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NB-IoT promises the effective "overnight switch-on" of "massive connectivity" across countries. This is a clear winner for mobile operators and common sense suggests it is only a matter of time before NB-IoT leaves competing LPWA technologies dead in the water. However, this may not be the case.


  • While strategies may vary, Ovum has seen plenty of evidence that many mobile operators are taking unlicensed LPWA technologies seriously. The major infrastructure vendors are all receiving requests from cellular carriers to support alternative LPWA technologies. And major carrier groups are discussing internally how to benefit from these technologies.

Features and Benefits

  • Understand what cellular carriers really think about the threats and opportunities that LPWA presents and how best to exploit them.
  • See how IoT and LPWA network deployments are ramping up, as well as how many of what type have gone live.

Key questions answered

  • Will NB-IoT dominate LPWA, or can licensed and unlicensed bearers coexist and be complementary?
  • How can cellular carriers explore new IoT opportunities while protecting established reputations?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Different types of network exist to serve different enterprise needs
  • Business buyers require confidence and assurances from their providers
  • Exploit unlicensed LPWA without diluting brand or trust


  • Further reading
  • Author

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