What are LPWANs?
LPWANs are Low Power Wide Area Networks. LPWANs are used to deliver IoT connectivity at low cost, over wide geographic areas, often where there is no local power source, so battery life becomes key. LPWAN deployments are often simple and cost-effective, due to device design and long battery life. With efficient power consumption and battery lifetime of up to 10 years, management costs are low. It also delivers the added benefit of deep penetration into areas such as basements and underground car parks. The protocols used in LPWANs provide much better wireless penetration so it is possible to get a signal where a standard 3G or 4G SIM wouldn’t be able to.
Could you be selling LPWANs?
Some end-users have tried the networks directly for LPWANs and many have been disappointed by the lack of control MNOs give them over their SIM estates. These deals can be to supply thousands of devices on long-term contracts and are low-hanging fruit for MSPs with existing relationships and control panels.
Who uses this technology?
It is being used in street lighting, smart bins, smart parking and traffic monitoring, as well as parking sensors. Their devices don’t need much power and have a long battery life. The SIMs required for these smart solutions are low-cost, long-life SIM cards, which can be activated and controlled within a central portal.
This technology is also being used in the consumer space with smart metering. Gas and electric companies are installing hundreds of thousands of smart meters, which require a low power SIM on a long-term contract. Usage is minimal, costs are a few pence per SIM, however the contract length is typically 5 years plus.
Warehouses are adopting smart technologies and there are opportunities for resellers to supply LPWANs in warehouse monitoring, within safety devices such as cameras in lifts used by lone workers washing windows at height and in cranes.
In agriculture, LPWANs SIMs are being used in monitoring devices for animals, crops and soil. They need a SIM card with the same lifespan as their device.