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Difference between Licensed LPWAN vs Unlicensed LPWAN

This page compares Licensed LPWAN vs Unlicensed LPWAN and mentions difference between Licensed LPWAN and Unlicensed LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network).

What is LPWAN?

LPWAN stands for Low Power Wide Area Network. It is a type of wireless network used for low power IoT and M2M applications. LPWAN is a low power WAN system which offers long range communications among connected things or sensors having long life. Following is the tree of LPWAN standards with their developing organizations. LPWAN is used for different applications such as smart metering, smart parking, smart grid control, smart security, Smart city, smart agriculture, asset tracking, smart home automation, critical infrastructure monitoring, personal IoT applications, logistics and so on.

LPWAN architecture

Refer LPWAN tutorial >> to understand basic components used in LPWAN network architecture, its benefits, standards and its typical features.

LPWAN devices are lower in costs and consume very low power. Hence they are power efficient and offer long coverage range.

Licensed LPWAN

• It runs on public cellular networks.
• It uses licensed frequency spectrum.
• It is being operated and managed by hundreds of telecom mobile operators.
• It supports roaming and hence there is no issue of interoperability.
• Licensed LPWAN connections are secure and reliable as it uses exclusive frequency per connection.
• Customers willing to gain above benefits with high speed of data conmnection can go for licensed LPWAN connections.
• Licensed LPWAN standards include GSM, 3GPP technologies such as LTE-M, NB-IoT etc.

Unlicensed LPWAN

• It uses unlicensed frequency spectrum.
• It does not use exclusive frequency for each connection. Unlicensed spectrum is used by anyone without any exclusivity.
• Any mobile telecom operators can establish their own private network. But anyone can still use the radio spectrum for some other applications.
• Unlicensed spectrum lead to interference among devices using same radio spectrum part.
• Due to interference, it can not be used for high speed connections.
• Unlicensed LPWAN technologies include LoRaWAN, Sigfox etc.

Difference between Licensed vs Unlicensed LPWAN

Let us summarize major difference between licensed vs unlicensed LPWAN:
➨Licensed LPWAN uses dedicated frequency for connections, where as unlicensed LPWAN does not.
➨There is low to minimum interference in Licensed LPWAN network, where as there is more interference in unlicensed networks. Hence, radio planning need to be done well.
➨Licensed LPWAN can be used for high speed connections where as Unlicensed LPWAN can be used for low speed ones.
➨With licensed frequencies, large public networks can be created across the globe where as with unlicensed frequencies, small private networks can be built.

LPWAN Wireless technologies

Following are the list of LPWAN wireless technologies :
• What is NB-Fi
• DASH7 Basics
• SIGFOX technology basics
• LORA tutorial
• What is EC-GSM
• NB-IoT tutorial
• LTE-M tutorial
• Weightless system overview
• Advantages and disadvantages of LoRa
• Advantages and disadvantages of EC-GSM
• Advantages and disadvantages of NB-IoT
• Advantages and disadvantages of LTE-M
• Advantages and disadvantages of NB-IoT
• Advantages and disadvantages of Sigfox
• Advantages and disadvantages of Zigbee

Advantages and Disadvantages of other wireless technologies

IrDA    HomeRF    Bluetooth    Radar    RF    Wireless    Internet    Mobile Phone    IoT    Solar Energy    Fiber Optic    Satellite    GPS    RFID    AM and FM    LTE   

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