What isNarrowband LTE

Low-power, battery-operated sensors known as High Area Low Power are becoming increasingly popular for use in the Internet of Things (IoT). Unlicensed IoT technologies such as Sigfox and LoRaWAN are quickly gaining traction, while Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM) utilizes existing GSM networks. As new cellular IoT technologies, LTE-M and NB-IoT are not backward compatible with current LTE infrastructure.

FAW: A Guide to Low-Power Sensors for the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is transforming various industries with its ability to connect devices and enable remote monitoring and control. One critical aspect of IoT is low-power sensors that can operate for years without requiring human intervention. In this article, we’ll explore some popular low-power sensor technologies and their applications for IoT.

What is High Area Low Power?

High Area Low Power refers to a general category of low-speed, battery-powered sensors that can operate for extended periods before requiring a battery change or recharge. These sensors work best when deployed in areas where access to power is challenging or expensive, such as agricultural fields, remote factories, or infrastructure monitoring sites.

At the heart of high area low power sensors are communication protocols that enable them to connect to the internet and transmit their data to a central server or a cloud platform. Some of the popular communication protocols for low-power sensors include:

Sigfox from France

Sigfox is a proprietary communication protocol developed in France that operates in the unlicensed frequency band. Sigfox network can cover vast geographical areas with minimal power consumption compared to other communication protocols, making it ideal for remote sensor applications.

LoRaWAN (Long Range WAN)

LoRaWAN is an open communication protocol developed by the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes standardized low-power networks for the IoT. LoRaWAN operates in the unlicensed frequency band, and its range depends on the power output of the transmitting device and the frequency used.

Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM)

Extended Coverage GSM (EC-GSM) utilizes the existing licensed GSM networks to provide IoT connectivity. EC-GSM has been optimized for low-power sensor applications and can provide extended coverage in areas where GSM signals are weak. EC-GSM is an excellent option for areas where legacy GSM networks are available, and the deployment of new infrastructure is not feasible.

LTE-M and NB-IoT (NarrowBand-IoT)

As “clean slate” cellular IoT technologies, LTE-M and NB-IoT are not backward compatible with the current LTE infrastructure. Instead, they are designed to provide IoT connectivity with minimal power consumption and extended coverage. LTE-M and NB-IoT operate in the licensed frequency band, making them attractive options for applications that require secure and reliable communication.

Applications of High Area Low Power Sensors

Low-power sensors are finding widespread use in various IoT applications, including:

  • Smart Agriculture: Sensors can measure soil moisture, temperature, and other environmental parameters to optimize crop growth and reduce water consumption.
  • Asset Tracking: Low-power sensors can track assets such as shipping containers, vehicles, and consumer goods in transit.
  • Infrastructure Monitoring: Sensors can monitor bridges, dams, and other critical infrastructure for signs of wear and tear.
  • Smart Cities: Low-power sensors can monitor air quality, noise pollution, and other parameters to enhance urban planning and improve quality of life.


High Area Low Power sensors are essential components of IoT infrastructure, enabling remote monitoring and control in areas where power access is problematic. Sigfox, LoRaWAN, EC-GSM, LTE-M, and NB-IoT are some of the popular communication protocols for low-power sensors, catering to different IoT applications. As IoT adoption continues to grow and mature, we can expect these technologies to evolve and provide new opportunities for innovation and connectivity.

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