Non-Cellular LPWA Network Connections Will Lead Market by More Than 12% in 2021

Smart Metering and Asset Tracking Applications to Foster Future LPWA Connections
28 Nov 2016

ABI Research forecasts non-cellular LPWA technologies from INGENU, LoRa Alliance, SIGFOX, Sensus, and Telensa will command the leading share of LPWA connections, which see non-cellular LPWA endpoints outnumbering their cellular LPWA counterparts by more than 12% in 2021. Both cellular and non-cellular LPWA markets benefit from a growing base of connections in smart meters and emerging IoT applications, such as in street lighting, parking, environmental monitoring, and asset tracking.

Strong growth in non-cellular Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network penetration across Europe and Asia Pacific provide a market advantage over cellular LPWA. In both regions, network operators have been proactive in the roll-out of LPWA networks, especially with the early nationwide roll-outs of public LPWA networks.

Cellular LPWA network technologies like NB-IoT and LTE-M will also witness exponential connection growth from 2018 onward as large telecommunications companies upgrade their networks in 2017. Cellular LPWA networks will see the majority of connections stem from North America. Cellular LPWA technologies capable of offering higher quality of service (QoS) in licensed spectrum will gain initial traction in IoT markets that require network compliance to stringent Service Level Agreements. Most of this growth will center on telematics, metering, and location tracking applications.

“Smart meter deployments from energy and water utilities will be an important lever for the initial adoption of both cellular and non-cellular public LPWA network technologies,” says Adarsh Krishnan, Senior Analyst at ABI Research. “The success of these LPWA rollouts in smart metering from energy utilities has already started to attract water utilities previously searching for the business case clarity they now have.”

Proprietary solutions from meter vendors, such as Aclara, Itron, and Sensus will continue to drive the uptake of private LPWA networks for utilities until a reliable, secure, and ubiquitous public LPWA network becomes available nationwide.

“While battery-operated water and gas meters are an immediate growth market for all LPWA network technologies, geo-fencing and geo-localization features will usher in the next wave of connection growth for non-cellular public LPWA networks,” concludes Krishnan. “B2B and B2B2C asset tracking and monitoring applications, such as tracking livestock, industrial equipment, postal packages, airport baggage, shipping containers, and other tracking use-cases, will drive the most connection growth for public LPWA networks.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s LPWA Market Data report.

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