Predictions of a single interconnected network, referred to as the Internet of Everything (IoX), that will allow diverse sensors to interact, aren’t going to materialize, according to a recent industry report.
“Many smart applications have emerged, but they are using different networks, because customers are making independent decisions on network technology and devices — meaning the markets are growing more vertically instead of horizontally,” said Joe Madden, principal analyst, Mobile Experts.
But that doesn’t mean that the IoT industry has not matured, according to a recent report, LPWA 2018. During the last two years, IoT has moved from the chaos of having 15 competing wireless formats to the clarity of two front runners, LoRa (which stands for Long Range) for private networks and NB-IoT (Narrowband-IoT), for public networks.
“Overall, we see two major market areas emerging here, with distinct needs for private networks and other requirements for high RF performance and wide coverage,” Madden wrote in the executive summary of the report. “LoRa and NB-IoT are the big winners.”
Mobile Experts studied the economics and business cases of LTE-M versus NB-IoT, LoRa and others such as SigFox and Weightless. The group found that NB-IoT benefits from lower costs for the devices compared with LTE-M.
“LTE-M is not going to be as successful as LoRa and NB-IoT,” Madden said. “NB-IoT benefits from lower cost devices. In Canada, they promoted NB-IoT and developed lower cost chipsets than LTE-M.” The Chinese government is also playing a role in the success of NB-IoT, subsidizing devices and semiconductors. Plus, all three state-owned mobile operators are deploying nationwide NB-IoT networks.
Regardless of RF performance, Madden said that some technologies are favored because they allow enterprises to own and operate their own networks.
“This gives LoRa a major boost, along with a few other unlicensed technologies that focus on specific vertical markets,” he wrote. “LoRa takes best advantage of the private-network business model because of its open ecosystem and good RF/battery performance.”
For more information on LPWA 2018, visit here.
J. Sharpe Smith
J. Sharpe Smith joined AGL in 2007 as contributing editor to the magazine and as editor of eDigest email newsletter. He has 29 years of experience writing about industrial communications, paging, cellular, small cells, DAS and towers. Previously, he worked for the Enterprise Wireless Alliance as editor of the Enterprise Wireless Magazine. Before that, he edited the Wireless Journal for CTIA and he began his wireless journalism career with Phillips Publishing, now Access Intelligence. Sharpe Smith may be contacted at: [email protected]