Updated: 04/02/2019 by Computer Hope
Illustration of an LPWAN of networked utility meters.

LPWAN, short for low-power wide-area network, is a type of wireless WAN (wide area network) designed to enable battery-powered devices to communicate with each other over long distances. Together, the devices form a mesh network of nodes that transmit data intermittently at a low bitrate, using broadcast techniques such as CSS (chirp spread spectrum). Because of the low power requirements, these devices can operate for years without maintenance.

Maximum distance between nodes can range from approximately 2 km (urban areas) to 10 km (rural areas). They can also be used in places not usually serviced by wireless networks, such as underground tunnel systems.

Example uses of an LPWAN include networked utility meters, home or mobile IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and wearable devices, such as smartwatches or fitness trackers.

Companies and platforms using LPWAN technology

  • DASH7 Alliance Protocol
  • Haystack Technologies
  • Ingenu
  • LoRa
  • MySensors
  • Sigfox

Acronyms, Battery, Network terms, Spread spectrum, Wireless