Orange joins LoRa Alliance to boost adoption of IoT protocol
LoRa Alliance partnership builds on Orange’s IoT network in France
French telecommunications group Orange joined the LoRa Alliance, a lobbying group pushing for the global adoption of the low-power wide-area network specification targeting the “Internet of Things.” The protocol is said to be carrier grade, and provides long-range connectivity between sensors and base stations. LoRaWAN networks are said to be suited for IoT and machine-to-machine applications, including metering; supply chain management; maintenance/supervision; agriculture and precision farming; intelligent buildings; identification/geolocation; and smart cities.
In September, Orange announced plans to deploy an IoT network across France, and carried out a test of the LoRaWAN protocol in Grenoble using more than 50 partner companies. The telco said the IoT network was to be available in 17 urban areas by the end of the first quarter. The deployment is in line with the telco’s Essentials 2020 plan, under which it’s looking to generate 600 million euros ($673 million) of revenue from IoT and M2M services by 2018.
“The development of the ‘Internet of Things’ is expected to surge in the coming years. As a part of our new Essentials 2020 strategic plan and the announcement of our France-wide LoRaWAN network, we have decided to take an active role in driving the success of the LoRa Alliance,” said Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, senior EVP for innovation, marketing and technologies at Orange. “LoRaWAN is complementary to our overall strategy for ‘Internet of Things.’ LoRa Alliance and LoRaWAN meet our business model and has the largest LPWAN ecosystem.”
Orange has operations in 28 countries, and counted 252 million customers worldwide at the end of Q1, including 191 million mobile customers and 18 million fixed broadband customers.
LoRa Alliance members include IBM, Cisco, Bouygues Telecom, Actility, Augtek, Homerider, Kerlink, KPN, Proximus, Sagemcom, Schneider, Bosch, Murata, DU Emirates Integrated Telecom, Swisscom, Tata Telecommunications and Telkomsel.
U.K. Post Office to shut down MVNO service
In other EMEA news, a mobile virtual network operator service run by the U.K.’s post office is set to shut down in the coming months, just more than a year after it launched. The move was due to its inability to justify the investment required to continue with the service rollout.
The U.K. Post Office said the mobile service will no longer be available for use after August 8. Customers will have until August 4 to request a PAC code to enable them to move their number to another mobile provider.
“Since June 2015, Post Office has offered a pay as you go mobile service online and in 263 of its 11,600 branches, but has now decided to conclude the trial as the results did not give us sufficient confidence that mobile will contribute to our goal of commercial sustainability,” the Post Office said in a statement. “The money needed to invest further in the mobile service could not be justified at a time that Post Office is investing in modernizing our branches.”
The Post Office is offering the MVNO service through an agreement with mobile operator EE.