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Low-powered wireless solutions have the potential to increase the M2M market by over 3 billion connections

Tom Rebbeck Research Director, Enterprise and IoT
Michele Mackenzie Principal Analyst, Research

The characteristics of LPWA technology will make it suitable for many vertical markets.

M2M, machine-machine, telecoms

Telecoms operators and vendors are exploring alternatives to traditional cellular technology to address the specific needs of machine-to-machine (M2M) services.

These technologies – called low-power, wide-area (LPWA) solutions – have three main advantages over the traditional networks:

  • lower cost: the target is produce modems for less than USD5
  • battery powered: the aim is to get 10 years of service from one AA battery
  • strong propagation: LPWA will have greater propagation than traditional cellular.

These characteristics open up markets for which traditional cellular technology is unsuitable – for example, where high module costs made the business case unviable or for devices that do not have a permanent power source, such as water meters.

We believe that LPWA services can target a market of more than 3 billion M2M connections worldwide by 2023, and generate over USD10 billion from connectivity revenue alone.

Based on our research, including discussions with a number of telecoms operators and other industry players, this report provides:

  • a sizing of the market opportunity for LPWA connectivity: by vertical market, we forecast the number of connections and connectivity revenue enabled by LPWA
  • details of a number of applications for LPWA technology: we describe some examples of applications, and provide our assumptions behind the adoption forecasts for each
  • a description of the ideal characteristics of LPWA networks: the technical capabilities of an ideal LPWA network are outlined, and we discuss the different alterative solutions.

Click on the report image to download or access the report via the download box on the right.