LoRa Alliance on 2020: Private networks, platform advances, edge computing
Donna Moore, chief executive and chairwoman, LoRa Alliance:
“Industrial IoT (IIoT) has advanced by leaps and bounds this year as companies have realized the amount of insight they could gain into their operations and resource utilization. There is no sign of activity slowing in 2020, driven by business and technology initiatives that will integrate IIoT and make it a standard operating procedure.
“Advances in connectivity are already shifting the landscape. There are many standalone technologies, of course, but we anticipate significant advantages from connectivity technologies working together. For example, bringing together LoRaWAN and Wi-Fi opens up a new realm of use cases that neither could address independently, but that can solve many of the existing challenges in industrial deployments.
“Similarly, many technologies will complement 5G, allowing cellular to handle critical IoT use cases while LoRaWAN addresses massive IoT use cases. Each technology is suited to different uses, and industry will benefit from adopting the right technology for the right application at the right price.
“Another big development for IIoT that will trend into 2020 is a huge ramp in private industrial LoRaWAN deployments. We’ve seen stories this year from companies like Universal Parks and major retailers in the US, and the recent installation at Schipol Airport in the Netherlands, to name just a few, that represent the rapid growth we’re seeing in this space. This type of private industrial network has come to represent 50 percent of all LoRaWAN deployments; growth we fully expect to expand even more in 2020.
“Platform advances and edge computing will also contribute to the digital transformation of industry in 2020. In their own ways, both areas contribute to advancing manufacturing safely and productively. The LoRaWAN ecosystem is collaborating on platforms that can facilitate highly deployable, cost-effective approaches to IoT, covering a huge number of applications such as safety, tracking, predictive maintenance, stock/parts, and many others.
“With data visualization, companies have access to unlimited insights that can impact everything from worker safety and welfare, to operational efficiency and improving the bottom line. Beyond this, gateways have moved to the edge, meaning that computing can take place even if the cloud is temporarily unavailable. This maximizes productivity and ensures continuous availability with no interruptions.
“As we look toward 2020, we see a changing landscape. Governments, globally, are increasingly getting more involved in resource conservation and management, which will have an impact on manufacturing. Ensuring air and water quality, and waste management, along with a need for cleaner manufacturing, all amplify the need for low power, long lifetime IIoT solutions.”