Communication is an integral part of the internet of things, and there are many wireless technologies are available that vary with range, bandwidth and power efficiency those you can’t use the same communication protocol for all applications. In this post, I’ll give a brief introduction to a common type of wireless technology.
Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs).
LPWANs as it names implies, it can be used for low power application that required long-range. as tradeoffs, it can carry only small bandwidth compared to other wireless technology, but In IoT, most of the cases small bandwidth is enough.
The NB-IoT, LTE-M, LoRa, Sigfox comes under the LPWANs spectrum, but not all LPWAN’s are equal. some of them are licensed and some of them are unlicensed, and the frequency also will change depends on the location it’s installed.
Narrowband Internet of Things is a Low Power Wide Area Network radio technology standard developed by 3GPP to enable a wide range of cellular devices and services. It simpler and lightweight than tradition GSM/3G networks.
“LTE-M” stands for Long Term Evolution for Machines. It is a low power wide area radio technology standard published by 3GPP. The technology provides improved both indoor and outdoor coverage, supports massive numbers of low throughput devices, low delay sensitivity, ultra-low device cost, low device power consumption and optimised network architecture.
so you might have a question! what is the difference between NB-IOT and LTE-M
LoRa is a low-power wide-area network modulation technique. It is based on spread spectrum modulation techniques derived from chirp spread spectrum technology. It was developed by Cycleo of Grenoble, France and acquired by Semtech, the founding member of the LoRa Alliance.
LoRa is the physical layer or the (wireless) modulization which creates the long-range communication link. LoRaWAN is about the communication protocol and system architecture for the network as the LoRa Alliance puts it. Or even simpler: LoRaWAN is the network (WAN = Wide Area Network).
unlike LTE-M and NB-IOT, LoRa needs to have gateways to work as LoRa WAN, so there is some infrastructure investment required to use LoRa WAN.
And there is The Things Network. it’ss a global community building an open-source and decentralized LoRaWAN network.
Finally in LPWANs section, we have Sigfox, which is an narrowband (or ultra-narrowband) technology . It uses a standard radio transmission method called binary phase-shift keying (BPSK), and it takes very narrow chunks of spectrum and changes the phase of the carrier radio wave to encode the data.
The Sigfox is a proprietary network owned by the company and LoRa is an alternative open network proposed by a consortium.
So, the selection of LPWAN depends on the application parameters such as availability in your area, initial gateway cost, frequency…etc.
I hope this post will help you to understand Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) , and In the next post, we’ll look into the cellular technologies. Thanks