The Devices on the IoT Need Their Own Public Network

It should be clear that in order to achieve the grand vision of the IoT we will need publicly available out of the box connectivity for machines and devices.

In other words, the IoT described in the press and in this article must be connected by a ubiquitous wireless service dedicated to machines (much like cellular networks are used today for human driven voice/data connections). Both traditional cellular and LPWA are proposed public network solutions to IoT connectivity. 2G has been used for years to provide this publicly available connectivity that IoT devices need. But with AT&T finishing up their 2G shutdown the end of this year (2016) and others following close behind, it’s clear cellular 2G isn’t the path forward.

2015: The Year LPWA Grew Up

2015 in many ways was the year of LPWA. Three major players have emerged as potential low power wide area connectivity providers: Ingenu, Sigfox, and LoRa. Each of these companies provide different technologies that have long reaching implications on their viability to serve the vision of the IoT. We’ll discuss these in upcoming posts.

Cellular providers are also beginning to join the LPWA movement through 3GPP’s latest work toward creating a standard that matches the LPWA criteria. (Despite the press releases, cellular LPWA isn’t quite there yet. Power usage is notoriously tricky to gauge because it involves so many interactions; so whether cellular’s latest attempts will be low power remains to be seen.)

By beginning to develop cellular-LPWA, cellular providers have essentially admitted that traditional cellular is not the appropriate technology to connect the IoT.

What is clear is that LPWA uniquely serves the vision of the IoT. Analysts and wireless carriers agree that LPWA will take the lion’s share of the IoT’s connectivity.

The exact numbers of LPWA connections aren’t important; we know they’ll number in the many billions. What’s important is the nature of the applications these connections enable: truly useful, efficiency enabling applications that are simple, scalable, and improve our lives directly and indirectly.

Attend our webinar, How RPMA Works, to learn how Ingenu’s LPWA tech, RPMA, is the only LPWA tech that can support the grand vision of the IoT.