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ZTE and STMicroelectronics partner for LoRa applications in China

ZTE and STMicroelectronics will work with the China LoRa Application Alliance (CLAA) to promote low-power wide-area network industry and applications in China by enabling the CLAA compatibility on STMicroelectronics microcontrollers. ZTE will contribute technical specifications and testing certification tools and STMicroelectronics will work to enable compatibility of its STM32 microcontrollers with the CLAA technical specification and to develop microcontroller products with the CLAA protocol stack.

“A close cooperation between ZTE and ST can provide CLAA members with better and faster LoRa IoT research and development support, which will contribute to the rapid adoption of low-cost, low-power IoT and accelerate the arrival of digital economy and intelligent society,” said ZTE VP Liu Jianye.

ZTE started the CLAA, which now has more than 590 members. CLAA has now completed more than 100 alliance product certifications and released more than 80 application types.

A number of wireless companies are investing in low-power wide area network technologies despite the development of cellular technologies that are designed for the internet of things. LTE Category M1 and narrowband IoT are both low power technologies, but because they use licensed spectrum they may never be as inexpensive as technologies that use unlicensed spectrum. End users will need to weigh the reliability and security of cellular against the value propositions offered by dedicated low-power wide area network technology providers like the members of the LoRa Alliance. Equipment makers like ZTE want to be ready to service enterprise IoT customers who choose LoRa. ZTE’s biggest Chinese rival, Huawei, has been a leader in the development of narrowband IoT chipsets.

The LoRa wide area network protocol was developed by Semtech, and late last year Semtech struck a deal with STMicroelectronics. ST intends to use LoRa to target internet of things, smart city and industrial use cases. STMicroelectronics has an extensive portfolio of controllers, sensors, and connectivity solutions Internet of Things (IoT) deployments by mobile network operators (MNOs) and large-scale private networks.

“By contributing our IP and SoC design expertise, we anticipate promoting the deployment of more LPWANs worldwide, and enabling many applications with a standardized ecosystem of service providers and solutions developers,” said Claude Dardanne, EVP and general manager of STMicroelectronics’ microcontroller, memory and secure microcontroller group.

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