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LPWA networks are rapidly coming online for commercial service, with 109 of the 229 networks announced this year, or nearly half, having gone live.


  • Interest in NB-IoT remained high in 4Q17. The 15 NB-IoT networks announced in the quarter are being deployed by mobile network operators in many regions, but Europe made up the majority, with 10 networks announced.
  • In the year to end-4Q17, NB-IoT accounted for 13 of the 25 LPWA networks announced in Eastern Europe, with the remainder equally split among LTE-M, LoRa, and Sigfox.
  • Hong Kong’s Communications Authority has set a precedent by charging a license fee for usage of the 920–925MHz frequency band, which is typically used by LoRa and Sigfox networks.

Features and Benefits

  • Examines key LPWA network developments in 4Q17.
  • Discusses the rising interest in NB-IoT network deployments in Europe.
  • Discusses the Hong Kong's Communications Authority's move to charge a license fee for use of the 920–925MHz frequency band for IoT operators.

Key questions answered

  • What were the significant LPWA network developments in 4Q17?
  • Which regions showed rising interest in NB-IoT?
  • What are the implications of the Hong Kong's Communications Authority's move to charge a license fee for "unlicensed" spectrum?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • NB-IoT pulling ahead of other LPWA networks
  • Hong Kong charges for use of unlicensed 920–925MHz frequency band


  • Further reading
  • Author

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