LoRaWAN, one of several technologies vying for market share in the low-powered wide area network market, has received a significant morale boost with France’s largest mobile network operator, Orange joining its board.
LoRaWAN, Ingenu and Sigfox are the three leading new LPWAN technologies to have emerged in recent times to cater for need so IoT that today’s cellular technologies are not well- suited to. However the cellular industry is countering them with the development of NB-IoT as part or Release 13 of the 3GPP standards.
Orange had previously announced, in September 2015, plans for a nationwide LoRaWAN network in France. It was already a member of the LoRa Alliance, the global body created to promote LoRaWAN but announced on 23 May that it had become a board member.
Orange’s senior executive vice president for innovation, marketing and technologies Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, said the move was part of the company’s Essentials2020 strategic plan. “We have decided to take an active role in driving the success of the LoRa Alliance. LoRaWAN is complementary to our overall strategy for Internet of Things. LoRa Alliance and LoRaWAN meet customers feature expectations, our business model and has the largest LPWAN eco-system.”
According to Orange “LoRaWAN networks have distinctive properties that make them well suited to be cost effectively deployed for a wide range of IoT and M2M applications including: metering, supply chain management, maintenance / supervision, agriculture and precision farming, intelligent building, identification / geolocation, smart city.”
However the cellular industry is pushing hard to promote the idea that cellular technologies can cater for most IoT applications.
Semtech, whose technology underpins LoRaWAN, said that having Orange on the board with its networking expertise, leadership and reach into most European countries would “help ensure that the various sensors, modules, base stations, networking components and software applications offered by the more than 300 member companies in the LoRa Alliance have a common communications protocol and work well together to provide customers with the solutions and network coverage they need for their IoT, machine-to-machine and smart city applications.”