GigaOm Radar for LPWAN Technology Providers (Unlicensed Spectrum)v1.0

Assessing Providers of Low-Power Wide Area Network Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Market Categories and Deployment Types
  3. Key Criteria Comparison
  4. GigaOm Radar
  5. Vendor Insights
  6. Analyst’s Take
  7. About Andrew Green

1. Summary

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

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

To deliver IoT solutions, LPWAN technology providers often partner with system integrators, who handle the physical deployment and implementation of the solution. For this report, we will be assessing each technology provider’s capabilities against the key criteria without relying on system integrators. For example, relative to the Network Design or Application Development metrics, some technology providers do not offer these features in-house, so they rely on partners to deliver these services. In such cases, the vendor would score a 0 on the metric.

LPWAN connectivity is suitable for applications with the following characteristics:

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

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding consider reviewing the following reports:

Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.

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 sector.

Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.

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