French operator Bouygues Telecom has announced it will roll out one of the first implementations of LoRa low-power WAN technology, which is designed specifically to support IoT connectivity.
The LoRa alliance was first announced at CES at the start of this year and then formally unveiled at MWC 2015. The underlying technology was developed by French company Cycleo, which was acquired by US semiconductor company Semtech in 2012. The alliance is a bid to get a bunch of IoT players, including operators, to cooperate in order to implement the technology in the field.
The purpose of an IoT-specific wireless networking technology is primarily to be as low-power as possible. Many IoT implementations will be industrial, embedded use-cases where replacing power sources is expensive and impractical. LoRa claims this technology enables IoT device autonomy of up to ten years on a normal battery.
Bouygues has been trialling LoRa in Grenoble since 2013 and is ready for a nationwide rollout this summer, and expects 500 towns and cities to be covered by the end of the year. KPN, Swisscom, Belgacom and Fastnet are apparently all also in the process of deploying LoRa networks or carrying out large-scale trials.
“The Internet of Things is going to transform entire areas of our economy, said Olivier Roussat, Chairman and CEO of Bouygues Telecom. “Thanks to the expertise and the infrastructures of Bouygues Telecom, we will be able to quickly offer nationwide coverage with a high quality service.”
“The pilot scheme carried out with Bouygues Telecom is a world first that has enabled us to improve LoRa protocols further,” said Alain Dantec, SVP and GM of Semtech. “Its long-standing involvement in the development of our technology and its ceaseless work to improve it within the LoRa Alliance has made Bouygues Telecom one of the world’s leading experts in IoT technology.”
Here’s a list of IoT implementations LoRa reckons its technology is good for:
- Smart Cities (smart parking, building surveillance, sound monitoring, people detection, traffic management, street lighting management, domestic waste management, billboard displays, etc.)
- Smart Environment (fire detection, air pollution, snowfall measurement, avalanche prevention, flood and drought monitoring, earthquake detection, etc.)
- Smart Water (drinking water monitoring, chemical contamination detection, swimming pool monitoring, seawater pollution measurement, leak detection, tide monitoring, etc.)
- Smart metering/smart Grid (smart electricity/water/gas meters, measurement of liquid levels, monitoring of photovoltaic installations, water flow, calculation of stock in silos, etc.)
- Tracking (vehicles, bicycles, objects of value, animals, people)
- Safety and Rescue services (analysis of presence in dangerous/forbidden zones, presence of dangerous liquids, radiation levels, detection of explosive substances, etc.)
- Commerce (supply chain control, mobile payments, smart shopping, shelf stock rotation)
- Logistics (monitoring of transport conditions, parcel localisation; detection of stock incompatibility, fleet traceability, etc.)
- Industrial monitoring (monitoring of machines/state of equipment, indoor air quality, temperature control, ozone level detection, localisation of equipment/products indoors, vehicle servicing, etc.)
- Smart Agriculture (monitoring of greenhouses and vineyards, golf course irrigation management, weather stations, compost, animal tracking, etc.)
- Smart Livestock Care (traceability of pasture feeding, monitoring of toxic gas levels, animal progress monitoring, hydroponic farming, etc.)
- Smart Buildings & Homes (water and electricity consumption, remote control, intruder detection, smoke detection, surveillance of valuables, etc.)
- eHealth (fall detection, medicine storage, sporting performance monitoring, patient monitoring, ultraviolet radiation, etc.)