Low power, wide area, slow adoption

The LPWA IoT market is proving slower to take off than predicted. James Atkinson looks at some of the factors holding back mass adoption

The low-power wide-area (LPWA) Internet of Things (IoT) market is still in its infancy in terms of actually realising the large-volume deployments confidently predicted for it over the past few years.

The overarching reason for this sluggishness is the sheer complexity of pulling together a full LPWA IoT solution, according to Professor William Webb, telecoms consultant and part-time CEO of Weightless SIG.

Webb believes the business case for adopting IoT is compelling just in terms of the productivity improvements, let alone the new revenue-generation potential. “The problem is everyone underestimated how complex it is to create the IoT stack,” he says.

“A farmer does not just want 50 tags for his cows. He wants a management system, data analytics and a dashboard providing easy-to-understand visuals that work on his PC. For that to happen you need all the bits in place, including a systems integrator on top to pull it all together, and that takes time because it is so complex,” argues Webb.

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