LoRa-based IoT networks gaining momentum with Samsung, Tele2 rollouts
Samsung and Tele2 will both deploy LoRa-based IoT networks, showing LoRa’s increasing popularity. Or is it simply LPWAN gaining momentum?
LoRa is gaining traction in the market as new LoRa-based IoT networks are starting to get deployed. Samsung Electronics and SK Telecom have partnered for the joint deployment of a nationwide Lora-based IoT network in South Korea. In the meantime, Tele2 announced it is to roll out a new network dedicated to IoT in greater Gothenburg, Sweden.
A nationwide LoRa-based IoT network in Korea
Samsung’s and SK Telecom’s new network is the first nationwide LoRa-based IoT network deployment to date, Samsung claims. Other operators are however already working on similar deployments, such as Swisscom to name but one.
SK Telecom’s new Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) network is part of a bigger plan by the operator to invest $84 million in IoT over two years. Commercial services on the IoT network, which uses the unlicensed 900 MHz frequency band, will start in the city of Daegu in June. Nationwide availability is planned for ”the middle of the year”, Samsung stated in a blog post.
Clearly geared towards smart city applications, the new network in Daegu will serve as a test bed and focus on ”setting up and adopting infrastructure” for renewable energy solutions, cloud platforms and big data analytics of healthcare and medical services. It will also serve as a test bed for electric vehicle infrastructure for autonomous cars.
SK is planning to work with multiple partners to further develop LoRa-based IoT network services. “With the early deployment of a nationwide IoT network, SK Telecom will be able to maintain its position as pioneer in the field of telecommunications. SK Telecom will continue to work closely with partners including Samsung to deliver new value and convenience to both individual and enterprise customers over the IoT network,” said Lee Jong-bong, executive vice president and head of Infra Division at SK Telecom.
The new IoT network will support a Listen Before Talk (LBT) function in order to avoid degradation of other industrial communications already using the Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) frequency band. Samsung and SK Telecom are also planning to introduce an Internet of Small Things (IoST) model to facilitate business opportunities using the LPWAN network.
Tele2 to roll out IoT network in greater Gothenburg
In the meantime, Tele2 announced it will build a LoRa-based IoT network in greater Gothenburg. The new IoT network will be operational in the third quarter of 2016. The Sweden-based operator has teamed up with Talkpool, an IoT ecosystem enabler and telecom networks specialist, to deploy the new network. “Our combined expertise in IoT will deliver real benefits to new and existing customers and provide a basis for the continued explosive growth in the Internet of Things. We are convinced that our customers will need a wide range of new technologies in the IoT field and at Tele2, we want to give them the opportunity to use as many of these new technologies as possible in ways that are both simple and flexible. This launch is a step in that direction,” said Rami Avidan, managing director of Tele2 IoT.
LPWAN gaining momentum
Samsung’s and Tele2’s endorsement of LoRa signal that the LPWAN specification is gaining popularity. It must however be noted that both Samsung and Tele2 have ties with LoRa ‘competitor’ Sigfox. Indeed, Samsung is an investor in Sigfox and Tele2 partnered with the company for the deployment of an IoT network in the Netherlands. The growing level of activity in the LPWAN space indicates that it is not only LoRa that is gaining momentum, it is LPWAN altogether. SK Telecom’s competitor KT announced in March that it planned to deploy an IoT network using another competing specification, NB-IoT. Vodafone is also supporting NB-IoT with plans to deploy IoT networks across multiple markets through 2017. In the meantime, France-based operator Orange joined the LoRa Alliance to boost the adoption of the IoT protocol. Sigfox is for its part planning to roll out its purpose-built IoT network in 100 U.S. cities by year end. It is likely that operators will support multiple IoT specifications making interoperability the question that must come to the fore.
IIoT News Recap: Scania tests Ericsson’s 5G; M2Mi selected by DHS for IoT security; Self-driving cars resemble animals; New smart cities in India; Vectura and Propeller Health develop connected inhalers; Sensifree raises funding; Today’s forecast: Smart city devices
5G: Scania to test 5G for autonomous driving and platooning with Ericsson
Scania and Ericsson are to jointly explore the use of 5G in transport communications, Scania announced. To do that, three mobile base stations have been installed at Scania’s research and development facility in Södertälje, Sweden. ”The new test network with its 5G components allows for a high quality mobile network service, with low-latency and high bandwidth, where a lot of complex data can be transferred very quickly and very reliably – providing us with a ‘priority communications lane’ when it comes to projects such as autonomous driving and platooning,” said Anders Ställberg, Scania’s project manager for City Automation. ”Having a ‘priority lane’ has sometimes been an issue in crowded pre-5G networks, where users have to jostle for space with those who are streaming films, music or games, for example,” he added.
IoT security: M2Mi to develop open-source security suite based on NSA cryptography
Machine-to-Machine Intelligence (M2Mi) Corporation has been awarded by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) a development contract under the Homeland Security Innovation Program (HSIP) to develop an open-source ultra secure IoT security suite for devices, platforms and browsers. ”The resulting IoT Security Suite will be half the size of existing solutions, will be more than twice as fast and will consume less than half the power making it the first comprehensive IoT specific solution that is also aimed at constrained devices,” M2Mi stated.
Autonomous driving: Selfs-driving vehicles resemble animals, not technological systems
Thought self-driving trucks were machines? Thing again. Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology said autonomous driving vehicles had more similarities to animals than to technical systems. “Biological systems are the best autonomous systems we know of. A biological system absorbs information from its surroundings via its senses and reacts directly and safely, like an antelope running within its herd, or a hawk pouncing on its prey on the ground. Before humans walked the earth, nature already had a solution, so let’s learn from that.”
Smart cities: Indian government selects 13 new smart cities
The Indian government has named 13 new cities that will be turned into smart cities under India’s smart city plan. The plan aims to transform 100 cities by 2018-2020. The nationwide smart city project focuses on water and power supply, sanitation, solid waste management as well as urban mobility and public transportation among others.
IoT health: Vectura and Propeller Health to develop connected inhalers
UK-based Vectura Group and U.S.-based Propeller Health have teamed up to develop connected inhalers that combine Vectura’s dry powder inhaler technology with Propeller’s FDA-cleared digital health platform. “This announcement demonstrates Vectura’s commitment to develop next generation inhalation devices that can help patients manage their respiratory diseases better. Adherence to therapy is one of the major issues driving poor maintenance management of these chronic conditions. There is increasing evidence of the value of intelligent sensor technology significantly enabling a reduction of symptoms, including exacerbations and long term healthcare utilisation costs. This collaboration is a first step towards Vectura embracing a connected solution for all our devices,” said James Ward-Lilley CEO of Vectura.
Today’s IoT startup: Sensifree raises $5 million in financing
Biometric sensor startup Sensifree has secured $5.0 million Series A financing in a round led by TransLink Capital. Other investors included UMC Capital, a subsidiary of United Microelectronics. Sensifree had earlier on raised seed financing from Samsung’s Catalyst fund. Sensifree will use the funding to expand its engineering and product development teams and accelerate its business development efforts. “Sensifree’s disruptive sensor technology marks the future of biometric sensing. We developed this technology specifically with wearables and smart clothing applications in mind, concentrating on enhancing overall user experience. We recognized the desire of both fashion brands and consumers to embrace advanced features while maintaining traditional brand values. Our low-power, contact-free technology helps achieve this. In parallel, we are leveraging our core technology to develop the ‘holy grail’ of sensors – a cuff-free blood pressure sensor and we expect to demonstrate preliminary results this year,” said Eran Agmon, co-founder and CEO of Sensifree.
Today’s forecast: Smart city devices to top 1 billion units in 2025
Global unit shipments of smart city devices will reach 1.2 billion in 2025, up from 115.4 million in 2015, according to new research by IHS. By then, half of al device shipments will take place in the Asia-Pacific region. “Unit shipments of smart city devices to Asia Pacific will increase more than shipments to other regions for two main reasons. First, the region’s large population is increasingly moving to cities, which are straining under the increased pressure and demand for resources, creating a clear need for smart city development. Second, several national governments in the region have announced smart city development initiatives that focus on full-city development, not just trials, including India’s 100 Smart Cities program, Singapore’s Smart Nation program, and other initiatives in China and Japan,” said Roz Euan-Smith, senior analyst, smart cities, for IHS Technology.