Actility underpins rollout of state-run open-access IoT networks in Sweden
IoT platform provider Actility has been appointed by Öresundskraft, a regional energy and fibre broadband provider in Sweden, to help it build out an open-access LoRaWAN network, starting in the town of Helsingborg, and rolling out across the country.
Öresundskraft has established a new ‘city hub alliance’ to unite some of the 200-odd municipally owned fibre networks in Sweden to offer open access to low-power wide-area (LPWA) networking services to local enterprises and end-users. The model will see local LoRaWAN connectivity, running on Actility’s ThingPark wireless platform, offered by individual city hubs via wholesale agreements with city councils.
Each city hub will run its own business, including sales, marketing, and network management. The scheme is intended to simplify access to IoT connectivity, lay the ground for smart city services, and complement existing fibre access.
The Helsingborg hub, managed by Öresundskraft, will be the “first of many” in Sweden, according to its founders. Öresundskraft’s LPWA initiative is the fastest growing in Sweden, it reckons, with a new member joining its alliance each week.
Bo Lindberg, head of broadband for Öresundskraft, said: “A city hub is a regional LoRaWAN with an open and neutral wholesale business model for connectivity, which enables anyone who needs to communicate with LoRa sensors to do so easily, without having to build or operate their own infrastructure.
“This significantly reduces the threshold for service providers and end users to establish IOT services and solutions, thus accelerating and simplifying digitalization in general and the development of the smart city in particular.”
Olivier Hersent, chief executive at Actility, said: “An open city hub creates significant benefits for companies, residents and society in the region. It simplifies connectivity and enables key services, underpinned by secure LoRaWAN communication, delivering data to its owners’ cloud applications through a common horizontal infrastructure available to all on equal terms.”
Lindberg said the open-access IoT initiative will establish a single technical and business platform for multiple smart cities. “Together, we will build Sweden’s smartest cities,” he said.
ThingPark is the most widely deployed LoRa platform among operators of public LoRA networks. Actility announced in February it had signed its fiftieth commercial deployment on national LoRa networks, as well as releasing a slimmed-down version for enterprise customers.
The LoRa Alliance clains 67 public LoRA networks have been established by telecoms operators. Unlicensed networks, mostly based on LoRa and Sigfox, make up two-thirds of LPWA networks today, according to a study of 100 LPWA networks by IoT research firm ON World. A third of the total network deployments are geared towards smart city applications, the report found.
Actility said in June 2017 it was working with Blink Services, a Swedish company offering open access IoT connectivity, to launch national LoRaWAN services in Sweden.