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If 2016 was the year of LPWA IoT network announcements, 2017 will be the year of LPWA network launches, and 2018 will be the year of LPWA enterprise contract awards and the proliferation of application use cases. By 2019–20, LPWA networks will provide an established service worldwide.


  • Inherent limitations in prior IoT/M2M technologies have left a clear market gap for LPWA technologies. LPWA is designed to enable inexpensive modems, that consume very little power. The trade-off is that LPWA is only useful for infrequent and/or low-data rate communications.
  • LPWA networks are being operated by companies with diverse backgrounds. These include every type of established telecommunications network operator, start-ups, vertical industry service providers, and alternative infrastructure owners.
  • LPWA services are targeted at enterprises looking to deploy IoT applications, but LPWA pricing plans are structured more like tiered consumer mobile plans. Such schemes are easy to understand, quick for small businesses to get onboard with, and easy to scale downwards, as well as up.

Features and Benefits

  • Identifies the market positioning of LPWA technologies relative to other bearers for the IoT.
  • Reveals LPWA technology ecosystems and compares go-to-market strategies.
  • Summarizes the LPWA network roll out situation worldwide and assesses early KPIs.
  • Examines the LPWA network operator mix and evaluates LPWA service pricing.
  • Summarizes the next-step expectations for the development of LPWA services.

Key questions answered

  • How is LPWA positioning itself?
  • What are the status of LPWA rollouts worldwide?
  • How is LPWA technology sold and by whom?
  • How are LPWA services sold and by whom?
  • What can we expect from the LPWA market in the immediate future?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Market status

  • Market positioning of LPWA
  • LPWA ecosystems and go-to-market comparisons

Market dynamics

  • LPWA network rollouts
  • LPWA KPIs to date and what they show
  • LPWA service providers
  • LPWA service pricing

Market outlook

  • LPWA's lower costs and different capabilities open up new markets
  • Being late to market does not mean missing out


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author