4 Billion IoT Devices Will Rely on LPWAN Technologies by 2025, Ecosystem Creation Matters

Oyster Bay, New York - 14 Dec 2016

With four billion IoT devices expected to rely on Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) by 2025, ABI Research predicts that this technology will be the fastest growing connectivity segment in the market through 2025. The rise of LPWANs will translate into one billion chipset shipments with the technology generating a total value of more than $2 billion in 2025.

“The success, or otherwise, of different LPWAN technologies at stake will much depend on the market they are targeting case by case,” says Samuel McLaughlin, Research Analyst at ABI Research. “Regardless of the targeted use case, LPWAN technology suppliers should aim to create solid ecosystems around their technologies by either partnering with service platform providers or building one of their own. Otherwise, they will face serious hurdles in this fast-moving and highly competitive market.”

LPWAN can be split into two main categories; technologies that operate under unlicensed spectrum and those operating under licensed spectrum and using 3GPP standards. Although unlicensed technologies—whether proprietary technologies like SIGFOX or those based on open frameworks like LoRa and Weightless—are gaining a considerable momentum within the IoT market, they will be increasingly challenged by the emerging technologies based on 3GPP standards, notably NB-IoT. 

“LPWAN technologies operating under unlicensed spectrum have the early market advantage and provide the quickest time to deployment, and the lowest infrastructure and operating costs for many IoT applications,” continues McLaughlin. “However, emerging 3GPP LPWAN technologies like eMTC and NB-IoT are promising similar performance and have many more advantages. These include strong support from the telecommunications ecosystem, the ability to operate ubiquitously across the cellular infrastructure already in place, and most importantly, the scalability for service providers to easily and quickly add new services to their portfolios using the same infrastructure.”

While some technologies, mainly those operating in unlicensed spectrum, will continue to perform well in specific segments, notably utility and energy management, as well as in retail applications, other technologies will better suit service providers who want to address many segments using the same infrastructure. Smart cities, smart homes, smart buildings, and industrial IoT applications are prime examples of such segments. Operators including Orange and SK Telecom are deploying various technologies operating in both licensed and unlicensed spectrums with the ultimate goal being to build service platforms that are agnostic to the access technology used. Their aim is to play the various LPWAN technologies at their strengths, depending on the market segment targeted.”

ABI Research finds the utility and energy management market will hold the largest share of the LPWAN market through 2025 due to the fact that the application requirements of smart electricity, water, and gas meters match fundamental characteristics of LPWAN technologies, such as long battery life, wide coverage area, and higher link budget. Moving forward, the market will expand to include best-fit use cases for all LPWAN technologies, with smart street lighting and smart parking applications also forecast to see significant shipments.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Market Opportunities for Low Power and Cellular Wireless ICs for the IoT report. The study provides a comprehensive technology breakdown across nine competing solutions targeting more than 20 use cases.

About ABI Research

ABI Research provides strategic guidance to visionaries, delivering actionable intelligence on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces across the world. ABI Research's global team of analysts publish groundbreaking studies often years ahead of other technology advisory firms, empowering our clients to stay ahead of their markets and their competitors.

ABI Research提供开创性的研究和战略指导,帮助客户了解日新月异的技术。 自1990年以来,我们已与全球数百个领先的技术品牌,尖端公司,具有远见的政府机构以及创新的贸易团体建立了合作关系。 我们帮助客户创造真实的业务成果。

For more information about ABI Research's services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific or visit www.abiresearch.com.

Contact ABI Research

Media: Interview an Analyst

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670