Internet of Things

Low Power Wide Area Solutions Are Coming To Market

What’s the one thing holding the Internet of Things back from really making a splash? Some developers might point to faulty devices or weak mobile networks, but the GSMA is certain that a set of uniform standards is what IoT really needs to run roughshod over mobile commerce.

The GSMA announced Thursday (Feb. 18) that they would be demonstrating live operations of its new Low Power Wide Area solutions for the growing IoT-connected mobile industry at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. A blend of three platforms — Narrow Band IoT, Extended Coverage EGPRS and LTE Machine Type Communication — the suite of LPWA services has GSMA CTO Alex Sinclair singing the praises of what retailers and marketers will be able to do with an industry working off the same set of rules.

“LPWA is an emerging, high-growth area of the Internet of Things, but it requires common, global standards in licensed spectrum in order for it to scale effectively and deliver secure, reliable and robust performance,” Sinclair said in a statement. “With high-quality managed networks, mobile operators are well placed to deliver these industry standard solutions which offer customers a clear choice and we are excited to see the industry move so quickly to provide commercial solutions.”

The GSMA explained that their LPWA push is supported by 30 companies involved in everything from chipset and infrastructure manufacturing to mobile network operators. Mobile World Congress attendees will get their chance to see why by checking out a few key demos, including a “connected eBike” that can track location and fitness levels even in rural areas with low signal strength and a “smart agriculture” program that can help farmers and winemakers harness the power of IoT for better harvests.

Otherwise, if the GSMA’s LPWA initiative doesn’t pay off, the buying public will be stuck with slow progress on IoT and bad wine.

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