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LPWAN Technologies for Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M Scenarios

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Rapid technological advances in the past made possible the miniaturization of network devices to meet the cost and power consumption requirements in IoT and M2M scenarios. What is missing in this picture is a radio technology with both long range capability and a very low cost footprint. Existing radio technologies such as 3G/4G or Short Range Radio do not aptly meet the requirements of IoT scenarios because they are either too expensive or are not able to provide the required range. Other wireless technologies are geared towards high bandwidth which is in most cases not a requirement for IoT.
Emerging LPWAN technologies such as ETSI LTN or LoRAWAN are poised for filling the gap by providing long range (up to 40km) and low power connectivity. These technologies allow low cost radio devices and operation thus enabling scaling up IoT applications.

Published in: Technology

LPWAN Technologies for Internet of Things (IoT) and M2M Scenarios

  1. 1. © Peter R. Egli 2015 1/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com Peter R. Egli INDIGOO.COM OVERVIEW OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES FOR LOW POWER WIDE AREA NETWORKS IN INTERNET OF THINGS AND M2M SCENARIOS LPWANLOW POWER WIDE AREA NETWORK
  2. 2. © Peter R. Egli 2015 2/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com Contents 1. The sweet spot for LPWANs 2. LPWAN requirements and characteristics 3. The need for long range wireless connectivity 4. LPWAN network topology 5. Link budget for LPWAN devices 6. Receiver sensitivity for LPWAN devices 7. Technologies for LPWAN
  3. 3. © Peter R. Egli 2015 3/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 1. The sweet spot for LPWANs Different wireless technologies cover different applications with regard to range and bandwidth. Long-range applications with low bandwidth requirements that are typical for IoT and M2M scenarios are not well supported by these existing technologies. LPWAN technologies are targeted at these emerging applications and markets. Long RangeShort Range Low BW High BW Medium BW Medium Range LPWAN BlueTooth BLE ZigBee / 802.15.4 802.11a 802.11b 802.11g 802.11ac 802.11ad 802.11n RFID / NFC WBAN 802.15.6 2G 3G 4G 5G VSAT WPAN 802.15.3 Key: BW: Bandwitch IoT: Internet of Things M2M: Machine to Machine
  4. 4. © Peter R. Egli 2015 4/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 2. LPWAN requirements and characteristics (1/2) The needs of IoT and M2M applications pose some unique requirements on LPWAN technologies as shown in the comparison with other wireless technologies: Range Power Consumption Bandwidth Radio Chipset Costs Radio Subscription Costs Transmission Latency Number of Base Stations Geographical Coverage, Penetration LPWAN 3G/4G/5G ZigBee 802.15.4
  5. 5. © Peter R. Egli 2015 5/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 2. LPWAN requirements and characteristics (2/2) Characteristic Target Value for LPWAN Technologies Long range 5 – 40km in the open field Ultra low power Battery lifetime of 10 years Throughput Depends on the application, but typically a few hundred bit / s or less Radio chipset costs $2 or less Radio subscription costs $1 per device and year Transmission latency Not a primary requirement for LPWAN. IoT applications are typically insensitive to latency. Required number of base stations for coverage Very low. LPWAN base stations are able to serve thousands of devices. Geographic coverage, penetration Excellent coverage also in remote and rural areas. Good in- building and in-ground penetration (e.g. for reading power meters).
  6. 6. © Peter R. Egli 2015 6/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 3. The need for long range wireless connectivity Devices in IoT applications (the “things”) are typically installed in the field on residential premises, public places like restaurants or cafés or on industrial plant sites. Using short range radio connectivity complicates the IoT setup due to the implications of wired on-site connectivity (firewalls, NAT, port and protocol filtering). Short range radio connectivity for IoT devices: Direct long range connectivity (LPWAN) for IoT devices: End Customer Premises Wired network Access Network / Internet SRD Gateway Cloud, Apps Cloud A A A Short range radio devices (SRD) such as ZigBee require using a gateway for long-range backhaul. The gateway is typically hooked up to some on-site wired network which is not under control of the IoT provider. End Customer Premises Access Network / Internet Cloud, Apps Cloud A A ABase Station Long range connectivity allows direct access to the devices in the field. The base station typically serves a large number of devices thus greatly reducing costs.
  7. 7. © Peter R. Egli 2015 7/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 4. LPWAN network topology (1/2) The wireless portion of LPWAN networks uses a star topology. This obviates the need for complicated wireless mesh routing protocols which would greatly complicate the implementation of end devices and drive up power consumption. A. Direct device connectivity (base station):  A base station provides connectivity to a large number of devices.  The traffic is backhauled to servers (cloud) through TCP/IP based networks (Internet).  The base station is responsible for protocol translation from IoT protocols such as MQTT or CoAP to device application protocols. LPWAN Connectvitiy Access Network / Internet Cloud & Servers Cloud Base Station Star topology for long range radio connectivity Wired backhaul, TCP/IP based (e.g. MQTT) Applications A A A A
  8. 8. © Peter R. Egli 2015 8/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com Short Range Conn. 4. LPWAN network topology (2/2) B. Indirect device connectivity through a LPWAN gateway:  In setups where devices cannot be directly reached through LPWAN, a local gateway bridges LPWAN connectivity to some short range radio (SRD) technology (e.g. ZigBee, BLE).  The gateway typically runs on mains power since it serves a larger number of devices and must convert between LPWAN and SRD radio technologies and protocols.  Gateways may help to improve security since more powerful security algorithms can be implemented on the gateway than is possible on the constrained devices. LPWAN Connectvitiy Access Network / Internet Cloud & Servers Cloud Base Station Star topology for long range radio connectivity Wired backhaul, TCP / IP (e.g. MQTT) Applications A A A A Gateway Short range local connectivity
  9. 9. © Peter R. Egli 2015 9/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com SRx [dBm] 5. Link budget for LPWAN devices Link budget: As in most radio systems, the link budget is an important measure for power calculation. The link budget calculates the power received at the receiver and accounts for gains and losses along the transmission path. PTX [dBm] +dB -dB GTX [dBi] LTX [dB] 0dB LFS [dB] LM [dB] GRX [dBi] LRX [dB] Transmission Path 𝑷 𝑹𝑿 = 𝑷 𝑻𝑿 + 𝑮 𝑻𝑿 − 𝑳 𝑻𝑿 − 𝑳 𝑭𝑺 − 𝑳 𝑴 + 𝑮 𝑹𝑿 − 𝑳 𝑹𝑿 𝑷 𝑹𝑿 = 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒅 𝒑𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓 𝒅𝑩𝒎 𝑷 𝑻𝑿 = 𝑺𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒐𝒖𝒕𝒑𝒖𝒕 𝒑𝒐𝒘𝒆𝒓 𝒅𝑩𝒎 𝑮 𝑻𝑿 = 𝑺𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒏𝒂 𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒅𝑩𝒊 𝑳 𝑻𝑿 = 𝑺𝒆𝒏𝒅𝒆𝒓 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒔 𝒆𝒕𝒄. 𝒅𝑩 𝑳 𝑭𝑺 = 𝑭𝒓𝒆𝒆 𝒔𝒑𝒂𝒄𝒆 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒔 𝒅𝑩 𝑳 𝑴 = 𝑴𝒊𝒔𝒄. 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒎𝒖𝒍𝒕𝒊𝒑𝒂𝒕𝒉 𝒆𝒕𝒄. 𝒅𝑩 𝑮 𝑹𝑿 = 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒂𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒏𝒂 𝒈𝒂𝒊𝒏 𝒅𝑩𝒊 𝑳 𝑹𝑿 = 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒍𝒐𝒔𝒔𝒆𝒔 𝒄𝒐𝒏𝒏𝒆𝒄𝒕𝒐𝒓𝒔 𝒆𝒕𝒄. 𝒅𝑩 𝑺 𝑹𝑿 = 𝑹𝒆𝒄𝒆𝒊𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒊𝒕𝒊𝒗𝒊𝒕𝒚 𝒅𝑩𝒎 PRX [dBm] Gain Loss
  10. 10. © Peter R. Egli 2015 10/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 6. Receiver sensitivity for LPWAN devices Receiver sensitivity: The required receiver sensitivity for a LPWAN device is derived from the calculated link budget. The wireless link can be closed (communication between sender and receiver is possible) if the receiver sensitivity SRX equals or is lower than (numerically in dB) the received power PRX. Due to the long transmission paths that are typical for LPWAN systems, free space loss (path loss) is the dominant factor that greatly reduces the received power at the receiver. Therefore it is essential that LPWAN receivers, particularly device nodes, have a very good receiver sensitivity (<= -140dBm), i.e. are able to receive signals levels that are 7 orders of magnitude or more smaller than the transmission level at the sender. 𝑺 𝑹𝑿 <= 𝑷 𝑹𝑿
  11. 11. © Peter R. Egli 2015 11/11 Rev. 1.00 LPWAN – Low Power Wide Area Network indigoo.com 7. Technologies for LPWAN In the still evolving IoT and M2M markets, a few competing radio technologies are emerging. Common to these technologies is the use of lower frequencies than 2.4GHz or 5.8GHz to achieve better penetration into buildings or underground installations. Work is still in progress in most of these technologies. LPWAN Technology Standard / Specificiation Range Spectrum ETSI LTN ETSI GS LTN 001 - 003 40 km in open field Any unlicensed spectrum such as ISM (433MHz, 868MHz, 2.4GHz) LoRaWAN LoRa Alliance LoRaWAN 2-5km in urban areas <15km in suburban areas Any unlicensed spectrum 868MHz (Eu) 915MHz (US) 433MHz (Asia) Weightless-N Weightless SIG <5km in urban areas 20-30km in rural areas 800MHz – 1GHz (ISM) RPMA Proprietary (On-Ramp Wireless), planned to become an IEEE standard <65km line of sight <20km non line of sight 2.4GHz

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