Published   Riot

Key LPWAN Use Cases Forecast to 2023

Wi-SUN and LoRa in $19 billion IoT land grab, as MNOs limber up

“Core LPWAN Use-Cases account for $18.8bn, 2.27bn connections, by 2023”

APAC to hold just over half of all LPWAN connections, but just 35.9% of revenue, with Europe anticipated to pass North America in total connections.

Licensed spectrum LPWAN (L-LPWAN) strategies have come to the fore in the past year, with LTE Cat-M and LTE Cat-NB networks appearing in more and more markets. Unlicensed spectrum LPWAN (U-LPWAN) is currently dominated by LoRa and Wi-SUN, but the MNOs loom large. Campus and client-based networks are a major opportunity for U-LPWAN, and Riot Research anticipates that there will be a divergence between U-LPWAN and L-LPWAN through the period – with U-LPWAN moving to address use-cases that L-LPWAN cannot.

Wi-SUN will become the most successful LPWAN protocol by 2023, leading in connections at 895.3mn across our identified key use-cases. LoRa is projected to achieve second-place, on 589mn, while LTE Cat-NB is expected to reach 516.7mn, with Cat-M on 245mn. Combined, the L-LPWAN variants achieve 761.8mn.

However, in terms of revenue, L-LPWAN is projected to account for the lion’s share – a combined $12bn, or 63.8% of the total $18.84bn projected for LPWAN. LoRa is anticipated to achieve $5.95bn in annual revenues in 2023, by comparison, around 31.59% of the total LPWAN revenue.

The forecast focuses on the revenue derived from the sales of LPWAN chipsets and modules, as well as the per-device connectivity revenue charged by network operators and service providers.

The report identifies the core use-cases that will drive demand for LPWAN connections, and applies a degree of caution and skepticism to use-cases that lack major channel partners, or markets where demand is yet unproven, outside of a few niche projects. This report follows the major trends and partnerships that vendors have managed to cultivate, while the tendency among other forecasts has been to simply accept the use-cases cited by vendors – instead of thoroughly exploring the viability of the use case and the technology’s ecosystem.

The core use-cases explored in this forecast are; Fleet Management and Telematics, Wearables, M2M Migration, Smart Grid, Smart City, and Smart Agriculture. 

Who should buy this report?:

This report is aimed at major enterprises who need LPWAN connections, operators who supply such connections, both LPWAN hardware module manufacturers and chip vendors as well as software and services business who can join up complex LPWAN reporting via cloud software. These should be at the C suite level, CEO, CFO and network operations and planning for operators.

This report will:

• Allow you to plan the introduction of an LPWAN service

• Help with typical module and service pricing information

• Help your business understand the sheer scale of the LPWAN market

• It provides you will detailed use case calculations

• It identifies the right technology choice for each use case

Companies mentioned in this report:

Actility, Advantech, Apple, ARM, AT&T, Behr Technologies, Bouygues Telecom, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Everynet, Fitbit, Fraunhofer, Hitachi, Ingenu, KDDI, Kerlink, KPN, LoRa Alliance, Microsoft, NTT Docomo, Orange, Qualcomm, Semtech, SenRa, Sigfox, SK Telecom, SoftBank, TATA, Telensa, The Things Network, Verizon, Weightless SIG, Wi-SUN Alliance, Xiaomi, and Zigbee Alliance.

Download Executive Summary:

Download a copy of the executive summary

Contents: 2

Introduction: 4

Lower Power, Lower Value: 9

Overview of Use Cases: 11

Fleet Management & Telematics: 13

Wearables: 16

M2M Migration: 19

Smart Grid: 22

Smart City: 26

Smart Agriculture: 30

Technologies: 33

Wild Cards: 36

Regions by Use-Case: 38

Use-Case by Region: 47

Methodology: 56


2017 Regional Share of Connections: 6

2023 Regional Share of Connections: 7

2017 Regional Share of Revenue: 7

2023 Regional Share of Revenue: 8

Fleet Management Devices: 14

Fleet Management Revenue: 15

Wearables Device Numbers: 17

Wearables Revenues: 17

M2M Connections and Revenues: 20

M2M Migration—Licensed versus Unlicensed: 20

M2M Migration—Licensed versus Unlicensed Revenues: 21

Smart Grid Connections and Revenues: 23

Smart Grid by Network Type: 24

Smart Grid Network Revenues: 25

Smart City Connections and Revenue: 28

Smart City by Network Type: 28

Smart City Network Revenues: 29

Smart Agriculture Connections and Revenues: 31

Smart Agriculture Revenue Breakdown: 32

Connections by Technology: 34

Technologies Revenue Breakdown: 35

APAC Connections by use case: 38

APAC Connections by Revenue: 39

European Connections by use case: 40

Europe Connections by Revenue: 41

Latin America Connections by use case: 42

Latin America Connections by Revenue: 42

MENA Connections by use case: 43

MENA Connections by Revenue: 44

North America Connections by use case: 45

North America Connections by Revenue: 46

LTE Cat-M Telematics Cumulative use case by Region: 47

LTE Cat-M Telematics Annual Revenue by Region: 48

LTE Cat-M Wearables Cumulative Connections by Region: 49

LTE Cat-M Wearables Annual Revenue by Region: 49

LPWAN M2M Migration Cumulative Connections: 50

LPWAN M2M Migration Annual Revenue by Region: 51

Smart Grid LPWAN Cumulative Devices by Region: 51

Smart Grid LPWAN Module Hardware Annual Revenue by Region: 52

Smart City LPWAN Cumulative Devices by Region: 53

Smart City LPWAN Annual Revenue by Region: 53

Agricultural LPWAN Cumulative Devices by Region: 54

Agricultural LPWAN Annual Revenue by Region: 55