Comparative Look at LPWA Performance.

There are over a dozen LPWA technologies contending to provide connectivity for some of the billions of connected devices as projected by market analysts. How they all compare with each other is a hot topic in the race to markets. We recently published detailed analysis benchmarking these technologies in terms of capacity, range, throughput, power consumption and other characteristics*. In the process we developed a graphic for two parameters – range and throughput. Both are important parameters, but in the context of IoT, they are not the only parameters that need to be considered. Nevertheless, it is worth outlining some important aspects of this graphic. Read more of this post

Will Smart Parking be the NB-IoT Killer App?

NB-IoTThe outcome of the IoT connectivity standard battle which is in full swing today will hinge on a number of factors. One critical factor is the application of the technology. Applications vary in requirements as well as in barriers of entry. While IoT promises huge economic potential at a macro-economic level, it is a major challenge for any entity, be it investor or service provider,  to assess where to place its investments and focus. Such dynamics are fully evident today at different levels: competition between LPWA and 3GPP IoT standards, and the competition within each camp, for example, between backers of NB-IoT and LTE Cat-m1. So, if applications are so critical, what are some of the leading ones and where one needs to look? Read more of this post

The State of IoT Connectivity

IoT: LPWA vs. NB-IoT LTEMWC16 was a great venue to check the pulse of developments in IoT connectivity. We summarized part of our observations which we shared and published (link). It caused many follow ups by colleagues and friends who voiced a wide range of opinions that I thought some further color would be useful.

To start, the main challenge in IoT is applications. The challenge is not technology which exists. Rather, the issue is in making the business case for IoT to arrive at a functional solution. That cycle is long and expensive. When we drill deeper into many IoT activities, the question becomes “who will pay for this service.” Technology can lower the cost, but there are many elements that are not technology related which gate the process. Read more of this post

Is IoT at Risk of Stalling?

IoT internet things connectivityThe wide-area IoT connectivity battle which has been brewing for a couple of years is heating up. Early last month at CES, Ericsson announced the release of “the first complete cellular low-power wide-area (LPWA) solution” to AT&T. At the same time, the Wi-Fi Alliance branded 802.11ah as Wi-Fi HaLow targeting applications in smart home, connected car, digital healthcare, industrial, retail, agriculture, and smart cities. These are but two samples of the competition between a great variety of technologies that has left the market largely confused. This is dangerous as confused markets run the risk of stalling. The risks increases with increased ambiguity on the value proposition and use cases of the technology. Nowhere is this more pronounced than in IoT where there are many barriers to adoption ranging from financial and economical considerations to technical and regulatory. Read more of this post

Top 3 Drivers of Investments in the LPWA Market.

LPWA vs LTEHundreds of millions of dollars have poured into the low-power wide-area (LPWA) IoT connectivity market over the past 2 years alone to kick start a fledgeling ecosystem of companies across a wide range of products and services. In the process of due diligence and research in this market that we undertook at  Xona Partners, we find the following key drivers for investments: Read more of this post

Is LPWA for Mobile Network Operators?

Is LPWA for MNOsYou don’t need to be a wireless carrier to operate an LPWA network and provide IoT connectivity services to hundreds of thousands of devices. LPWA technologies operate in unlicensed spectrum which opens a wide door to anyone to play in the IoT connectivity space, including of course mobile network operators (MNOs). But is LPWA for MNOs? Or more precisely, LPWA opens the door for new applications and business models, but to what extent can MNOs leverage LPWA and can they make a successful business out of it? Or are LPWA networks best run by new entities unencumbered with legacy solutions and processes? Read more of this post

What to Shut Down First 2G or 3G?

Spectrum RefarmingTelenor Norway announced it will shut down 3G network in 2020; five years before 2G.

This is yet another example of how operators in Europe are diverging from North American operators by opting to shut down 3G ahead of 2G. 3G is much less efficient in carrying data traffic than LTE which is twice better.  2G/GPRS is the workhorse for M2M services by operators. Also, the relatively small networks and markets in Europe and the amount of roaming makes a case to keep 2G operating for longer. Read more of this post