LoRaWAN in Licensed Access Spectrum? A Techno-Economic Perspective

Parag Kulkarni, Bivin Pradeep, Usman Raza, Shamma Alsaedi, Rayah Almadhaani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The ability of low-power wide area network (LPWANs) to provide low-cost wireless access to geographically spread-out devices while at the same time catering to long battery life running for several years continues to meet a vital need in the IoT/smart cities market. LoRaWAN shot to prominence as off-the-shelf availability of equipment democratized the technology for private and public use. Its reliance on the unlicensed spectrum that is shared by other competing technologies limits performance and scalability. Operation in the licensed spectrum is a promising direction. However, the techno-economic aspects surrounding this is an open question addressed for the very first time in this article. We show that even with as small a chunk as 1 MHz, significant boost in performance is possible as networks scale. We examine the impact of different parameters such as network scale, subscription models, and subscriber mix for different tariffs (based on publicly available cellular IoT pricing plans) on the economic feasibility and highlight the implications this has on spectrum pricing. This broadens the appeal of this article to cellular and non-cellular network operators of IoT/smart city applications and spectrum regulators who are keen to re-farm/allocate spectrum for different IoT applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9241476
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Magazine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Information Systems


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