Choosing LPWA technology

Choosing LPWA technology

With billions more Internet of Things (IoT) devices predicted to come online by 2021, traditional wireless solutions will not able to fully meet the needs to connect them all.

Enter low-power wide-area (LPWA) technologies. Designed specifically for high coverage, low-power IoT applications, LPWAs are set to see huge growth over the next few years. Do you know which one to choose to meet your application requirements?
For IoT device manufacturers and solution developers, investing in the wrong one could be costly.


The technologies and IoT implementation can be complex. Even when seeing a vast IoT opportunity, many fail in the implementation stage due to the complexity of gathering data from sensors, transmitting that via wireless networks and then managing data in the cloud. There’s also the challenge of making that data accessible. Reducing risk is also a huge factor many organisations must face, so working with a trusted full solutions provider that has the skills to implement an efficient, comprehensive solution would be an advantage – able to guide and advise on best solutions for complex designs where necessary.

Sierra Wireless are the leading cellular module vendor in the world and have been at the forefront of developing LPWA (Low Power Wide Area), a new class of wireless technology specifically designed for high coverage, low-power IoT applications and combining lower cost and improved battery life with globally available, secure cellular networks.

LPWA is more like a new network category, in various stages of development and availability, split between proprietary and standardised technologies. This infographic from Sierra Wireless gives a great illustration of the differences between them and what you would need to know before starting development for LPWA.


Benefits of using LPWA




  • Focused on very low data rates
  • Ideal for simple sensors applications
  • High bandwidth of any LPWA technology
  • Ideal for fixed and mobile applications


LPWA sets itself apart from traditional wireless technologies by answering the issues of power consumption, cost, coverage issues and capacity by:

  • Aiming to reduce module complexity, improving devices costs by as much as 50%
  • Requires much less power than other cellular technologies – about x100 less than broadband LTE. Meaning battery power can last +10yrs.
  • Can be deployed across existing networks opening up new low-bandwidth applications by extending coverage to underground, indoor and rural locations.
  • Standardised LPWA technologies offer more flexible, lower risk approaches than proprietary solutions.

Develop once, deploy worldwide

As the only full solution provider of dual-mode modules with a fully integrated device-to-cloud platform, Sierra Wireless’ HL & WP IoT modules should be the number one choice for LPWA.

These are premium, industrial grade modules that come in one design able to work across both leading LPWA technologies - NB-IoT and LTE-M, 4G, 3G or 2G mobile networks, and are both future-proofed and 5G ready, meaning you can manage projects more efficiently by spending less time integrating several technologies.

Unrivalled on their power consumption capabilities both modules are best-in-class for performance and include an ultra-low power mode, reducing consumption by 200 times for battery and solar applications.

Also, with Sierra Wireless’s HL & WP Series Modules you would not need to be concerned with which region you are deploying in, or which LPWA technology a module supports as they cover them all, opening up more choice for your applications.

















Manage your IoT projects efficiently

As an expert technical solutions provider with a specialist portfolio of providers, Acal BFi will work with you as a trusted partner that understands the complexity of integrated IoT solutions.

We have the capabilities to provide you with everything you need, and advise the best suppliers to use, making it easier to streamline your deployments and manage a project efficiently by only working with one provider rather than several.


Contact us or email sales-uk@acalbfi.co.uk to find out more about how we can help you on your LPWA journey.

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