IoT technologies at a glance

Which IoT technology is the best? Which LPWAN technology should we use in our project? These questions are not so easy to answer. All technologies have advantages. But to make decisions, you first need an overview of what each technology offers. We have created an overview of how each IoT technology looks from various aspects such as licensing, running cost items, vendor selection and coverage.

Network operator

The network operator is responsible for the network and ensures that faults are quickly rectified and that the connection works.

LoRaWAN Own network or with a public provider
NB-IoT Telekom, Telefonica, Vodafone
LTE-M Telco company
MIOTY Own network
Sigfox Sigfox
wMBUS Own network
Modbus Own network
IoT Netzbetreiber

Private network

A private network is an own network that is not visible from the outside. Here you can find a list with which IoT technology this is possible and with which it is not.

LoRaWAN possible
NB-IoT not possible
LTE-M not possible
MIOTY possible
Sigfox not possible
wMBUS possible
Modbus possible
privates IoT-Netzwerk


Some IoT technologies are licensed, this license affects the total cost and must be considered.  

LoRaWAN unlicensed
NB-IoT licensed
LTE-M licensed
MIOTY unlicensed
Sigfox unlicensed
wMBUS unlicensed
Modbus unlicensed
Lizens IoT

Initial effort

Some IoT technologies are suitable for easy entry and other IoT technologies have a high initial outlay that only pays off later.​

LoRaWAN moderate - high
NB-IoT low - moderate
LTE-M low - moderate
MIOTY moderate - high
Sigfox low - moderate
wMBUS high
Modbus low
Initialaufwand IoT Icon

Items for running costs

In addition to license costs and initial costs, ongoing cost items are relevant when selecting IoT technology in an IoT project.  

LoRaWAN SIM-Karte für Gateway mit Datenvolumen und/oder Kosten für LoRaWAN-Netzwerkserver
NB-IoT mobile services
LTE-M mobile services
MIOTY data volume for sim card and/or costs for LoRaWAN network server (if applicable)
Sigfox data volume
wMBUS none
Modbus none
laufende Kosten IoT Netzwerk

Manufacturer Gateways

The gateway is the central point in the IoT network that collects data from sensors and forwards it to the desired backend.

LoRaWAN e.g. Kerlink, Milesight, Wifx, Multitech, Browan, Dragino, Tektelic
NB-IoT e.g. NSN, Alcatel Lucent, Ericsson, Motorola, Huawei
LTE-M e.g. ZTE, Samsung, Airspan, Alcatel Lucent
Sigfox Sigfox
wMBUS e.g. Lobaro, comtac, elvaco
Modbus e.g. DIRIS & COUNTIS, SolarEdge, B&G, Orno
Hersteller Gateways Icon

Manufacturer End-Devices

A wide range of available end devices gives the IoT network the flexibility it needs. Whereby proprietary developments can be a good decision in individual cases.   

LoRaWAN e.g. Sensoneo, Decentlab, Adeunis, Barani Design, Digital Matter, Dragino, Milesight
NB-IoT e.g. Miromico, Sensoneo, Lobaro, Digital Matter
LTE-M e.g. Sercomm, mcThings
MIOTY e.g. Sentinum, Behrtech
Sigfox e.g. Taqt, ATIM, Adeunis, Flowdaq
wMBUS e.g. DZG, Elvaco
Modbus e.g. Adeunis, WATTECO
Hersteller Sensoren Icon

Frequency range Europe

The frequency range describes the range on which the respective technology transmits. Also the amateur radio has a defined range in which it sends radio signals, LPWAN technologies are usually on the same or very similar frequencies.  

LoRaWAN 868 MHz
NB-IoT 800 MHz and 900 MHz
LTE-M 800 MHz
Sigfox 868 MHz
wMBUS 868 MHz
Modbus two-wire line with reverse polarity protection
Frequenzbereich IoT


Data is transmitted over specified channels and their bandwidth is decisive for spatial signal variations.

LoRaWAN 3 - including the unspecified there are 8
NB-IoT unknown
Sigfox 180
Modbus -
Signalkanäle IoT

Duty Cycle (period of data transmission)

The duty cycle describes the period of the previous hour that can be used for data transmission.

LoRaWAN 1%
NB-IoT is defined by mobile network provider
LTE-M is defined by mobile network provider
Sigfox 1%
wMBUS 1%
Modbus -
Duty Cycle icon

Range (without additional antenna)  

The range shows how far the distance between two devices (usually sensor and gateway) may be to have a good data transmission.

LoRaWAN 2 - 10 km
NB-IoT up to 20 km
LTE-M  up to 20 km
MIOTY 2 - 10 km
Sigfox 2 - 10 km
wMBUS  100 m
Modbus  max. 125 m
Reichweite IoT Technologie Icon

Max. Transmit power  

The power of a transmitter in the radio is called transmit power.

LoRaWAN 14 dBm
NB-IoT 23 dBm
LTE-M 15 dBm 
MIOTY 14 dBm
Sigfox 14 dBm
wMBUS  14 dBm
Modbus  -
Sendeleistung IoT Icon

Standardization according to OSI Layer

The OSI reference model for network protocols is a standard to describe communication over different technical systems.

LoRaWAN 1 - Semtech
2 - 5 - LoRa Alliance
NB-IoT 1 - 5
LTE-M 1 - 5  
MIOTY 1 - 7 - OMS
Sigfox 1 - 4 
wMBUS  - 
Modbus  7
Standardisierung IoT


The extent to which and where a technology is widespread provides information about how established a technology is and whether there is a large selection of hardware.   

LoRaWAN Widespread worldwide; relatively large selection of manufacturers
NB-IoT Widespread worldwide; few manufacturers
LTE-M Widespread worldwide
MIOTY Little distribution and manufacturers so far
Sigfox > 60 free field covered; few manufacturers
wMBUS Widespread worldwide, large selection of metering devices
Modbus Widespread worldwide, large selection of metering devices
Verbreitung IoT Technologie


Data security has a high priority in IT infrastructure, of course it is no different in IoT infrastructure.

LoRaWAN yes
NB-IoT yes
LTE-M yes
Sigfox yes
wMBUS yes
Modbus no encryption​
IoT Verschlüsselung Icon

Which IoT technology is suitable for you?

Our IoT experts will be happy to advise you on the advantages and disadvantages and put this in relation to your individual requirements. Because one thing is clear, there is not ONE technology that is the best. It is also possible to use several technologies to meet all requirements.