IoT Ecosystem > Enterprise IoT Blog

LPWA Gets Hot as SIGFOX Secures Record $115 Million Round of Funding

by Gina Luk | Feb 19, 2015

Low-Power, Wide-Area (LPWA) networks are opening up new IoT use cases where connectivity costs are expressed in dollars per year rather than dollars per month. LPWA networks seek to address a sweet spot of high coverage with minimal power consumption and low cost. The growth in sensor networks is demonstrating an increasing number of use cases where LPWA becomes highly relevant as deals with Libelium and recent partnerships with SIGFOX and Oceasoft demonstrate.

SIGFOX already has deployments in Russia, Poland, Italy, Switzerland and the US and its network coverage is currently available in France, Spain, and the Netherlands, with UK telecom infrastructure vendor Arqiva beginning work on its Sigfox network in ten UK cities. The new funds, should allow for even more aggressive LPWA expansion in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The backers are heavy-hitters too, with international telecom operators (Telefonica, SK Telecom and NTT DOCOMO Ventures), a leading financial sponsor (Elliott Management Corporation) and industrial partners (GDF SUEZ, Air Liquide and Eutelsat) are all behind SigFox.

LPWA Gets Hot as SIGFOX Secures Record $115 Million Round of Funding

The LPWA opportunity is sizeable. According to Strategy Analytics granular LPWA forecasts, the market represents a 5 billion connection opportunity by 2022, with over $13 billion to play for.

  • LPWA addresses solutions beyond the capabilities of cellular M2M today, with a new cost-point – industries should re-evaluate the relevance of existing M2M solutions for their business 
  • Hybrid solutions e.g. ZigBee with cellular backhaul are highly relevant for LPWA use cases such as smart metering, lighting and parking.
  • Cellular network providers should consider partnering with LPWA vendors for new potential revenue streams beyond cellular. 

Competition is fierce. Weightless is a competing standard, promoted by Neul ,that itself was recently acquired by Huawei and is now a major contender. On Ramp are well-established and other vendors such as Senpatic and Semtech (via LoRa) and the recently formed LoRa Alliance are also vying to win the battle of standards and projects.

With a healthy number of LPWA projects from all major vendors, it’s clear that LPWA can play a key role in the transition from M2M to the Internet of Things.

All forecasts including FDMA and White Space LPWA connections and revenues can be found in Strategy Analytics’ IoT service coverage here.

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