Low-power wide-area network

low-power wide-area  (LPWAN) or low-power wide-area (LPWA) or low-power  (LPN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area  designed to allow long-range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery.

The low power, low bit rate and intended use distinguish this type of from a wireless WAN that is designed to connect users or businesses, and carry more data, using more power.

The LPWAN data rate ranges from 0.3 kbit/s to 50 kbit/s per channel.

A LPWAN may be used to create a private wireless sensor , but may also be a service or infrastructure offered by a third party, allowing the owners of sensors to deploy them in the field without investing in gateway .


  1. Long range: The operating range of LPWAN varies from a few kilometers in urban areas to over 10 km in rural settings. It can also enable effective data communication in previously infeasible indoor and underground locations.
  2. Low power: Optimized for power consumption, LPWAN transceivers can run on small, inexpensive batteries for up to 20 years
  3. Low cost: LPWAN’s simplified, lightweight protocols reduce complexity in and lower device costs. Its long range combined with a star topology reduce expensive infrastructure requirements, and the use of license-free or licensed bands reduce costs.

Platforms and technologies

Some competing standards and vendors for LPWAN space include:

  • DASH7, a low latency, bi-directional firmware standard that operates over multiple LPWAN radio technologies including LoRa.
  • Wize is an open and royalty free standard for LPWAN derived from the European Standard Wireless Mbus.
  • Chirp spread spectrum (CSS) based
  • Sigfox, UNB-based and French .
  • LoRa is a proprietary, chirp spread spectrum radio modulation  for LPWAN used by LoRaWAN, Haystack Technologies, and Symphony Link.
  • MIoTy, implementing Telegram Splitting .
  • Weightless is an open standard, narrowband for LPWAN used by Ubiik

Ultra-narrow band

Ultra Narrowband (UNB), modulation used for LPWAN by various companies including:

  • Sigfox, UNB-based and French .
  • Weightless, a set of communication standards from the Weightless SIG.
  • NB-Fi , developed by WAVIoT .


  • DASH7 Mode 2 development framework for low power wireless networks, by Haystack Technologies. Runs over many wireless radio standards like LoRa, LTE, 802.15.4g, and others.
  • LTE Advanced for Machine Type Communications (LTE-M), an evolution of LTE communications for connected things by 3GPP.
  • MySensors, DIY Home Automation framework supporting different radios including LoRa.
  • NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT), standardization effort by 3GPP for a LPWAN used in cellular networks .
  • Random phase multiple access (RPMA) from Ingenu, formerly known as On-Ramp Wireless, is based on a variation of CDMA  for cellular phones, but uses unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum.. RPMA is used in GE’s AMI metering.
  • Byron, a direct-sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) from Taggle Systems in .
  • Wi-SUN, based on IEEE 802.15.4g.

See also

  • Internet of things
  • Static Context Header Compression (SCHC)
  • QRP operation
  • Slowfeld
  • Through-the- mine communications
  • Short range device
  • IEEE 802.15.4 (Low-power wide-area )
  • IEEE 802.16 (WiMAX)