LPWAN and Requirements

LPWAN – Low-Power Wide Area Network is a group of networks proposed for the Internet of Things applications, which require a low energy consumption and a long-range transmission.
 
In 2013, an idea emerged and dedicated to the development of a global network covering up to several tens of kilometers in rural areas. The purpose of such a network is to provide Internet connectivity for a huge number of nodes deployed anywhere. However, gateways are required to communicate with devices. Thus, the access network infrastructure is required to limit operators’ operating costs. A gateway or base station must serve a large number of nodes distributed over a very wide area. For this, it cannot be obtained by increasing the learning power, since low power consumption is very important for IoT nodes.
 
Besides, unlicensed frequency bands are often used for LPWAN transmission, which further reduces the cost of the network (since the cost of using licensed frequency bands can be very high). These networks are expected to handle individual small packets of data, so the networks are targeting new applications such as smart sustainable cities, smart meters, logistics, weather monitoring, and tracking, home automation, and security, etc.
 
With the advent of the first narrowband wireless technologies, LPWAN was expected to become one of the fastest-growing IoT networks to provide ubiquitous connectivity in smart sustainable cities or rural areas. All of these applications are paving the way for new markets and new business operators. Also, since the cost of infrastructure is low, emerging technologies have joined the traditional carriers. Well-known and popular in the market and also in scientific research include Semtech’s LoRa technology, Sigfox’s UNB technology, and Ingenu’s RPMA technology. 

The LPWAN context has opened up a new challenge that moves from increased data rates to expected growth in the number of devices, and also to a high-density wireless sensor network. The research and development of LPWANs aim to identify new methods that meet the requirements of:
  • Low power consumption: data should be sent with the lowest transmission power and the shortest duration.
  • Low device and infrastructure costs: The number of base stations must be minimized, and the devices must be simple, lightweight, and with little computing power.
  • Small packet size processing capability.
  • Scalability and the ability to handle a very large number of nodes.
  • Extended range of communication coverage.

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