Low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks are attracting extensive attention because of their abilities to offer low-cost and massive connectivity to Internet of Things (IoT) devices distributed over wide geographical areas. This article provides a brief overview on the existing LPWA technologies and useful insights to aid the large-scale deployment of LPWA networks. Particularly, we first review the currently competing candidates of LPWA networks, such as narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) and long range (LoRa), in terms of technical fundamentals and large-scale deployment potential. Then we present two implementation examples on LPWA networks. By analyzing the field-test results, we identify several challenges that prevent LPWA technologies moving from the theory to wide-spread practice.