The LoRa Alliance, the global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN standard for the internet of things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), has revealed that the number of public LoRaWAN networks, which are available globally, has grown by 66% over the past three years.

Historically, public LPWAN network deployment was driven by mobile network operators (MNOs); however, much of the recent growth has been enabled largely by non-MNOs that are building critical dedicated infrastructure to support the expanding needs of LPWAN IoT.

Recent investments by satellite and community LoRaWAN network providers, along with roaming availability in over 23 countries, have further accelerated network availability and global coverage. At the same time, private networks are also experiencing an explosive rate of growth. This new landscape for LoRaWAN networks demonstrates significant growth in diversity - public, community, satellite and private, as well as hybrid network approaches - which is fast becoming a competitive differentiator for LoRaWAN.

“LoRaWAN network operators are building new types of infrastructure to meet future IoT networking requirements,” said Donna Moore, CEO and chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “This evolution in the types of networks and network providers is expected, and a sign of a healthy and vibrant market. These new network players are nimble, agile and able to grow beyond the constraints of pre-existing network infrastructure. They are successfully building profitable business models to maximize the value of their LoRaWAN networks and meet the evolving needs of LPWAN IoT deployments. LoRaWAN is the only LPWAN providing a choice of network types, along with interoperability and roaming between networks, that will continue to drive strong growth in LoRaWAN network capacity.”

More agile network operators are benefiting from the market’s evolving requirements for coverage, availability and accessibility worldwide. LoRaWAN infrastructure is seen as low cost, easy to deploy and offering greater flexibility, which is driving the technology’s strong growth.

This shift in the market toward a choice of infrastructure solutions is helping businesses to capitalise on the huge LPWAN market opportunity. This supports the continued evolution in the life cycle of the emerging IoT market.

“The installed base of LPWAN devices will exceed 2 billion units in 2025,” said Steve Hoffenberg, director and industry analyst at market research firm VDC Research. “With LoRaWAN’s low-cost gateways, ready adaptability to both public and private networks, and satellite capability, it is uniquely positioned to bring connectivity to the widest range of devices and places, helping to drive the market growth of LPWANs.”

Moore continued, “It is an exciting time to be part of the LoRa Alliance, because the evolving market is driving innovation that can only be addressed by our ecosystem. The variety of IoT use cases demands the flexibility and choice that LoRaWAN can deliver. We have hundreds of members that span numerous verticals developing countless solutions to improve the planet and citizens’ lives, while also improving businesses’ performance and profits. With the innovation from our open global ecosystem and flexibility to accommodate a wide variety of business models, LoRaWAN continues to be the thought and market leader in LPWAN.”