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Hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks for the IoT market

January 2019

Analytical Report (full version)

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Analytical Report (full version)

Hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks for the IoT market
Hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks for the IoT market
January 2019

Hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks for the IoT market

January 2019

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When building IoT networks, LPWAN base stations connect to the Internet via a wired connection, or via wireless networks (usually cellular networks). But in remote places where there are no ground communications, satellite networks are the only ways to connect base stations. Another area of application of satellite network resources in the IoT/M2M segment is the provision of global coverage, which is not available in other technologies, including LPWAN, or it is just impractical. J'son & Partners Consulting analyzed the state of hybrid LPWAN networks and satellite communications for the IoT/M2M market, and assessed the trends and prospects of their development. 

 

According to J'son & Partners Consulting, by the end of the 1Q 2018 more than 160 networks of the main protocols were deployed in the world: LPWAN – LoRaWAN, SigFox, and NB-IoT, and LTE-M.

 

The largest numbers of LPWAN networks (about 100) are deployed in the unlicensed spectrum of LoRaWAN and SigFox technologies, which first appeared on the market.

 

But the highest dynamics of the network is shown by networks in the licensed spectrum, especially NB-IoT. According to GSMA, as of April 2018, 29 countries have 40 NB-IoT networks and 11 LTE-M networks. If the current growth rate remains, technologies in the licensed segment may become dominant in the LPWAN segment. Most projects on launching LPWA networks in the licensed spectrum have been implemented in Western Europe, US and developed countries of the Asia-Pacific region.

 

Major projects are implemented on LoRaWAN, SigFox and NB-IoT networks. They are:

 

- LoRaWAN services provided by 83 operators in 49 countries (according to the LoRa Alliance, 2018). In Russia, a large-scale project on LoRaWAN networks was announced by The ER-Telecom Holding, pilot projects were implemented by Rostelecom, and several small operators of LoRaWAN networks are also working in this field;

 

- SigFox networks (the unlicensed spectrum) are the most common in Europe, in recent years there has been a high activity in Latin America, Middle East and Asia. By the end of 2018, Sigfox plans to cover more than 60 countries with its networks, but currently this technology is not represented in the markets of North America, China, Russia;

 

- NB-IoT networks with national coverage are deployed in South Korea, Singapore, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden and other countries. By the end of 2018, such networks with national coverage are planned to be deployed by Verizon, T-Mobile (in the US and European countries) and other operators.

 

Satellite operators show considerable interest in the IoT market and related technologies. In 2016, satellite operators Inmarsat and Thuraya Telecommunications Company announced their entry into the LoRa Alliance, the operator Eutelsat is an investor in Sigfox.

 

In 2017, Inmarsat announced that it plans to start a strategy for IoT implementation at the global level on the basis of its LoRaWAN network, developed in partnership with Actility, highlighting the following areas and sectors of application:

 

- asset tracking;

 

- agribusiness;

 

- gas industry.

 

Analysts think that the market has some prospects in the segment of large customers who need hundreds or thousands of individual sensors or devices for IoT connection. An example of this is smart agriculture.

 

Due to the fact that LPWAN technologies in the licensed spectrum (NB-IoT and LTE-M) are being introduced by upgrading existing cellular base stations with existing distribution networks (backhaul), the integration of these technologies with satellite communications has no significant prospects.

 

On the other hand, there are hybrid networks in the world that use satellite communications as backhaul networks to connect gateways or LoRaWAN base stations that operate in the license-free spectrum. In this regard, the choice of technology for a hybrid network (satellite + LPWAN) is limited to networks that do not require frequency licenses, including SigFox, LoraWAN. In Russia there are several technologies in the unlicensed spectrum – LoRaWAN, NXB (Strizh), NB-Fi (Vaviot) and a number of others.

 

The NB-Fi protocol, having a number of advantages (low cost of equipment, possibility of using Russian components in the production process and good prospects for standardization), can be used in Russian hybrid IoT networks (satellite communication + LPWAN), to create a subsystem of messaging, data collection, to ensure interaction with the Internet and other networks as well as communication systems as part of the promising Multifunctional Personal Satellite Communications System (MPSCS).

 

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This information note was prepared by the J'son & Partners Consulting. We work hard to provide factual and prognostic data that fully reflect the situation and available at the time of release. J'son & Partners Consulting reserves the right to revise the data after publication of new official information by individual players. 

 

Copyright © 2018, J'son & Partners Consulting. The media can use the text, graphics, and data contained in this market review only using a link to the source of information - J'son & Partners Consulting or with an active link to the JSON.TV portal

 

™ J'son & Partners [registered trademark] 

 

Detailed results of the study are presented in the full report:

 

“Status and prospects of using hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks for the IoT market”

 

Contents

  1. Status and prospects of using hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks for the IoT market

1.1.               State of LPWA networks in the world in 2015-2018

1.1.1.            LPWA networks in the world by technology

1.1.2.            LPWA networks in the world by regions

1.2.               Analysis of the level of development and standardization of LPWAN technologies and protocols in the unlicensed spectrum

1.2.1.            LoRaWAN

1.2.2.            Sigfox

1.2.3.            NXB (Strizh)

1.2.4.            NB-Fi (Vaviot)

1.2.5.            Other technologies

1.3.               Major LPWAN projects in the world and in Russia

1.3.1.            LoRaWAN projects in the world

1.3.1.1.        South Korea

1.3.1.2.        Netherlands

1.3.1.3.        France

1.3.1.4.        Finland

1.3.1.5.        Australia

1.3.1.6.        Russia

1.3.2.            Sigfox

1.3.3.            NB-IoT

1.3.3.1.        Norway

1.3.3.2.        Spain

1.3.3.3.        Netherlands

1.3.3.4.        China

1.3.3.5.        Germany

1.3.3.6.        South Korea

1.3.3.7.        Singapore

1.3.3.8.        Australia

1.3.3.9.        Sweden

1.4.               LPWAN development forecasts in the world and in Russia

1.5.               Current state and prospects of development of hybrid LPWAN and satellite communication networks

1.6.               Analysis of the most optimal LPWAN protocols for creation a subsystem of messaging, data collection, interaction with the Internet and other networks and communication systems as part of the promising MSPS with SPACECRAFT in low orbits

Conclusions

Annex 1. Sigfox networks in the world

Annex 2. LoRaWAN networks in the world

Annex 3. NB-IoT/LTE-M networks in the world, April 2018

 

List of pictures

Pic. 1. Number of new launches of LPWAN networks in the world by technology

Pic. 2. Number of new launches of commercial LPWA networks in the licensed spectrum (NB-IoT and LTE-M) in the world by region, 2017 — 1Q 2018

Pic. 3. Number of new launches of SigFox networks (unlicensed spectrum) in the world by region, 2014 — 1Q 2018

Pic. 4. Number of new launches of LoRaWAN networks (unlicensed spectrum) in the world by region, 2015 — 1Q 2018

Pic. 5. Development of LoRaWAN networks in the world, May 2018

Pic. 6. Ecosystem of the company "Set’868" (LoRaWAN)

Pic. 7. Countries where Sigfox networks are deployed

Pic. 8. Industries where Sigfox technology can be used

Pic. 9. Forecast: 391 million LPWAN connections in the unlicensed spectrum by 2022, broken down by macro-regions    

Pic. 10. Simplified scheme of the Inmarsat hybrid network in the field of "smart" agriculture in Malaysia

Pic. 11. Total market size of satellite backhaul for LPWAN networks, 2015-2025

 

List of tables

Table. 1. Comparative analysis of LPWAN technologies