Part Four: Cellular LPWA Complexity

Simplicity is critical for the IOT devices.  Imagine integrating a low-cost communication module in an appliance at any factory in the world, and having simple, ubiquitous, out-of-the-box connectivity enabled in any other part of the world. This vision is certainly not enabled by the cellular LPWA approaches like NB-IOT, LTE-M, or EC-GSM.  Cellular will require support of 30+ bands and the expense of 100+ carrier certifications for worldwide coverage.   RPMA, by contrast, is one simple 2.4 GHz band and one low-impact certification process.

Drawing from “Has 3GPP Lost Its Way”:

  • The 3GPP membership is failing the industry by forgetting the fundamentals that made it a success in the first place — providing one universal technology.
  • Whereas “one of the big reasons GSM was a big winner in the 2G technology wars was because it was globally available in only four bands”, “licensed mobile spectrum is now scattered from 600Mhz to almost 4GHz. LTE has over 40 bands that need to be supported, causing [even] smartphone manufacturers massive headaches (and costs) in producing and managing region-specific devices.” From 4 to 40; cellular is going in the wrong direction for machines.
  • But if there is no coordinated plan on where that bandwidth is deployed, OEM manufacturers will again bear the cost, managing devices at a regional or possibly national level. Again, we lose efficiency and scale. The cost of wireless connectivity will remain a barrier to entry to IoT.”
  • Ingenu’s 2.4 GHz technology covers the world in one band. With these technologies already in rollout and deployment, 3GPP needs to make up some ground. To do this, 3GPP needs to return to its roots, and deploy one technology globally.”

This post is a part of the series Is the cellular standard roadmap (3GPP/GSMA) the answer to Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) Connectivity? Click a link below to learn more, or download our free eBook, How RPMA Works: The Making of RPMA.

If at any time, you would like a more detailed description of RPMA and how it stacks up in the competitive landscape, please take a look at the document How RPMA Works: The Making of RPMA.