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Which LPWAN Solution is Right for Your IoT Design?

When it comes to Internet of Things (IoT) designs and devices, streamlined connectivity is paramount. Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) have emerged as useful tools for IoT deployments, offering long-range coverage, low power consumption, and cost-effectiveness. However, selecting the most suitable LPWAN solution can be challenging.

Selecting an optimal LPWAN solution for your cutting-edge IoT design requires careful consideration of various factors including reliability, security, network capacity, range and coverage, battery life, power consumption, and device mobility. By understanding the intricacies of LPWAN technologies and assessing specific requirements, IoT designers can make informed decisions that align with their use cases, applications, and objectives.

What is an LPWAN?

LPWANs are wireless communication networks designed to enable long-range communication with low power consumption, catering specifically to IoT applications. Unlike cellular or Wi-Fi networks, LPWANs prioritize energy efficiency and extended coverage over high data rates. This makes them ideal for applications requiring intermittent data transmission over long distances, such as environmental monitoring or asset tracking.

The benefits of LPWANs extend beyond their energy efficiency and coverage. The offer scalability, allowing for the expansion of networks with minimal infrastructure investment. Moreover, most LPWAN technologies operate in unlicensed frequency bands, reducing operational costs and enabling widespread deployment.

Design Considerations for Your Connectivity Solution

Reliability is a critical factor in selecting an ideal LPWAN solution. Industry-grade reliability ensures consistent connectivity and data transmission, even in challenging environments. Factors such as reception rate and interference resilience influence the overall reliability of a network.

Security is another important consideration, especially in IoT deployments handling sensitive data. LPWAN solutions must ensure message confidentiality, authentication, and integrity. Encryption techniques such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) play a crucial role in securing data transmission.

Network capacity refers to the ability of an LPWAN solution to scale with increasing data acquisition points. IoT deployments often involve a multitude of sensors and devices that require scalable infrastructure with a minimal footprint.

Range and coverage are fundamental aspects of LPWAN technology. Balancing indoor, outdoor, and underground coverage ensures ubiquitous connectivity across diverse environments. Radio range considerations dictate the practical reach of a network, influencing deployment feasibility.

Battery life and power consumption directly impact the longevity of IoT devices. LPWAN solutions should optimize power usage to prolong device lifespan while maintaining reliable connectivity. This often involves trade-offs between data rate and power consumption.

Device mobility introduces additional complexities, particularly for IoT applications involving moving assets or vehicles. LPWAN solutions must accommodate mobility requirements while ensuring seamless connectivity and data transmission.

LoRa® vs NB-IoT vs Mioty vs Wi-SUN

Today, there are several LPWAN technologies in the market. Four main options for IoT applications are LoRa®, NB-IoT, Mioty, and Wi-SUN.  Let’s examine their benefits, disadvantages, and consider when developers should opt for one over another.

LoRa: Long-Range Wireless Communication Solution

LoRa stands out for its exceptional range and flexibility in data transmission rates. Its versatility makes it suitable for various IoT applications, particularly those requiring long-range communication. For example, in agriculture or logistics, where devices may be scattered over large distances, LoRa enables seamless connectivity.

LoRa's adaptability allows users to balance range and data rate according to specific needs. LoRa enables various applications such as monitoring the environment or smart city projects. You can change how often data is sent: send it less often for longer distances or send it more often over shorter distances.

LoRa Solutions Now Available at Braemac

Ezurio's RM126X Ultra-Low Power LoRaWAN Module
Ezurio RM126X

Based on Silicon Labs’ EFR32 System-on-Chip (SoC) and Semtech’s SX126x radio, the RM126x series of modules from Ezurio is an ultra-low power LoRaWAN solution. Supporting LoRaWAN classes A, B, and C, the RM126x series includes LoRa Point to Point (LoRa P2P) to enable private radio networks between two RM126x modules.

Microchip's WLR089UO Low Power LoRa® Sub-GHz Module
Microchip WLR089UO

Additionally, Microchip offers an ultra low power, regulatory-certified LoRa solution with their WLR089U0 standalone module. Including a 32-but ARM® Cortex®-M0+ processor, 256KB of Flash, 40 KB of SRAM (8KB battery packed), and low power sleep currents as low as 790nA, the WLR089U0 is ideally suited for battery power remote sensor applications.

For more information about the RM126x Series or the WLR089U0, contact Braemac today!

NB-IoT: Cellular Connectivity, Simplified

Leveraging existing cellular infrastructure, NB-IoT stands for NarrowBand IoT. It offers several advantages, making it an attractive option for IoT developers. Its seamless integration with existing cellular networks simplifies deployment and scalability, especially for established mobile network operators.

Furthermore, NB-IoT provides enhanced security features by utilizing the secure cellular network infrastructure, ensuring the secure transmission of sensitive data. NB-IoT is used in various areas. One example is smart metering, where it securely sends utility data from meters in cities. Another example is health monitoring wearables, which require secure, reliable data transfer.

NB-IoT Solutions Now Available at Braemac

Renesas' RYZ024A LTE Cat-M1 Cellular IoT Module for Global Deployment
Renesas RYZ024A

If you’re a developer seeking an all-in-one LTE that supports not only Cat-M1, but can be upgraded to support NB1 and NB2, consider the RYZ024A from Renesas. With worldwide deployment and roaming capability, the RYZ024A include all the elements necessary for a complete LTE modem system.

Cavli Wireless C41QS Cellular Module
Cavli Wireless C41QS

The C41QS from Cavli Wireless is an innovative NB-IoT platform based on LPWAN technology. It’s compatible with 3GPP E-UTRA 14 standards and supports a wide range of frequency bands. Ideal in size-constrained applications, the C41QS is usable globally and has an optionally integrated GNSS for global connectivity.

SIMCom SIM7022 RF TXRX Cellular SMD Module
SIMCom SIM7022

SIMCom has developed the SIM7022 multi-band NB-IoT module for applications requiring low latency and throughput data communication in a variety of radio propagation conditions. The SIM7022 is an ideal solution for M2M applications like metering, asset tracking, remote monitoring, E-health, and more

To get started with RYZ024A, C41QS, or SIM7022 solutions, contact Braemac today!

Mioty: The Master of Reliability

Mioty prioritizes robustness and interference resilience over high data rates, making it ideal for demanding industrial environments. In settings such as manufacturing plants, warehouses, or outdoor installations, where reliability is critical, Mioty excels.

Additionally, Mioty is well-suited for interference-prone areas, where other wireless technologies struggle due to environmental factors. Its reliability and durability make it ideal for automating processes. It also ensures consistent communication for sensors and actuators in industrial automation. It’s also useful for smart agriculture, allowing for easier monitoring of soil conditions, irrigation, and livestock tracking.

Mioty Solutions Now Available at Braemac

Silicon Labs EFR32FG23 Flex Gecko Wireless SoC
Silicon Labs EFR32FG23

Silicon Labs’ EFR32FG23 (FG23) is the world’s first line of sub-GHz SoCs with over a mile wireless range and ten years of battery life. The FG23 supports Mioty and other protocols like Amazon Sidewalk, M-Bus, Z-Wave, and more. This award-winning platform delivers developers with flexible, multiprotocol connectivity options for a wide range of wireless applications.

WiTTRA Unified IoT Out Of The Box wireless IoT sensor network kit enables connectivity, sensing, and location intelligence in some of the toughest environments like industrial sites
Wireless IoT Sensor Network kit

The WiTTRA Unified IoT Out Of The Box wireless IoT sensor network kit uses their 6LoWPAN mesh network in conjunction with Mioty LPWAN radios to deliver high volume onsite sensor and 3D location data. Fully certified and ready for field development, the ruggedized kit enables connectivity, sensing, and location intelligence in some of the toughest environments like industrial sites.

To learn more about the FG23 or the Unified IoT Out Of The Box, contact Braemac today!

Wi-SUN: The Mesh Network Champion

Wi-SUN uses mesh topology for strong coverage and seamless connectivity in smart utility and city projects. Wi-SUN is important for managing infrastructure efficiently in areas like smart grids, utilities, and smart cities. For instance, in smart grid deployments, Wi-SUN enables smart metering, distribution automation, and grid management. Similarly, in smart city initiatives, Wi-SUN supports applications like street lighting control and water management by providing efficient communication and network management capabilities.

Wi-SUN Solutions Now Available at Braemac

Renesas offers their RX65N microcontroller that features an advanced 32-but RXv2 CPU core, generous RAM capacity, and fortified security measures. Supported by their Sub-GHz/Wi-SUN Protocol Stack, the RX65N provides a low-power design, improved connectivity, and Human Machine Interface (HMI) functionalities.

Silicon Labs EFR32FG25 Sub-GHz Wireless SoCs
Silicon Labs EFR32FG25

The EFR32FG25 (FG25) and EFR32FG28 (FG28) from Silicon Labs are ideal Wi-SUN solutions for smart applications including smart home, lighting, security, automation, metering, and more. The FG25 includes multi-rate OFDM, FSK, and O-QPSK modulation schemes for enhanced data rate. The FG28 is a dual band Sub-GHz + 2.4 GHz Bluetooth LE with a large memory footprint and increased IO count.

Microchip's AT86RF215 Sub-GHz / 2.4GHz Transceiver and I/Q Radio
Microchip AT86RF215

Microchip’s AT86RF215 is another dual-band sub-GHz solution. The AT86RF215 offers high flexibility through a range of data rates with three distinct modulation schemes. It allows simultaneous operation at sub-1Ghz and 2.4GHz to enable new capabilities in smart applications including metering, lighting, home energy gateways, and industrial and automation equipment.

To begin developing with the RX65N, FG25, FG28, or AT86RF215, contact Braemac today!


In summary, every LPWAN technology provides unique benefits and advantages that ideally suit different use cases, applications, and requirements in IoT deployments. IoT designers can choose the best solution for their projects by knowing the strengths and characteristics of different options. Whether prioritizing range, battery life, data rate, or deployment cost, a thorough understanding of available LPWAN technologies empower designers to make informed decisions that align perfectly with their project goals and constraints.


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