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LPWANs

LPWANs, also known as low-power wide-area networks, are devices that perform wireless telecommunication across long ranges and networks. The main functionality of this device is that it connects devices that are powered with batteries with low rates that are across long ranges. This device was created for IoT and machine-to-machine networks because of the low operating costs and the superior power efficiency compared to current mobile networks. Many companies prefer this network because it can support numerous devices that are all connected to the same network over a large area. Additionally, the sudden popularity of LPWANs is because of the growth of IoT connections in society. Current wireless technologies cannot keep up with power, costs and range requirements that are required in IoT devices such as sensor networks. For example, traditionally 3G networks and Wi-Fi are far too expensive to host many devices at the same time.

LPWANs are connected to battery-powered radio units that transmit limited amounts of data to a centralized location. In most cases, these devices can last ten years. There are many groups of LPWAN technologies that come in all shapes and sizes. For example, the unlicensed Sigfox is an LPWAN that runs over a public network and has bands of 868 MHz or 902 MHz. It can deliver messages over distances ranging from 30km to 50km. RPMAs are another type of LPWAN technology that has a short-range and runs on 2.4 GHz. The upside of this technology is that it is prone to interference from Wi-fi and Bluetooth. Technologies such as Bluetooth and Zigbee are used more for the consumer level and LPWANs are used more for industries and manufacturing plants. This is because LPWANs allow more IoT applications to be connected to the same network.

LPWANs are used in many applications such as energy management, smart metering, IoT deployments and tracking. These technologies are best used for applications that require the delivery of limited messages. Luckily, these devices also have downlink capabilities. Many companies are performing much better because of LPWANs since it helps them manage their supply chains and provides detailed information about their core processes. For example, if companies want to track their shipping and packaging, they can use LPWANs and cheap rental devices. This would allow the company to keep their operating costs low but still have constant visibility of its supply. The primary reason LPWANs are used more in industries and companies as opposed to consumers is that these large-scale companies can benefit from LPWANs since they receive a large number of devices that have low power consumption and costs but still offers a wide area range.