Reader Forum: The business advantages of LoRaWAN for IoT
We’ve read the projections, and analyzed the statistics, and by all measures they are remarkable: In 2008, there were already more “things” connected to the internet than people; by 2020 the internet of things (IoT) will produce $19 trillion in profits and cost savings; and positive returns are already being recognized by more than 90 percent of businesses that have made investments in IoT solutions. This all leads to a new reality: the massive growth in data being generated by networked sensors and devices that can be used for business process improvement, and the creation of new revenue streams, means businesses must disrupt or be disrupted.
While the forecasts for sensor and end device growth are impressive, it is the connectivity that provides the bridge to the end-device’s value; making decisions about communication technologies and networks one of the more critical aspects of IoT value creation. For IoT solution providers, this raises questions about the network options that exist today and are being proposed for future deployment – most importantly addressing the fundamental aspects of network availability, flexibility and reliability:
- Can you afford to wait any longer before commercializing your solution (do you want to be a market disruptor or have your business disrupted)?
- Are you willing to bet on a closed, proprietary network, or are open standards important to your business and your customers?
- How critical is coverage? Can you live with connectivity that may be limited by geography or unpredictable in certain use cases? How easy is it for additional coverage to be deployed?
Making the right IoT connectivity choice
Many solution providers disrupting the market today are choosing LoRaWAN – the open, global standard for carrier-grade LPWAN connectivity – because of its availability, economics and low risk when compared to cellular, proprietary networks and other approaches.
LoRaWAN networks and end devices are available around the world. The sensors are inexpensive and multi-vendor sourcing provides competitive pricing and the opportunity to support a broad spectrum of implementations. Further, the open LoRaWAN protocol (governed by the LoRa Alliance and its community of more than 450 members) ensures its sustainability over the short- and long-term. Knowing you can grow with a widely-supported, standard-based network without getting locked into expensive, and often very complex traditional services, will lead to new possibilities for IoT-based value creation.
New and emerging IoT applications are driving a pivotal change from traditional product sales to the delivery of products as a service, making flexibility extremely important. LoRaWANs are differentiated by bi-directional communication, security, support for fixed, nomadic and mobile devices, and localization capabilities, which by design support a wide range of horizontal and vertical use cases. Flexible coverage models support a variety of go to market options, including deploying solutions under existing public services, on a public network in a semi-private style or on a completely private network. Additional coverage (e.g. broad outdoor coverage, supplemental outdoor coverage and indoor coverage) can be “turned up” within days or weeks, which is a level of service you will not be able to get from most other public network providers.
Vertical industry solution providers, system integrators and enterprises adopting IoT technologies don’t want to have to worry about network implementation and management. They want secure, affordable and reliable coverage. The LoRaWAN architecture provides high availability, fault tolerance and redundancy ensuring high application uptime. The LoRaWAN protocol was also built with end-to-end security as a fundamental part of the architecture.
The vision of the internet of things “connecting everything, everywhere” can be daunting, but leading organizations have already realized that the promise of IoT doesn’t require waiting years for any single technology to mature. The infrastructure and ecosystem needed to implement global, enterprise-grade IoT connectivity and productivity enhancing applications is here today.