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    Comparison of LPWAN Technologies: Cost Structure and Scalability

    Small-scale commercial rollouts of Cellular-IoT (C-IoT) networks have started globally since last year. However, among the plethora of low power wide area

    Open Access

    Published: 07 July 2021

    Comparison of LPWAN Technologies: Cost Structure and Scalability

    Mohammad Istiak Hossain & Jan I. Markendahl

    volume 121, pages

    887–903 (2021)Cite this article

    4165 Accesses 8 Citations Metrics details

    Abstract

    Small-scale commercial rollouts of Cellular-IoT (C-IoT) networks have started globally since last year. However, among the plethora of low power wide area network (LPWAN) technologies, the cost-effectiveness of C-IoT is not certain for IoT service providers, small and greenfield operators. Today, there is no known public framework for the feasibility analysis of IoT communication technologies. Hence, this paper first presents a generic framework to assess the cost structure of cellular and non-cellular LPWAN technologies. Then, we applied the framework in eight deployment scenarios to analyze the prospect of LPWAN technologies like Sigfox, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, LTE-M, and EC-GSM. We consider the inter-technology interference impact on LoRaWAN and Sigfox scalability. Our results validate that a large rollout with a single technology is not cost-efficient. Also, our analysis suggests the rollout possibility of an IoT communication Technology may not be linear to cost-efficiency.

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    Introduction

    Internet of things (IoT) extends internet connections to physical devices like sensors and actuators. Physical devices are remotely communicating with each other and end-users via IoT platforms. For a multitude of application areas like smart cities, smart factories, vehicular, and surveillance services, experts identified IoT as the key to digital transformation. Hence, IoT has been a widely studied topic in the technology, economics, business, and policy management domain.

    The commercial rollout of 5G and Cellular-IoT (C-IoT) networks began in 2020. However, according to Ericsson mobility report [1], already one-eighth of the IoT devices are connected worldwide through cellular networks using 2G, 3G, and 4G. The rollout of C-IoT systems, e.g., NB-IoT, LTE -M, and EC-GSM-IoT is expected to boost the IoT business of telecom operators. On the other hand, a plethora of low power extensive area networks (LPWAN) and low power local area networks (LPLAN) technologies like Sigfox, LoRaWAN, Weightless N/P, Z-Wave, Dash-7, BLE, Zigbee, LoRa, 802.11ah, and 802.15.4k are available to provide indoor and outdoor coverage. Currently, there are around twenty IoT connectivity solutions available in the market. Most importantly, the end-user device modules of these technologies are available in the market.

    So far, most of these technologies, both C-IoT and non-cellular LPWAN technologies, are still at the pilot phase with a small area coverage and service provisioning. The cost-effectiveness of an IoT communication technology is not sure from an IoT service provider and communication service providers’ perspective. The scalability and viability of these technologies are a concern. Researchers performed a number of studies on Network-Economics’ studies on GSM [2], WCDMA [3, 4], and LTE [5,6,7,8,9,10]. Moreover, there are plenty of studies on IoT business modeling [11, 12] and value network [13, 14]. In [15], market research company Mobile Experts provides a return of investment (ROI) calculations predicted for LPWA and cellular-IoT solutions. To the best of our knowledge, IoT connectivity service scalability has not yet received the necessary attention in scientific research. Hence, there is currently a research gap related to understanding different architecture choices and their impact on IoT communication systems’ scalability.

    Furthermore, technical papers present intra-technology interference challenges in the unlicensed band [16,17,18]. In [16], a survey has been performed to identify the gap of LPWAN unlicensed band research. The study has identified the uncoordinated coexistence of devices as a key challenge that may affect the coexisting technologies’ packet transmission performance. [17] shows the impact of cross technologies like camera, analog phone, FH phone, and microwave on IEEE 802.15.4. Interference impact between LoRa and IEEE 802.15.4 shows in [18]. Also, coexistence impact of LoRa and IEEE 802.11n (WiFi) is studied and presented in [19]. Due to the modulation scheme, LoRa is more resilient to interference than IEEE 802.11n and IEEE 802.15.4. Also, the paper points out the trade-off between bit rate and spreading factor that limits the data rate. A measurement base interference impact of sub-one GHz technologies in LoRa presented in paper [20]. The results show that Sigfox interference in the worst case can result in 28% losses. Similar observation is found in [21] for IoT devices in mobility. Till to date, no work assesses the coexistence impact of LoRaWAN and Sigfox. Also, the coexistence impact of LoRaWAN and Sigfox on each other’s scalability is not investigated thoroughly.

    Henceforth, this paper extends the discussion of [22] focusing on the deployment options and cost-structure of IoT communication service scalability. To do so, first, we investigate the coexistence impact of LoRaWAN and Sigfox on each other’s scalability. Then we assess the cost-effectiveness of C-IoT and LPWA technologies. This paper aims to compare C-IoT and non-cellular LPWAN technologies’ scalability advantages and disadvantages in terms of rollout cost. We study deployment options in Urban and Rural scenarios and using unlicensed and licensed bands. Overall, we check the cost structure of IoT communication systems to answer the overall question: ’What are the advantages and disadvantages of LPWAN technologies to build a network in different scenarios?’

    स्रोत : link.springer.com

    EC

    This page compares EC-GSM vs Sigfox vs LoRa and mentions difference between EC-GSM,Sigfox and LoRa.

    EC-GSM vs Sigfox vs LoRa-Difference between EC-GSM,Sigfox,LoRa

    This page compares EC-GSM vs Sigfox vs LoRa and mentions difference between EC-GSM, Sigfox and LoRa.

    LoRa and Sigfox fall under non-cellular IoT technologies. EC-GSM falls under cellular IoT category.

    EC-GSM

    Following are the features of EC-GSM technology:

    • Frequency Same as GSM network, 850 to 900 MHz, 1800 to 1900 MHz

    • Architecture: Uses same GSM architecture

    • Deployment In Band GSM

    • Access Type TDMA/FDMA

    • Modulation Types GMSK, 8PSK

    • Bandwidth 200 KHz per channel

    • Peak Data Rate (Downlink/Uplink) 70 Kbps for GMSK, 240 Kbps for 8PSK

    • Coverage 164 dB with 33 dBm Power Class, 154 dB with 23 dBm power class

    • Duplexing HD, FDD

    • Power saving mode PSM, ext. I-DRX

    Refer EC-GSM IoT >> for more information.

    SigFox

    Following are the features of SigFox technology:

    • Coverage: less than 17 Km

    • Frequency spectrum: Unlicensed Band

    • Signal Bandwidth: 0.1 KHz

    • Data Rate:100 bps

    • Battery life of NB-IoT device: 10 years

    Refer Sigfox tutorial >> and SigFox technology basics >> for more information.

    LoRa

    Following are the features of LoRa technology:

    • Coverage: less than 14 Km

    • Frequency spectrum: Unlicensed Band

    • Signal Bandwidth: 125 KHz

    • Data Rate:10 Kbps

    • Battery life of NB-IoT device: 10 years

    Refer LoRa tutorial >> and LoRa technology basics >> for more information.

    Following table summarizes difference between EC-GSM, Sigfox and LoRa wireless technologies.

    SpecificationsEC-GSMSigfoxLoRa

    Standard 3GPP release 13

    Private, ETSI GS LTN 001, 002, 003 (Low Throughput Networks)

    Open, LoRaWAN Specification V1.0 released by LoRa™ Alliance

    Spectrum

    Licensed like GSM, 850 to 900 MHz, 1800 to 1900 MHz

    Unlicensed, 868 MHz (Europe), 915 MHz (USA)

    Unlicensed, US (902 to 928 MHz), EU (863 to 870 MHz) , China (779 to 787 MHz)

    Channel Bandwidth 200 KHz 100 KHz 7.8 to 500 KHz System Bandwidth 1.4 MHz 100 KHz 125 KHz Peak Data Rate DL: 74 Kbps UL: 74 Kbps DL: 600 bps UL: 100 bps

    180 bps to 37.5 Kbps

    Max. number of message per day

    Unlimited

    140 (device), 50K (BTS)

    50K (BTS)

    Device peak Tx power

    26 dBm 14 dBm 14 dBm

    MCL (Maximum Coupling loss)

    164 dB

    DL: 147 dB, UL: 156 dB

    DL: 168 (SF12, BW7.8),

    132 (SF6, BW125) UL: 156 dB

    Device power consumption

    Low Low Low to Medium

    LoRa vs Sigfox vs other technologies

    Following links compares LoRa vs Sigfox vs other wireless technologies.

    LoRaWAN vs Sigfox LoRa vs LoRaWAN LoRa vs Zigbee SigFox vs GSM

    NB-IoT vs LoRa vs Sigfox

    What is difference between

    difference between LTE and LTE Advanced

    difference between FDM and OFDM

    Difference between SC-FDMA and OFDM

    Difference between SISO and MIMO

    Difference between TDD and FDD

    Difference between 802.11 standards viz.11-a,11-b,11-g and 11-n

    OFDM vs OFDMA CDMA vs GSM

    RF and Wireless Terminologies

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    Cellular's NB

    The phrase "alphabet soup" is regularly applied to the telecoms sector -- and with good reason. Now, developments in wireless connectivity options for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) have unearthed a plethora of new acronyms that are certainly not for the faint hearted.

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    Special ReportWireless

    Cellular's NB-IoT, EC-GSM and LTE Cat M face off against Sigfox, LoRa and others on the crowded IoT battlefield

    By Anne Morris Apr 1, 2016 07:00am IoTSigfox Share

    The phrase "alphabet soup" is regularly applied to the telecoms sector -- and with good reason. Now, developments in wireless connectivity options for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and the Internet of Things (IoT) have unearthed a plethora of new acronyms that are certainly not for the faint hearted.

    This has been particularly evident of late for IoT technologies dubbed low power wide area (LPWA) networks. These networks are deemed a critical element in the platforms that will in future support the burgeoning range of connected objects with long battery lives and low data rate requirements.

    Steve Hilton

    Steve Hilton, co-founder and managing director of research and analyst firm MachNation, describes it rather well: "The LPWA world is a bit like a nicely prepared minestrone," he said. "Stir the bowl a little bit and up pops another surprising vegetable you didn't see a moment ago."

    For sure, competing technologies continue to emerge in the LPWAN segment.

    Proprietary technologies such as Sigfox, Ingenu and LoRa have already made clear their ambitions to become globally available standards for public LPWA networks using unlicensed spectrum. They now face increasing competition from so-called cellular IoT technologies that fall under the 3GPP standardisation umbrella and will operate in licensed spectrum.

    Aapo Markkanen, principal analyst at Machina Research, also notes there are more technologies still. "Weightless-N, Weightless-P, NB-Fi (WAVIoT), Accellus, Flexnet (Sensus), Telensa UNB, and Synergize (Aclara) come to mind," he said. "And those are only the ones that are LPWA in the real sense of the term. You can also find a bunch of others that are going after many of the key applications, but they've built on a mesh architecture so they sit under a different technology umbrella."

    Cellular IoT developments have also contributed significantly to the "minestrone" of standards and acronyms in the LPWA field. Here, David Hammarwall, Ericsson's head of 4G/5G services and infrastructure within the Swedish vendor's radio business unit, summarises the current situation by saying: "EC-GSM, NB-IoT [now renamed LTE Cat-M2] and [LTE] Cat-M1 are the main [cellular IoT] LPWA contenders. It depends on the operator's use cases and network evolution strategy which is the best option for them."

    Proprietary vs. standards

    The question is: How many of these various standards will exist in future? Will proprietary options eventually be pushed out by the cellular standards, or can a number of different standards continue to co-exist in future?

    Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) has certainly been causing a stir among the traditional mobile vendor and operator community. Standards are not yet in place, but 3GPP work on the Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT) is due to be completed before June to enable its inclusion in Release 13.

    Arne Schaelicke, who leads LTE marketing for Nokia's Mobile Networks, explains why standards such as NB-IoT are so compelling for the traditional mobile players. "Sigfox, LoRa and Ingenu use unlicensed spectrum. As everybody could use this spectrum, there could emerge even more competing technologies. The more technologies and the more devices connect on this spectrum, the higher the risk of interference. Only cellular IoT technologies on licensed spectrum will allow for reliable IoT connectivity in large areas in the long term."

    MachNation's Hilton agrees. "Carriers like to build standards-based networks for the same reasons that good restaurants follow recipes -- having predictable outcomes and minimising risks is really important when you are building for the long-term mass market."

    Aapo Markkanen

    Markkanen of Machina Research added that NB-IoT "is what the majority of operators are prioritising at the moment -- and to my knowledge most are planning to tuck it in the guard bands of their LTE networks. GSM isn't really relevant in this context anymore."

    At the same time, Peter Jarich, vice president for consumer and infrastructure services at Current Analysis, noted that despite the growing interest in Cat-M2, there is no technical reason why the different technologies, proprietary and otherwise, could not live alongside each other, although not all of them are likely to survive.

    Indeed, even as operators declare their support for and interest in NB-IoT/LTE Cat-M2, they are investing in non-cellular alternatives in the meantime.

    As explained by Yves Bellego, director of technical and network strategy at Orange: "We deployed LoRa technology in France because it provides bi-directional connectivity. One benefit of these technologies is to be available now for commercial service."

    However, Bellego added: "We expect that cellular-based solutions will become the most used in few years, but proprietary technologies that are being deployed today will have a good lifetime."

    While this indicates that mobile operator interest in proprietary technologies will be short term, Jarich pointed out that service providers "aren't the only players in town."

    स्रोत : www.fiercewireless.com

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