How the IoT Has Historically Been Served

Wireless sensor networks have historically been served by some combination of traditional cellular or local area solutions like WiFi mesh and local RF. These solutions have failed to provide the catalyst needed to push the IoT over the edge and into mainstream adoption for a few basic reasons. First, these traditional approaches require a wired power source. This limits IoT applications to scenarios where there is already a power line or requires installing one, so only the most obvious and strongest cost savings applications are served.

Second, they have limited area and depth of coverage per access point. Thus, applications were required to stay within a very limited area around the wireless source preventing many applications from being possible. Thirdly, they were costly to use. Even after several years and over a billion modules used, LTE modules still cost over $40 a piece. Mesh requires an entire network to be built out before it can be used. Local RF solutions require each business to build, manage, and maintain the wireless infrastructure preventing economies of scale.

iot device data usage

Enter Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) Connectivity

Publicly available Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) connectivity uniquely solves each of the aforementioned problems. Low Power Wide Area connectivity is pretty much what it says: wireless connectivity that covers a wide area using low power. In addition, LPWA can do so with low cost endpoints. LPWA is in contrast to the data and battery intensive 2G, 3G, or LTE cellular wireless technology. It also contrasts with traditional cellular because it is low bandwidth. The vast majority of devices on the IoT will not need the kind of data throughput that traditional cellular is designed to provide. In fact, according to James Brehm & Associates, 86% of IoT devices consume less than 3MB a month. Of course there will be IoT devices that will need more bandwidth, and those will be served well by higher bandwidth solutions; but the sensors that give us the efficiencies discussed need only to periodically send a few hundred bytes to justify their value.

It is these kind of connections that RPMA, Ingenu’s LPWA technology, is designed to serve. Attend our webinar, How RPMA Works, to learn how RPMA works and represents the sole solution to achieving the vision of the IoT.