China’s machine-to-machine (M2M) market will reach one billion connections by 2020, with significant share coming from Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) market. It is already the world’s largest mobile market and one of the top M2M market as well.
The country boasts of nearly 100 mn cellular M2M connections and this figure is likely to rise to 350 million by 2020, says the latest GSMA Intelligence and China Academy of Information and Communications Technology (CAICT). However another 730 million connections will use LPWA technology and will take the total figure to just over one billion.
By 2025, 50 percent of the world’s 28 billion connected devices are expected to be suitable for connection by LPWA networks.
LPWA networks are designed for M2M applications that have low data rates, require long battery lives and operate unattended for long periods of time, often in remote locations. The Mobile IoT Initiative has coalesced the industry behind global technology standards in licensed spectrum for the LPWA market, which have now been published by 3GPP.
Three complementary technologies – narrow-band IoT (NB-IoT), EC-GSM-IOT and LTE machine type communication (LTE-MTC) – are present in the market to drive the IoT ecosystem. SigFox, LoRa and Ingenu are some of the proprietary technologies vying with each other to generate maximum traction in the market.