Orange’s LoRa network seeing adoption for enterprise IoT
Orange expects LoRa coverage nationwide in France by year end
Internet of things (IoT) connectivity specification LoRa, which has seen widespread interest from carriers, has already seen good uptake from enterprise and industrial users in France, according to service provider Orange, which is planning nationwide coverage by the end of 2017.
According to the company, more than 100 enterprises have connected to the LoRa-based wide area network by stakeholders in the healthcare, agricultural and industrial verticals for use cases including smart buildings, connected parking garages, patient home monitoring, supply chain management and gelocation.
The carrier’s enterprise arm Orange Business Services sells IoT devices, modems, gateways, dev kits and modules that are compatible with the LoRaWAN.
LoRaWAN is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification created by LoRa Alliance members for wireless, battery-operated devices. Some of the main components that serve as the foundation for the specification are bi-directional communication, mobility and localization services. LoRaWAN uses a star architecture, with a central node to which all other nodes are connected and gateways serve as the transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections while end-devices use single-hop wireless communication to one or many gateways. All end-point communication is bi-directional, and supports multicast, enabling software upgrades over the air. According to the LoRa-Alliance, the non-profit organization who created LoRaWAN specifications, this helps preserve battery life and achieve long-range connection.
In a statement, Orange said it currently cover around 4,000 towns and industrial sites, including in-building and underground. The end goal is “reaching national coverage by the end of 2017.” The company is also planning to test interconnection to an unnamed operator’s LoRa network to help establish roaming standards.