Mobile Experts released a new report today on wireless Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity, including a detailed comparison of Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) and 2G/3G/4G wireless standards.  This report, titled LPWA vs. LTE, includes deep technical analysis of the link budget, as well as other key performance factors such as system capacity, dwell time/duty cycle, bandwidth, latency, and mobility (Doppler tolerance).

In addition, the new Mobile Experts report provides insightful analysis of the business model for IoT.  Using thorough link budget and capacity analysis as a guide, we estimated the CAPEX and OPEX required for LPWA networks and LTE alternatives.  Client device costs and semiconductor cost breakdowns are presented in detail.  The team considered ecosystem development, proprietary vs. open standards, global roaming, and long-term vendor assurance, among other qualitative factors in the business case.

The new Mobile Experts report is the most comprehensive analysis of wireless IoT ever published, with very detailed technical analysis and cost analysis to identify which standards and applications will succeed.

This report examines 86 different IoT applications, with analysis of technical and business factors to illustrate where each wireless standard matches with appropriate use cases.  Aside from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, 28 variations of wide-area wireless connectivity options are analyzed, including Short Range Wide Area (SRWA) options with mesh characteristics, 3GPP-based options from GPRS through LTE and NB-IoT, and several competing LPWA options.

Senior Analyst Frank Rayal explained, “While Wi-Fi and Bluetooth variations will dominate the home automation applications, enterprise applications will increasingly move toward LPWA and 3GPP options for wider coverage and higher reliability.”

“LPWA standards are now mature enough for us to analyze both coverage and capacity. This market study examines the technology at a deep level, to determine the fundamental differentiators between various standards. Then, based on our team’s combined 70 years’ experience in mobile networks, we estimated the Total Cost of Ownership involved with wireless IoT standards to understand the business decisions facing IoT service providers.”

This report includes 77 charts and diagrams to illustrate both technical and financial analysis in many different ways.  At least 20 different frequency bands are described, with key regulatory requirements including RF power restrictions, dwell time (which limits capacity and throughput), bandwidth, and other channel characteristics. This document provides an encyclopedic view of wide-area wireless M2M standards.