Low Power Wide Area Networks: Simple Access Technologies to Create the Big Data

Big Data is not only becoming important because of the large amount of collected data, but also because of the large amount of data sources that contribute to it and that enables to run data analytics on them to extract the valuable information hidden behind them. Many of these sources are low cost and remote Things, providing unfrequently small amounts of data. However, research and development in wireless technologies in the last decades have been focused in improving spectral efficiency by increasing modulation complexity, spatial diversity, etc., to come as close as possible to the Shannon limit. These technologies are oversized for the connectivity needs of these Things and too expensive for a positive return of the required investment. To fill this gap, new wireless access solutions based in old RF technologies, commonly known as Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), were developed in the last 4 years to provide the four “L” these Things were demanding: Low data rate, Long range, Low power consumption and Low cost. This talk will review the most adopted LPWAN technologies, namely LoRa, SigFox Ingenu and NB_IoT, both from RF and market perspectives.

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