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Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) Technologies for Industrial IoT Applications


  • Nikolaos Tsavalos
  • Ahmad Abu Hashem

Summary, in English

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is part of the well-known IoT concept where a large number of devices need to be interconnected in order to collect and exchange data. Companies’ aim is not only to minimize cost during product design, operation and maintenance but also to enable remote monitoring on the efficiency of the devices-assets through the utilization of cloud services. Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) is seen as one of the enablers for IoT and can be realized by implementing emerging technologies such as Sigfox, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT and CAT-M1. The aim of this thesis is to define which technology is the most suitable for a vast range of applications. In the second and third chapters, an in-depth analysis and theoretical comparison of these technologies regarding frequency bands, data rate, power consumption, coverage, quality of service, latency, mobility, and cost is provided. However, based on this comparison, it is apparent that there is not a single technology that can satisfy all different requirements and needs. Therefore, applications such as smart metering, network monitoring, manufacturing, supply chain tracking, agriculture or power generator monitoring can take advantage of some technologies more than others and this is shown in the third chapter. As far as the practical part of this thesis project is concerned, we chose to test Sigfox in the area of Skåne for reasons that are explained in the fourth chapter. Using Lopy4, a module provided by Pycom, we performed field measurements in outdoor, indoor, rural and urban scenarios. Results concerning coverage, outage capacity, range, and latency are extracted in the fourth chapter and further commented in the fifth chapter. Finally, in the sixth chapter, future work suggestions and insights are given by the authors.

Summary, in English

The best choice is not always the perfect choice in life. You might need sometimes to take the most suitable choice which is corresponding to the needs instead. That is also the result we get from our work, in which we compare four technologies that are used to enable communication between machines in long distance, carrying small amount of data.
In daily life, wireless communication is well-known as either WI-FI or cellular connection. WI-FI, for instance, allows receiving a huge amount of data wirelessly like watching a movie or downloading a game, within a local area (i.e. a home or a library), for low costs (i.e.the price of modem and monthly fee). Even cellular communication allows the same large amount of data but within a larger area and for higher costs (i.e. the price of mobile and a monthly fee based on how much data is used). Nowadays, cities are changing to smart cities. It is not the persons who connect each other but it is machine to machine connections (i.e. a garage door opens when your car is nearby, a counter which calculates the free places in a parking lot or small chip that sends the location of your pet repeatedly to your mobile phone). These services require technologies different than WI-FI or cellular.
Low power wide area (LPWA) technologies appear to enable the deployment of such services. In this thesis, four technologies, Sigfox, LoRa, NB-IoT, and CAT-M1 are theoretically compared aiming to find the most suitable for the future of Internet of Things (IoT). Soon, one realizes that it is not about an apple to apple comparison since each technology has properties that serve different customers/needs. After presenting the fundamental properties of each technology (as it is shown in the second and third chapter), the conclusion that there is not a single winner but all of them are suitable for different applications, is coming to surface. In health-care services where data about health is transmitted to monitors, CAT-M1 is a more suitable choice than others because of its fast reaction and low-latency. In agriculture, where data about soil PH and water usage indicators are transmitted, Sigfox and LoRaWAN are more suitable technologies because of their cost-efficiency and low bandwidth usage.
The aim of this thesis, is to validate the theoretical results for the most prominent technology, which is decided to be Sigfox for the purpose of this work. Using a module that consists of a chip and an antenna, we study how coverage changes depending on whether the module is located in a rural or urban area. Furthermore, except for outdoor scenarios, indoor cases are evaluated in order to understand the technology’s performance in places where there are a lot of walls, obstacles or basement. The results from the practical implementation analysis are interesting and are being discussed in the last part of this work.

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Master's degree (two years)


  • Technology and Engineering


  • iot sigfox nb-iot cat-m1 iiot industrial hms coverage capacity latency pycom lund malmo hurva


  • Stefan Höst