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Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technologies emerge as the preferred choice for IoT environment monitoring

MAY 10, 2023 | Paras Sharma| Joydeep Bhattacharyya
region: ALL vertical: ALL Internet of ThingsHyperconnectivity

In February 2023, Transforma Insights published a report, ‘Environment Monitoring: 80.5 million connected devices by 2032, generating USD677 million revenue’, which primarily focused on how the Internet of Things (IoT) is being used for a wide range of environment monitoring including industrial air, water and noise pollution, nuclear radiation, odour detection, river water pollution and dust monitoring.

In this blog post, we examine the reasons behind IoT's application for environmental monitoring, the major technologies involved, governmental initiatives and related business models.

Why use IoT-based solutions to monitor the environment?

It is an undeniable fact that rapid industrialisation is increasing global pollution levels, which, in turn, is adversely affecting the global environment. Industrial pollution is also increasing the number of premature deaths, illnesses, weakened ecosystems and destroying crops, having a negative impact on the world’s economy. Industrial wastage has also polluted drinking water and is damaging agricultural production. The increasing frequency of natural disasters also needs to be monitored.

IoT solutions can help in reducing these losses by sending real-time data and insights to the concerned authorities as well as the public, enabling them to detect potential concerns and reduce risks to life and property.

Government initiatives and regulations drive the market

There is a constant effort from various governments across the world to encourage and promote various environmental monitoring schemes. For instance, in the US, the Clean Air Act specifies the requirement for single-point monitoring of individual facility permits as well as ambient monitoring to assess the local air quality. In order to better monitor and control the release of hazardous emissions into the atmosphere, the European Union has established a number of ambient air quality standards and emission management guidelines.

Apart from the US and the developed economies of Europe, countries in the Asia Pacific region are also ramping up their efforts to maximise environmental monitoring. China launched a pilot program aimed at implementing greenhouse gas monitoring plans across steel mills, coal-based power providers and gas providers. The Indian government is also trying to strengthen its online pollution control system through self-monitoring governance. Besides, the CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) of India has directed all State Pollution Control Boards (SPCBs) and Pollution Control Committees (PCCs) to take rigorous measures to control industrial emissions.

What is the opportunity in IoT environment monitoring?

The market for environmental monitoring is rapidly expanding and key players such as Aeroqual, Airly, Breeze Technologies, Ecomesure and Ellab are expanding their portfolios and offering cloud-based data management platforms, air quality data and analytics software services, connected systems for environment monitoring and monitoring, calibration and validation solutions.

The number of environment monitoring devices will grow robustly at a steady CAGR of 15%, from 19.4 million in 2022 to 80.5 million by 2032. Primarily, this growth will be driven by Greater China, North America and Europe. The revenues from this market will increase steadily at 6% CAGR from USD385.9 million in 2022 to USD676.9 million in 2032.

LPWA technologies dominate

In terms of communication technology, the Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) family of technologies (including NB-IoT, LoRaWAN and Sigfox) is the favoured option. The preference arises from its ease of deployment, especially at remote areas. Additionally, these technologies are low-powered, have long range and greater penetration through buildings, which makes them a preferred choice. The long battery life of LPWA sensors is also advantages for usage in remote locations, significantly reducing their cost in comparison to alternative network technologies.

According to Transforma Insights IoT Forecast, the 5G mMTC segment (including NB-IoT and LTE-M) will increase from 17% of connections in 2022 to 54% in 2032, while the unlicensed LPWA technologies will grow from 20% to 32% over the same period.

Join us on the 25th May to learn more about our IoT forecasts

On the 25th May, Transforma Insights analysts will share our views on the whole of the global market opportunity for Internet of Things in a webinar: 'Are we nearly there yet? Annual update on Transforma Insights’ IoT market forecasts'. We will explore the size of the global IoT opportunity, the technologies used, the applications that dominate and the changing market dynamics.

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