Low power wide area (LPWA) technologies make up a relatively newer set of communications protocols designed to fulfill the promise of the Internet of Things (IoT). Characterized by very long range, battery life, lower data transfer capacity and speed, and low cost, LPWA networks promise to make monitoring and—in some cases—control throughout the grid more economical, especially in rural environments.
Many equipment vendors and service providers are promoting these new technologies to power utilities. As a result of their relatively lower cost, utilities today are able to imagine a time when visibility throughout the distribution grid is ubiquitous—enabling applications such as widespread asset monitoring, distribution automation (DA), distributed generation integration, and even smart metering—at an economically feasible price. LPWA technologies are also being considered by utilities as backup communications in locations where more expensive cellular service has traditionally been used. To date, few utilities have made substantial investments in LPWA networks. Nonetheless, interest in LPWA technologies on the part of power utilities worldwide is growing.
This Navigant Research Leaderboard evaluates 15 vendors and service providers offering LPWA solutions relevant to electric utilities. These players are rated on 11 criteria: vision; go-to market strategy; partners; technology; geographic reach; sales, marketing, and distribution; product performance; product quality and reliability; product portfolio; pricing; and staying power. Using Navigant Research’s proprietary Leaderboard methodology, vendors are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing an objective assessment of their relative strengths and weaknesses in the global utility LPWA market.
Top 10 Vendors:
9. Silver Spring Networks