LPWA World - 22-23 May 2018, Novotel London West

Why is LPWA such a hot topic for 2017?

Before LPWA World 2017, we spoke to several of the event speakers for their insight on why LPWA/IoT Networks technology is a hot topic. Read on to see the thoughts of:

  • Arjan Bovenberg, Product Manager, Tele2
  • José Ignacio Guerra Gómez, Communications Architect, Telefonica Chile
  • Manfred Bürger, Senior Consultant Energy & Utilities, Telekom Austria Group
  • Loïc Barancourt, CEO, Thinxtra
  • Rudi Sunarno, Senior IoT Researcher, Telkom Indonesia
  • Henri Bong, CEO & Founder, UnaBiz


Arjan Bovenberg, Product Manager

"This is driven both by demand and supply. On the demand side, enterprises are increasingly in need for LPWA-technology to improve/lower risk in the business cases for IoT-solutions. On the supply side, the race between unlicensed and licensed technologies is heating up as the licensed camp has seen increased activity during 2016. Now there is a number of NB-IoT and LTE-M activities with larger operators showcasing multiple industry use cases, heavily supported by the large suppliers' vested interests."

Telefonica Chile

José Ignacio Guerra Gómez, Communications Architect

"I think this year we have an ideal scenario for LPWA networks and technologies mainly for two reasons; the first one is that the industry finally asume the indisputable importance that LPWA plays on massive IoT penetration. The second one (that is a direct consequence of the first one) is that this year we will finally have the possibility to experiment all the different flavors of LPWAN (licensed and unlicensed) at the same time, thanks to the extremely fast standardization of NB IoT and LTE-M (I’m not forgetting EC-GSM but it seems to have low popularity amongst operators), which has allowed the main MNOs to initiate the first real commercial pilots from the beginning of this year, competing directly with the unlicensed LPWA networks vastly deployed on the almost last two years."

Telekom Austria Group

Manfred Bürger, Senior Consultant Energy & Utilities

"2017 is the year in which several large Teleco’s are starting with the deployments of LPWA networks in the licensed spectrum and based on global industry standards. This will bring the global scale that many use cases do require for massive deployment. Coverage, low cost due to scalability and a proven vendor and operator ecosystem are key for technology adoption. This year the chicken-egg, i.e. network-device, situation will be overcome."


Loïc Barancourt, CEO

"To have IoT thrives it has to be low cost. So far either devices were:

  1. wearables (such as fitbit) and required a smartphone nearby to send data to the cloud. The device only had Bluetooth because it is cheap & low power consuming.
  2. at home and connecting through wifi. This means they had to be powered via a wall plug because too power consuming
  3. industrial & super expensive because they were connecting through 3G and super power consuming

The main issues with all those IoT solutions was either power consumption, cost or complexities due to short distance (gateway required).

LPWAN opens the door for connecting devices over long distance, that are low power consumption and very low costs.
This means, you can now connect things that you would never have thought of connecting before and in very large volume and without the intervention of anyone with a mobile phone nearby and on top of that, lasting a very long time on battery for 10+ years. This means it opens the door for a lot of Industrial solutions as simple as monitoring fire exit signs or smoke alarms or food crates temperature, tracking pallets or shopping trolleys, metering water or gas on a daily basis (instead of quaterly). The applications are near infinite in industry to first reduce your costs of monitoring your business with immediate ROI, but also in a second stage completely disrupting the way you do business or bringing opportunities to sell new incremental services.

Now in 2017, with LPWAN (low cost module, low cost connectivity and cloud storage), cost of acquiring data is finally lower than the value of that data and that was it is so hot. It makes all those solutions quite obvious to implement."

Telkom Indonesia

Rudi Sunarno, Senior IoT Researcher

"From telecommunication company perspective point of you, Telecoms operators will be under pressure to grow IoT revenues faster, possibly through acquisitions or joint venture. Currently, revenue from IoT accounts for less than 1% of most operators’ total revenue. Telkom Indonesia argues to increase IoT revenue by acceleration to achieve IoT market through the provision of extensive network connectivity by implement low cost and wide IoT coverage and Telkom see that there LPWA towards own readiness."


Henri Bong, CEO & Founder

"The IoT is about connecting the physical world to the digital world in order to get insights and help individuals and businesses make better decisions.

It is also an opportunity to transform any product into a service and maintain a continuous relationship with the customer. Saying that, before the emergence of LPWA we only had 2 big categories of connectivity to connect objects: short range connectivity and cellular.

With LPWA, the cost of IoT adoption becomes extremely affordable and tangible. What was impossible to deploy and measure in the past is now possible. The technology allow objects to be extremely energy efficient - battery lives now go beyond a decade.

This creates a huge opportunity for business ideas that did not make sense and cents previously with these other two types of connectivity. More and more individuals and companies are now realizing the opportunity and this is why LPWA is such a big topic today.

To illustrate the lowering of overall operational cost and capital investments, each Sigfox module costs $2 in the Sigfox ecosystem while LTE modules are in the range of $35 to $40."

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