Testing LPWAN IoT technology: An essential step to a connected future

September 13, 2018 // By Viavi Solutions
Testing LPWAN IoT technology: An essential step to a connected future
We’re well-aware of the billions of connected devices predicted to be in circulation in the coming years as part of the expanding IoT ecosystem. We’ve heard about – and seen trials of – innovative applications in myriad industries, and we’re continually learning of the new cost efficiencies and socio-economic benefits the IoT will deliver. Dr. Hayk Manukyan, Market Solutions Director, VIAVI Solutions (from the recently acquired Cobham Wireless Validation business), examines how we can sustainably and effectively connect this environment, and what operators must do to prepare their networks.

The transformative properties of the IoT are undeniable and inevitable, yet the diversity of applications and their requirements also throws up significant challenges.

How can we connect this connected environment, ensuring billions of sensors spread remotely across the globe are able to send and receive data, at low latency, in a cost-effective manner, whilst – in many cases – relying on power from a single-cell battery? How can operators prepare their networks, testing their reliability in the face of this huge volume of connected ‘things’ set to flood the market?

LPWAN: the future of IoT connectivity
Low-power wide area network (LPWAN) technology has been developed as a solution to cost-effectively and efficiently connect the IoT. It is designed with end-user devices in mind, connecting low-cost chip-sets and making devices and systems more affordable.

The technology allows long-range communications at a lower bitrate than tradition cellular technology, thus ensuring network capacity is not unnecessarily wasted.

A number of different LPWAN technologies have been offered as solutions to support the IoT, however those that are getting the most market traction today are Sigfox, LoRa, and NB-IoT.

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