GigaOm Radar for LPWAN technology providers (unlicensed spectrum)



  1. Summary
  2. Market categories and types of deployment
  3. Comparison of key criteria
  4. GigaOm radar
  5. Supplier Information
  6. The analyst’s point of view
  7. About Chris Grundemann
  8. About Logan Andrew Green


Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology providers enable system integrators and end customers to deploy LPWAN-based IoT solutions. They expand the network stack and can deploy an IoT network as a physical appliance on customer premises, a virtual appliance in the cloud, or a network as a service. Technology vendors can offer gateway and sensor management, provisioning, integration and troubleshooting, as well as connectivity to customer applications and network planning and development services.

In this GigaOm Radar report, we will feature LPWAN technology providers who use at least one protocol in unlicensed electromagnetic spectrum bands. Unlicensed spectrum can be used by anyone without the need to purchase FCC licenses for specific frequency bands (which is common for cellular connectivity). This lowers the barrier to entry as well as costs (compared to licensed spectrum) and means that unlicensed LPWAN IoT connectivity is more open to disruption by startups and can generally be offered at a lower overall cost.

To deliver IoT solutions, LPWAN technology providers often partner with system integrators, who manage the physical deployment and implementation of the solution. For this report, we will assess the capabilities of each technology vendor against key criteria without relying on systems integrators. For example, when it comes to network design or application development metrics, some technology vendors do not offer these features in-house, so they rely on partners to provide these services. In such cases, the provider would get a 0 on the metric.

LPWAN connectivity is suitable for applications with the following characteristics:

  • Long range wireless connectivity up to 10 km / 6 miles from sensor to gateway / base station / access point
  • Low power consumption, with device battery life of up to 10 years
  • Penetration of land and building to bypass line-of-sight issues
  • Low operating costs (device management or connection subscription cost)
  • Low data transfer rate of around 20 kbps

How to read this report

This GigaOm report is one in a series of documents that help IT organizations assess competing solutions against the background of well-defined features and criteria. For a better understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:

Key criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact of key product features and criteria on high-end solution characteristics, such as scalability, performance, and total cost of ownership, which drive decisions purchase.

GigaOm radar report: A forward looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the industry.

Solution Profile: An in-depth supplier analysis based on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s commitment to a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance for both strategy and product.

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