NB-IoT, CAT-M, SIGFOX and LoRa battle for dominance drives global LPWA network connections to pass 1bn by 2023

Cellular and non-cellular LPWA network connections will grow globally at a 53% CAGR until 2023, driven by market growth in smart meters and asset trackers, according to a new report from ABI Research, a market-foresight advisory firm providing strategic guidance on the most compelling transformative technologies.

In 2017, smart meters and asset trackers contributed to almost three-quarters of all LPWA network connections, dominated by non-cellular LPWA network technologies. However, by 2023, non-cellular LPWA will cede its market share dominance to NB-IoT and LTE-M, as cellular LPWA moves to capture over 55% of LPWA connections. Regionally, although Western Europe and North America witnessed early deployments of public LPWA networks, the Asia-pacific, especially China, has been a pivotal market for driving large-scale adoption of NB-IoT and LoRa.

“Asset tracking applications traditionally relied on complex, expensive solutions to track high-value assets. LPWA network technologies are making it feasible to build simple, small, and low-cost footprint devices that can track and monitor everything from sea-freight containers to bicycles, patients to pets, supermarket trolleys to pallets, paving the way for new innovative solutions and business opportunities,” said Adarsh Krishnan, principal analyst at ABI Research.

Adarsh Krishnan

Asset tracking, which includes tracking stationary or slow-moving assets, will have the largest share of LPWA connections in 2023, accounting for over 45% worldwide.

Smart meters deployed by energy and water utilities will be the second largest vertical IoT application in 2023 contributing over one-third of the global LPWA device connections. Early adoption from meter vendors such as Sensus, Itron, Kamstrup, Arad, and Holley metering means that non-cellular LPWA technologies are well positioned to capture two-thirds of the LPWA connections in smart meters by 2023.

In 2017, SIGFOX had the largest share of public LPWA connections worldwide benefiting from its first mover advantage in Europe. “SIGFOX has continued to stay a step ahead in public LPWA networks with the roll-out of the Monarch cognitive network service in early 2018. The Monarch service enables SIGFOX devices to automatically adapt to radio frequency changes allowing for seamless roaming across SIGFOX networks,” Krishnan explained.

Luis Vuitton’s Echo travel bag tracker was the first commercial SIGFOX device to leverage the Monarch service in over 100 airports across 26 countries. In contrast, LoRa gained significant market share as a popular connectivity technology for private networks, witnessing over 54% year-on-year growth in 2017.

Private LPWA networks, built to address a single vertical application or an individual enterprise, have been a popular choice for over a decade and accounted for 93% of LPWA connections in 2017. LoRa and other non cellular LPWA technologies have benefited from the decreasing cost of IC’s, low implementation costs and flexibility of private networks that can be tailored to meet specific enterprise IoT applications.

LoRa has witnessed exponential growth in APAC, especially in China where ZTE has deployed China LoRa Application Alliance (CLAA) LoRa networks in 40 Chinese cities and is starting to ramp-up deployment of smart meters, parking sensors, air-quality monitoring sensors and other smart city solutions. However, as the geographic footprint of public networks rapidly expands, cellular and non-cellular public networks will capture over 70% of LPWA connections by 2023.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Low-Power Wide Area Network Market Data report. This report is part of the company’s M2M, IoT & IoE research service, which includes research, data, and Executive Foresights.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

IoT set to overtake cloud computing as primary Industry 4.0 technology, Inmarsat research reveals

Posted on: October 14, 2021

New research by Inmarsat, the provider of global mobile satellite communications, reveals that investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) is set to overtake cloud computing, next generation security, big data analytics and other digital transformation technologies in the near future.

Read more

IDTechEx looks at the setbacks and explores how to move forward

Posted on: October 14, 2021

Bill Gates backed a Belmont smart city in the Arizona desert little has happened beyond a land purchase. Authorities demand that the Colorado river’s diminishing water supply is unharmed. Arizona suffers historic water shortage. The Southwest and much of the West is suffering from an intense 22-year drought, resulting in increasingly low water levels, dry

Read more