Unlicensed LPWA IoT Connections to Reach 400 Million by 2025

Strategy Analytics has forecasted that global unlicensed LPWA connections will grow to around 400 million connections by 2025. While initial expectations were very optimistic for unlicensed LPWA, especially given the wealth of low power requirements in IoT and first-mover advantage for companies like Sigfox, the reality has been tempered by the exaggerated death of 2G networks, which have continued to form a large number of connections in countries like China, and the falling cost, and rapid ramp-up, of NB IoT and Cat M on LTE networks. Nevertheless, markets such as Utilities and those in Primary Processing as well as Industrial/Manufacturing and Transportation and logistics for track and trace/asset management functions will continue to provide the largest markets for unlicensed LPWA in the future.


LoRaWAN has become the dominant standard in unlicensed LPWA, assisted by taking a complimentary, rather than adversarial approach, which has helped the company expand the LoRa ecosystem as a complimentary solution to mobile network operators, as well as a primary low-cost WAN solution. While Strategy Analytics expects licensed low power technologies like NB IoT, Cat M, and 5G mMTC to dominate in the longer terms, unlicensed LPWA has a future, especially in specific verticals and emerging markets.

The full report, ‘The Battle for Unlicensed LPWA Supremacy in the IoT’, assesses the size and opportunities in the unlicensed LPWA market, identifying key players using LoRa, Sigfox, RPMA, Weightless & other Spread Spectrum, and UNB technologies.

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