Mike Krell: Does The Internet Of Things Really Need Dedicated Low-Power WANs?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is all about connectivity, so it’s not surprising that so many alternatives have arisen for getting data from “here to there”. For short range we have Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee and Z-Wave, just to name a few. For longer range, we have had 2G / 3G and now 4G LTE, with the introduction of 5G still years from deployment. In addition, a new breed of low-power, long-range wireless networks (LPWANs) have arisen and are now being rolled out by companies such as Sigfox or Ingenu. Even some of the larger carriers have gotten into the game, such as Orange ORAN -6.25% or SK Telecom , who have committed (or at least made some commitment) with a technology called LoRA. The question is, do we need these alternatives, or are they all just Band-Aids until we get to 5G?

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