A Review of Low Power Wide Area Technology in Licensed and Unlicensed Spectrum for IoT Use Cases

Noor Laili Ismail, Murizah Kassim, Mahamod Ismail, Roslina Mohamad

Abstract


There are many platforms in licensed and license free spectrum that support LPWA (low power wide area) technology in the current markets. However, lack of standardization of the different platforms can be a challenge for an interoperable IoT environment. Therefore understanding the features of each technology platform is essential to be able to differentiate how the technology can be matched to a specific IoT application profile. This paper provides an analysis of LPWA underlying technology in licensed and unlicensed spectrum by means of literature review and comparative assessment of Sigfox, LoRa, NB-IoT and LTE-M. We review their technical aspect and discussed the pros and cons in terms of their technical and other deployment features. General IoT application requirements is also presented and linked to the deployment factors to give an insight of how different applications profiles is associated to the right technology platform, thus provide a simple guideline on how to match a specific application profile with the best fit connectivity features.


Keywords


IoT, LoRa, LPWA, LTE-M, NB-IoT, Sigfox

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