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CableLabs announces LoRa hardware

As cable giant Comcast expands its internet of things network into 12 U.S. cities, industry consortium CableLabs is launching hardware and software for companies that want to build out IoT networks using long range radio (LoRa) technology. CableLabs said it chose the LoRa standard because it is a good compromise between proprietary and open solutions, and should provides many of the group’s members an opportunity to compete as providers of IoT networks. CableLabs sees at least seven use cases for LPWA technology. These are:

  • Remote maintenance and control of factory, warehouse and office equipment
  • Smart metering of electricity, gas and water
  • Tracking of children, elderly relatives, and pets
  • Communication and warning systems in areas likely to be impacted by severe weather
  • Predictive maintenance for street lights and other public infrastructure
  • Smart farming applications, including livestock tracking and soil sensors
  • Asset tracking and logistics optimization

There are four components to the CableLabs solution:
1. A user-facing applications server, which is respoansible for managing the inventory of IoT nodes and management of users via a web interface.
2. A LoRa network server, which will operate on all industrial, scientific and medical bands as specified by the LoRaWAN Regional Alliance
3. A LoRa gateway bridge abstracts the the user datagram protocol into javascript object notation over telemetry transport.
4. A library for encoding and decoding LoRaWAN frames, and handling encryption and decryption

“Our goal is to lower the barrier for the cable industry and other industry participants to enable these solutions for consumers and governments,” said CableLabs principal architect Daryl Malas, in a blog post. “Together we can truly change the world, and it should not be limited by costly barriers.”

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