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What is LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network)?

  • Mahesh Tiwari
  • Feb 23, 2024
  • RFID
what is LPWAN

The rapid adoption of technology for domestic purposes and in industries is creating a need for low power consuming networks. Use of IoT, which is at present mostly depended on sensor applications in short range communication, is limited to wireless communication as in WLAN and Bluetooth, which offer high speed data communication and ZigBee, which offers low speed data communication but what about long range communication and wireless-sensor applications? This created a need for a new paradigm of IoT applications and environment that support long range communication with low power consumption.

According to a Forbes survey report, use of IoT enabled devices will cross the 75B mark by 2025. And the use of IoT will grow further. As the requirement of IoT applications in wide area and multi connection coverage increases, need for Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) will grow immensely.

What is LPWAN ?

Typically LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) is class of wireless IoT communication standards and solutions that are focused on wide coverage area, low transmission data rates, low power consumption, low deployment and device costs.

Most popular examples of LPWAN standards are LoRaWan, Narrowband IoT, LTE-M  etc. Sigfox is also a LPWAN proprietary technology.

What are the areas that LPWAN can make a difference? Applications of LPWAN:

Need for long range -low power network in IoT applications has been felt in many industries for a long time. From smart agriculture, smart supply chain and logistics to smart manufacturing and smart city projects, IoT applications can make a major difference in terms of ease, productivity, visibility, and streamlined operations.

Various short range IoT connectivity technologies like BLE, RFID, NFC, Wi-Fi already find applications in various businesses like retail, education, manufacturing, inventory management and healthcare but LPWAN will drastically enhance the IoT coverage over wide areas for sure.

Let’s see what are the fields that can benefit from low powered wide area network standards:

Use of LPWAN in Smart Agriculture

Smart agriculture involves various measures aimed at enhancing the yield, managing the farm, livestock management, soil health monitoring, irrigation control amongst various other things.

A low power wide area network can allow for an IoT environment that can take care of all these things while keeping the deployment cost to minimum.

Smart City projects with LPWAN:

A smart city means interconnectivity of various services inside the city. It means monitoring of roads and bridges, smart transportation services, environmental element like humidity and air quality monitoring, noise level monitoring, gas, electricity and water metering, infrastructure health monitoring, smart parking etc.  For city-wide projects various LPWAN nodes can be created and various IoT applications can be interconnected. As LPWAN can support thousands of connections, scalability of LPWAN comes in handy in such cases. 

Supply Chain and Logistics with LPWAN:

Various short range IOTs like RFID and BLE have already transformed the supply chain and logistics business by increasing asset visibility drastically. LPWAN standards like LoRaWAN gives supply chain networks a wide area visibility and end-to-end supply chain monitoring over long distances, that too at a very low cost.

Asset tracking, monitoring, Fleet management, intralogistics like monitoring of inventory at ports, warehouses, docks etc can be achieved with LPWAN which can reduce various supply chain and logistics bottlenecks.

LPWAN in Utilities

LPWAN can immensely help the utility industry by felicitating smart water, smart electricity, smart gas and heating at low cost.

It can help monitor power outages, felicitate smart metering of water, gas and electricity and enhance the billing accuracy for these services, even in remote areas that require comprehensive metering infrastructure.

Through meter and grid monitoring and insights, LPWAN can help eliminate frequent disruptions in service outages and it can hasten the response in case of a service outage as well.

To conclude, low power wide area network is the new go to standard for long range IOT applications, that too with lost cost deployment.

Disclaimer: The information presented here is for general information purposes only and true to best of our understanding. Users are requested to use any information as per their own understanding and knowledge. Before using any of the information, please refer to our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.


  • Created on Mar 30, 2023
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