Today, LPWAN has cellular (licensed band) and non-cellular (unlicensed) technologies. Under the cellular category we have NB-IoT and LTE-M and in unlicensed, the popular categories are LoRa (Long Range) and SigFox (IoT Technology company and it uses the SigFox protocol). LoRa and SigFox need communication gateway which aggregate IoT sensor data to the IoT platform through their own private networks.

NB-IoT and LTE-M don’t need communication gateways and hence it is cost effective. These sensors communicate directly through the nearest base station of the telecom provider to their Cloud IoT platform. They both delivers low cost, low power and extended coverage with low data transmission capabilities. In UAE, they already have the coverage and ideally it makes sense to use either of them as the communication enabler. Also note that both are part of 5G journey and will coexist with 5G network. So, industries and customers can fully rely on them for IoT connectivity options. However, depending on the use cases and application scenarios, either one – NB-IoT or LTE-M needs to be chosen.


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