Low power is the first differentiator for LPWA standard, it can be used for applications that last for years (not days or weeks) on a single battery. So, this means that sensors can be placed and left alone in buildings, outdoor locations, and in any difficult-to-access area, providing valuable data over a long period of time. This is in stark contrast to the always-tethered cellular connected M2M devices that we now.
The nature and needs of the vast majority of M2M communications involve a periodic sensor reporting rather than real-time interactivity. According to research by James Brehm & Associates, 86% of current M2M communications use less than 3MB a month.
Know the four basic conditions to undertake IoT projects Brillo, Internet of Things OS
Due to the fact that IoT application requirements are focused in a wide range area, a single access technology is not capable of being complain to all the LPWA use cases. As a result, the mobile industry has addressed two complementary licensed 3GPP standards: Long-Term Evolution for Machines (LTE-M) and Narrow-Band Internet of Things (NB-IoT). LPWA technologies in licensed spectrum can be deployed in a simplified manner, without sacrificing key customer requirements, such as battery lifetime and security.
LTE-M, an efficient LPWA Standard that supports IoT
LTE-M, is a technology used by low power wide area that supports IoT through lower device complexity providing an extended coverage. Also when using this standard you will be able to reuse the LTE installed base.(this is great news as mobile carriers don’t have to spend money to build new antennas).
LTE-M is your choice if your business needs:
- Highest bandwidth of any LPWA technology
- Ability to support voice and roaming on 4G spectrum
- Real-time fixed or mobile applications
NB-IoT, another option of LPWA Standard
NB-IoT, is most used in deep coverage as a result of the improvement of the power consumption in devices, system capacity, and spectrum efficiency. Moreover, provides the opportunity to use the same battery for up to 10 years in a wide range of use cases. Something important to keep in mind at the moment of our decision is that NB-IoT doesn’t operate in the LTE band, meaning that providers have a higher upfront cost to deploy NB-IoT.
Being chosen by the reduction of the cost in the implementation, as it eliminates the need for a gateway as with NB-IoT, sensor data is sent directly to the main server.
NB-IoT is your choice if your business needs:
- To be focused on very low data rates
- Ability to use both 4G and 2G spectrum
- Ideal for simpler static sensor applications
To sum up, both LTE-M and NB-IoT, are supported by all major mobile equipment, chipset, and module manufacturers. Although they will co-exist with 2G, 3G, and 4G mobile networks and benefit from all the security and privacy features of mobile networks, you need to pay special attention in the scalability that your business project will have and the kind of sensors that you need to get reports from. For simple regular data notification below the 65 Kbps, stay with NB-IoT. On the other hand, if you need to monitor equipment with more frequency and with a consumption up to 350 Kbps, so LTE-M is your choice (keep in mind that LTE equipment can enable this standard with a firmware upgrade).
Learn more about the IoT business world by reading Blockchain: Changing the Picture for the IoT World