top of page

Choosing the Right IoT Connectivity: NB-IoT vs. LoRaWAN vs. Wirepas

Navigate the IoT realm wisely: Embrace the rapid growth of Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) connections, which have surged by 109% over the last five years!
NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, Ellenex, Solutions, Connectivity, IoT, IIoT

A force to be recognised: LPWAN technology on industrial IoT connectivity

Being nominated as the fastest growing IoT Connectivity technology, Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) market has surged over 109% between 2018 and 2023, reaching an significant economic scale over $1.1 billion dollars by the end of last year. Amidst fierce competition among numerous LPWAN technology providers, the industrial potential of this IoT connectivity scheme stands ripe for exploration to its fullest extent.

  • Cost Efficiency: LPWAN technologies typically require lower infrastructure costs compared to traditional connectivity solutions. This is particularly advantageous for large-scale deployments where cost-effectiveness is crucial

  • Long Range Coverage: LPWANs can cover vast areas with minimal infrastructure due to their long-range capabilities. This makes them suitable for applications such as agricultural monitoring, asset tracking, and smart city deployments.

  • Low Power Consumption: LPWAN devices are designed to operate on minimal power, enabling long battery life or even energy harvesting in some cases. This makes them ideal for remote and battery-powered applications where frequent maintenance or battery replacement is impractical

  • Scalability: LPWAN networks can accommodate a large number of devices, making them scalable for diverse industrial applications. Whether it's deploying thousands of sensors across a smart factory or monitoring equipment across an entire city, LPWANs can handle the scale.

The markset share of LPWAn will be dominated by NB-IoT and LoRaWAN, but Wirepas is competing from another realm of 5G connecitivity

Yet among all these IoT connectivity providers, NB-IoT, LoRaWAN and Wireas are three communication protocols that can help elevate the field of Industrial IoT solutions. According to IOT Analytics, LoRaWAN and NB-IoT are expected to account for 82% of all LPWAN connections by 2027! However, the competition of Wirepas is in the different realm of 5G LPWWAN connectivity, which presents a distinct set of advantages and capabilities.

As the Industrial IoT landscape continues to evolve, businesses must carefully assess their specific requirements and consider the unique strengths and features offered by each of these communication protocols to ensure optimal deployment and performance.

How can we decide between NB-IoT, LoRaWAN and Wirepas?

With industrial application as the primary objective, there are several factors that can influence our decision when picking between either NB-IoT, LoRaWAN or Wirepas communication protocols:

  • Performance: It is crucial to assure the reliability and efficiency of communication between your IoT devices, performance in data transmission rate, latency, and packet delivery reliability are greatly influential to your real-time monitoring, control, and decision-making processes.

  • Coverage and Roaming: Industrial environments often span large areas, which your Your LPWAN communication scheme must offer extensive coverage over these remote or challenging locations. Additionally, seamless roaming capabilities are essential for devices that need to transition between different network access points without losing connectivity, ensuring uninterrupted operation across the entire industrial facility.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Industrial IoT deployments typically involve a large number of devices spread across vast areas and the chosen LPWAN technologies should offer affordable hardware, network infrastructure, and maintenance costs to scale economically and durably in industrial settings.

  • Interference and Network Management: Industrial environments can be rife with electromagnetic interference from machinery, equipment, and other wireless devices. Therefore, connectivity technologies must effectively mitigate interference to maintain reliable communication links. A robust network management are essential for optimising performance, monitoring device health, diagnosing connectivity issues, and dynamically allocating network resources.

Each of these protocols can thrive in an industrial environment over their counterpart(s) depending on the industrial scenario / sector being introduced.





  • Moderate data rate (50 Kbps of Peak data throughput)

  • Moderate latency (higher than NB-IoT)

  • Highly reliable packet delivery due to its spread spectrum modulation technique and interference immunity

  • Proficient data rate (peak at 200 kbps)

  • Low Latency (less than 10 ms)

  • Highly secured packet delivery with LTE Encryption (256-bit)

  • High-speed data transmission (over 1000kbps)

  • extremely Low latency (2.83 ms) that is suitable for real-time applications

  • Reliable packet delivery with advanced error correction and retransmission mechanisms

Coverage and Roaming

  • Vast coverage ranges from 12-15km

  • Roaming is not a standard feature as most devices are often installed in a fixed location

  • Broad coverage (depending on Mobile network operator and the connected core infrastructure)

  • Roaming is not always supported as it is determined the same way as its coverage

  • Relatively shorter coverage (up to 3km between devices)

  • Provide seamless roaming services suitable for large facilities

Cost effectiveness

  • Cost-effective in terms of initial equipment costs (covering large areas with relatively few gateways)

  • Benefits from existing cellular infrastructure, offering better coverage and potentially lower operating costs in urban areas

  • Lowering the costs on hardware where each device may act as a relaying node.

  • Scalable network costs as adding more devices will not require additional infrastructure investment

Interference and Network Management

  • Highly resistant to interference given its spectrum modulation technique

  • Networks are managed through a centralised gateway, which may impose scalability issues in very large deployments

  • Less prone to interference give Nb-IoT operates in licensed spectrum.

  • Operate with centralised network operator that efficiently manage traffics but introduces slight latency in network operations

  • Leveraging on 5G LPWAN connectivity, Wirepas can operate with minimum interference

  • Mesh network architecture enables decentralised traffic controls, enhance the scalability and reliability of the network

Choose the right Connectivity to your IoT Devices will haeavily influence the cost-effectiveness and reliability of your remote operations, this is true regardless your operations are in Agriculture and farming, Water and Wastewater, Smart cities and councils, Logistics and Delivery, HVAC and Smart Buildings, Oil and Gas, Mining and Construction.

With the unique characteristics and strengths of various LPWAN technologies in mind, it becomes evident that each technology excels in specific industries:

LoRaWAN technology has the potential to meeting various purposes including  Inventory management systems, Contamination and Pollution Prevention (air, water, soil), Performance Monitoring and Predictive maintenance

  • Agriculture and Farming: LoRaWAN's long-range connectivity and low power consumption make it ideal for agricultural applications, such as monitoring soil moisture, tracking livestock, and automating irrigation systems. Its ability to operate in unlicensed spectrums allows for the creation of private networks, which can be particularly useful in rural or remote farming areas.

  • Water and Wastewater: For water and wastewater management, LoRaWAN can be used for monitoring water quality, detecting leaks, and managing water distribution networks. Its low power consumption and long-range capabilities are beneficial for remote monitoring and control of water infrastructure.

  • Smart Cities and Councils: LoRaWAN is well-suited for smart city applications, including environmental monitoring, smart metering, and commercial building automation. Its ability to operate in unlicensed spectrums allows for the creation of private networks, which can be particularly useful in urban areas where public spectrums are congested.

Industrial solutions are commonly utilising NB-IoT connectivities given its efficient and cost savings in procedures such asPerformance Monitoring and Predictive maintenance, Safety and Disaster Prevention, Supply Chain Management, Cloud Control Loop, Workflow Management, Overload monitoring

  • Logistics and Delivery: NB-IoT's integration with existing cellular networks and low latency make it an excellent choice for logistics and delivery applications. This includes tracking shipments, monitoring fleet operations, and optimising delivery routes. Its broad coverage area and seamless communication across long distances are crucial for applications where fast data transmission is necessary.

  • HVAC and Smart Buildings: NB-IoT can be used for condition-based monitoring and control of HVAC systems in smart buildings, ensuring energy efficiency and comfort. Its ability to provide reliable connectivity in areas with poor mobile coverage, such as indoor or metal-framed structures, makes it suitable for industrial monitoring applications.

  • Oil and Gas: For oil and gas operations, NB-IoT can be used for monitoring equipment, machinery, and processes in remote or challenging environments. Its ability to provide reliable connectivity in areas with poor mobile coverage is crucial for maintaining operational efficiency and safety

Wirepas has the potential to transmit great amount of information with near real-time transmission rates, fitting potentiall more industries and solutions beyond logistics and delivery, water and wastewater industries

  • Mining and Construction Sites: Wirepas can enable efficient tracking and monitoring of assets, packages, and vehicles across the site, warehouses, and transportation routes. Its scalable network architecture and minimal additional infrastructure investment make it ideal for mining and construction sites operation monitoring.

  • Water and Wastewater: Leveraging LPWAN connectivity that has high transmission speed and low latency, WirePas can support near-real time remote monitoring and management of water distribution systems, wastewater treatment plants, and sensors in areas where traditional connectivity solutions may be impractical.

Ellenex: Simplify your LPWAN Connectivity Options

Elleex offers variety of LPWAN network connectivity for your IoT devices, Serving as a major player of LoRaWAN technologies, specialising in reliable and timely remote monitoring and communication across remote environments

Navigating the complexities of selecting IoT connectivities often requires specialized expertise. Recognising this challenge, Ellenex has positioned itself at the forefront of the IoT market, offering customisable hardware devices and seamlessly connected and device management platforms, compacting with up to five different network technologies, including LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and WirePas.

We prioritise end-to-end simplicity for our industrial clients, alleviating the burden of navigating technical considerations and providing professional, cost-effective solutions tailored to their specific requirements. Our dedicated team listens to the realistic challenges faced by your industries and leverages our technical expertise to offer optimal connectivity solutions.

Whether your business decides to pick NB-IoT, LoRaWAN or Wirepas - Ellenex offers over 4000+ product variations that are completely pre-configured with these communication protocols. With our user-friendly software designs, accessing your industrial remote monitoring capabilities is just a few inputs away.

Image that showcase how IoT platform provide the simplification and user-friendly end-to-end solutions to our industrial clients
Extremely simple form of device connection at Ellenex

Meet Our Pre-configured IoT Products

LoRaWAN Products

NB-IoT Products

WirePass Products

Related Blogs


bottom of page