SIGFOX vs. LoRa vs. NB-IoT
Who's Doing it Best?
As the number of connected devices keeps on rising, it is becoming even more important to understand the main differences between different wireless technologies used in the Internet of Things (IoT), such as LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT.
Let us have a look as some of their main advantages and disadvantages:
- When comparing the three technologies, SIGFOX can be considered as the most basic one. It has the lowest cost radio devices and most competitive connectivity subscription pricing.
- SIGFOX topology also offers a seamless world-wide connectivity which makes it the clear winner for logistics applications.
- The radio protocol does not require two way-communication for communicating with the network which makes the technology more effective and efficient for applications which are not safety critical.
- SIGFOX technology bases reliability on repetition of signals from multiple base-stations which if designed correctly, professionals argue may be more reliable than a two-way communication required in cellular networks, but definitely more efficient.
- SIGFOX also boasts the longest signal range from all three technologies.
- SIGFOX's technical limitation makes it impossible to make full firmware upgrades over the air, which is a very neat feature when complex applications are required.
- SIGFOX requires the network to be built from the ground up unlike cellular technology which is a firmware upgrade if the base stations have the hardware capability.
- The radio protocol is also operating in an unlicensed spectrum which might not make it ideal for certain applications which require to have control on the radio spectrum being used.
SIGFOX is the definite winner for logistical applications and applications which are extremely price sensitive.
LoRa is another popular wireless communication solution when it comes to IoT.
- LoRa is the best when it comes low power consumption when compared to competing technologies. This enables smaller devices which are sometimes critical for certain IoT applications.
- LoRa also allows for anyone to set up their own Private Network.
- The LoRa ecosystem is considered to be the richest.
- LoRa allows for Firmware over the Air (FOTA) upgrades
- Nationwide networks are only available in few countries hence, limiting nationwide applications on the LoRa technology.
- Due to Private Network architecture, LoRa technology only works for a private settlement
- LoRa has the weakest signal range when compared to the other technologies.
The key acronym here is NB - Narrow-Band. Typically, Narrow-Band is implemented in telecommunication technologies to transmit data on some frequency sets.
- NB makes use of existing infrastructure which makes it easiest to deploy and maintain.
- NB is governed by companies which have all been in the telco industry for a very long time.
- NB allows for two-way communication which makes it more ideal for certain applications which cannot afford to miss a message, even if this is sent at a later time.
- NB allows for FOTA Upgrades.
- NB works in the licensed spectrum.
- NB does not yet allow for mobility and world-wide mobility; limiting the applications which it can be used for.
- NB hardware and connectivity costs are higher when compared to competing technologies.
IoT Solutions Ltd. is a technology agnostic company which is offering solutions operating with all SIGFOX, LoRa and NB-IoT. Get in contact with IoT Solutions Ltd. to ensure the best device and network layer choice from the most experienced IoT company.