensifying competition among network operators and IoT platform providers combined with accelerating rollouts of LPWA networks has created a dynamic landscape for smart city solutions.

“Cities and their residents are the beneficiaries of today’s affordable solutions for smarter energy, water, transportation, public safety and environmental controls.”

On the other hand, interoperability of LPWA technologies with IoT devices and other communication specifications remain a concern in the market.

ON World’s analysis of over 100 companies involved with LPWA technologies found that almost half are targeting smart city applications such as parking, waste management and streetlight monitoring and 38% are targeting metering.

LPWA in utilities sector

Roll out of communication infrastructure and technologies by utility companies has over the past five years increased, as energy companies seek measures to operate distributed assets in real time, as well as automate grid processes.

However, the high costs of buying, owning and operating communications platforms is one factor hindering utilities adoption.

Water management solutions firm Kamstrup has partnered with communications technology company Sigfox to help reduce utilities’ operational costs for advanced metering infrastructure.

Under the partnership, Kamstrup’s smart water meter, Multical 21 has been successfully integrated with Sigfox’s communication technology.