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A Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) or Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) network or Low-Power Network (LPN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery.[1][2] The low power, low bit rate and intended use distinguish this type of network from a wireless WAN that is designed to connect users or businesses, and carry more data, using more power. The LPWAN datarate ranges from 0.3 kbit/s to 50 kbit/s per channel.[3]

A LPWAN may be used to create a private wireless sensor network, but may also be a service or infrastructure offered by a third party, allowing the owners of sensors to deploy them in the field without investing in gateway technology.


Platforms and technologiesEdit

There are a number of competing standards and vendors in the LPWAN space, the most prominent of which include[4]:

LoRa based Edit

LoRa is a proprietary, chirp spread spectrum (CSS) radio modulation technology for LPWAN used by LoRaWAN, Haystack Technologies, and Symphony Link.[5]

LoRa is a patented (EP2763321 from 2013 and US7791415 from 2008) technology developed by Cycleo (Grenoble, France) and acquired by Semtech in 2012.[6] LoRa uses license-free sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands like 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (North America).


LoRaWAN is a media access control layer protocol for managing communication between LPWAN gateways and end-node devices, maintained by the LoRa Alliance. Version 1.0 of the LoRaWAN specification was released in June 2015.[7]

LoRaWAN defines the communication protocol and system architecture for the network while the LoRa physical layer enables the long-range communication link. LoRaWAN is also responsible managing the communication frequencies, data rate, and power for all devices.[8] Devices in the network are asynchronous and transmit when they have data available to send. Data transmitted by an end-node device is received by multiple gateways, which forward the data packets to a centralized network server.[9] The network server filters duplicate packets, performs security checks, and manages the network. Data is then forwarded to application servers.[10] The technology shows high reliability for the moderate load, however it has some performance issues related to sending acknowledgements[11].

Platforms based on LoRaWAN include:

  • Globalsat, both a public LoRaWAN and private LoRa Nodes solution provider for WW, include Europe, US, Asia region and Japan market.[12]
  • ThingsConnected, a free platform provided by the UK Digital Catapult[13]
  • iFrogLab, public LoRaWAN and LoRa provider for North America and Taiwan.[14]
  • IoT-X, platform from Stream Technologies for public and private networks.[15]
  •, platform for private, public networks and IoT projects.[16]
  • OpenChirp, open management layer on top of LoRaWAN, developed at Carnegie Mellon University, for data context, storage, visualization, and access control.[17] The primary objective is to simplify the experience of adding and operating new devices in the network, as well as improving performance for communities that share bandwidth and locality.[18][19]
  • The Things Network, a free and open-source LoRaWAN network provider developed and supported by a worldwide community.[20]
  • Everynet, provides a platform and gateways for Lora use in the Americas, Europe, China. [3]
  • ThingPark Wireless, platform from Actility based on LoRaWAN.[21]
  • Senet, public LoRaWAN provider in North America.[22]
  •, global public LoRaWAN operator and platform for private and public networks.[23]
  • The LPWAN ecosystem comprises analytics vendors, such as Semtech Corporation (U.S.), LORIOT (Switzerland), NWave Technologies (U.K.), SIGFOX (France), WAVIoT (Texas, U.S.), Actility (France), Ingenu (San Diego, U.S.), Link Labs (Maryland, U.S.), Weightless SIG, and Senet, Inc. (Portsmouth, U.K.), ResIOT (Italy) and various others such as service providers and enterprises. Other stakeholders of the Low Power Wide Area Network market include telecom operators such as Vodafone (U.K.) and Orange (France), among others who integrate these smart devices and sell them to end users to cater to their unique business requirements.

Ultra Narrow BandEdit

UNB, Ultra Narrow Band, modulation technology used for LPWAN by various companies including:

  • Sigfox, UNB-based technology and French company.[24]
  • Telensa[25]
  • NB-IoT, another narrow band standard initiated and completed by 3gpp with their release 13 of the series of IoT standardizations.
  • Nwave, proprietary technology developed in cooperation with MIT. Its first release without error correcting codes also forms the basis of the Weightless-N open protocol[26][27]
  • Weightless, a set of communication standards from the Weightless SIG.[28]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Beser, Nurettin Burcak. "Operating cable modems in a low power mode." U.S. Patent No. 7,389,528. 17 June 2008.
  2. ^ Schwartzman, Alejandro, and Chrisanto Leano. "Methods and apparatus for enabling and disabling cable modem receiver circuitry." U.S. Patent No. 7,587,746. 8 September 2009.
  3. ^ Ferran Adelantado, Xavier Vilajosana, Pere Tuset-Peiro, Borja Martinez, Joan Melià-Seguí and Thomas Watteyne. Understanding the Limits of LoRaWAN (January 2017).
  4. ^ Ramon Sanchez-Iborra; Maria-Dolores Cano (2016). "State of the Art in LP-WAN Solutions for Industrial IoT Services". Sensors. 
  5. ^ "LoRa Integration - Link Labs". Link Labs. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  6. ^ "LoRa, LoRaWAN and". LORIOT. Retrieved 2017-05-05. 
  7. ^ Version 1.0 of the LoRaWAN specification released.
  8. ^ "LoRaWAN For Developers". Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  9. ^ "A Comprehensive Look At LPWAN For IoT Engineers & Decision Makers". Retrieved 2017-06-22. 
  10. ^ LoRa Alliance (2015). "LoRaWAN: What is it?" (PDF). 
  11. ^ Bankov, D.; Khorov, E.; Lyakhov, A. (November 2016). "On the Limits of LoRaWAN Channel Access". 2016 International Conference on Engineering and Telecommunication (EnT): 10–14. doi:10.1109/ent.2016.011. 
  12. ^ [1]
  13. ^ "Things Connected". Retrieved 2017-07-19. 
  14. ^ [2]
  15. ^ Technologies, Stream. "Stream Technologies - Low Power Wide Area Networks - LoRa". Retrieved 2017-05-17. 
  16. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  17. ^ "OpenChirp". OpenChirp. 2017. 
  18. ^ Dongare, A.; Hesling, C.; Bhatia, K.; Balanuta, A.; Pereira, R. L.; Iannucci, B.; Rowe, A. (March 2017). "OpenChirp: A Low-Power Wide-Area Networking architecture". 2017 IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications Workshops (PerCom Workshops): 569–574. doi:10.1109/percomw.2017.7917625. 
  19. ^ Gund, Devin (2017). "LPWAN Policy Research". 
  20. ^ Network, The Things. "The Things Network". The Things Network. Retrieved 2017-05-24. 
  21. ^ "ThingPark Wireless | Thingpark". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  22. ^ Senet
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 2017-07-24. 
  24. ^ "SIGFOX Technology". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  25. ^ "UNB Wireless - Telensa". Telensa. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  26. ^ Nwave
  27. ^ "Nwave Network | Nwave". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  28. ^ "Weightless-N - Weightless". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  29. ^ "Framework Details". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  30. ^ Flynn, Kevin. "Evolution of LTE in Release 13". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  31. ^ "LTE-M, NB-LTE-M, & NB-IOT: Three 3GPP IoT Technologies To Get Familiar With". Link Labs. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  32. ^ Huawei. "Huawei and partners Leading NB-IoT Standardization -- PHOENIX, Sept. 21, 20 15 /PR Newswire UK/ --". Retrieved 2016-02-01. 
  33. ^ "Ingenu's RPMA Technology". Ingenu. Retrieved 2016-02-01. 

Further readingEdit

  • Lee, Chang-Jae, Ki-Seon Ryu, and Beum-Joon Kim. "Periodic ranging in a wireless access system for mobile station in sleep mode." U.S. Patent No. 7,194,288. 20 March 2007.
  • Quigley, Thomas J., and Ted Rabenko. "Latency reduction in a communications system." U.S. Patent No. 7,930,000. 19 April 2011.
  • Bankov, D.; Khorov, E.; Lyakhov, A. "On the Limits of LoRaWAN Channel Access". 2016 International Conference on Engineering and Telecommunication (EnT): 10–14.