Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA) Technology

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A new low-cost, low-power technology for low-bandwidth IoT applications with extended reach beyond traditional cellular.


Two Leading LPWA Technologies

LTE is evolving to meet both the low-data, low-power needs of IoT and the high-speed, high-performance requirements of many critical communication IoT applications.

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Sierra Wireless has been actively shaping the LPWA discussions within the 3GPP standards body since 2010. LPWA technologies open up new IoT applications for cellular that previously were prohibited by cost, power consumption, or limited coverage including many smart city and smart home applications. 

Today there are two leading LPWA technologies that are trialing now with network operators globally and can be deployed with simple software upgrades to their LTE networks:

LTE-M (Cat-M1), a 4G LTE only technology supporting up to 350kbps data rates, voice, roaming, and ideal for real-time fixed or mobile applications.

NB-IoT (Cat-NB1), a 4G LTE and 2G technology supporting up to 65kbps data rates and ideal for simpler static sensor applications.

The AirPrime HL Series and WP Series of embedded modules for Cat-M1 and Cat-NB1 cellular networks are fully compliant with the 3GPP Release 13 standard. The first modules will be the HL Series, with the WP Series following in the second half of 2017 providing customers the option of building their entire IoT application within the WP module.

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