At MWC Shanghai, a one-year old dragon is taking its first steps in the Chinese IoT ecosystem

Mobile World Congress china Actility booth mosaic Small

The Actility Blog

At MWC Shanghai, a one-year-old dragon takes its first steps in the Chinese IoT ecosystem

Mobile World Congress china Actility booth mosaic

By Actility’s Bing LIU – July 1st 2017 was a special date for ThingPark China for two reasons: 1) it has been over a year since our launch in 2016  2) we were exploring exciting business opportunities at MWC Shanghai, the flagship mobile industry event. Let us take you back to this momentum for the Chinese IoT ecosystem in the “head of the dragon” city.

An IoT solution provider as well as ecosystem builder

For those who don’t know us yet, ThingPark China is Actility’s entity in China. We aim to deliver a comprehensive suite of the IoT solutions to the Chinese market. Our ThingPark IoT platform is uniquely positioned since it supports various network technologies like LoRaWAN, NB-IoT, and legacy mobile networking.

Our plan is to build up this platform together with Chinese operators to provide the IoT industry with the best technology. On top of this platform, we will help operators create their LoRaWAN developer hubs to enable enterprises and individuals develop new IoT devices and applications.

Devices tailored to the Asian Market

At the MWC Shanghai, our entire Chinese team, supported by Actility’s APAC representatives, had the honor of showcasing demos and products that are fully tailored to the Asian market. We were hosted on the LoRa Alliance booth to evangelize visitors about the fast-growing LoRaWAN ecosystem as well as our ambitions for the market.

“China is an opportunity like no other IoT market. It’s growing 30% a year, and a third of the world’s 15 billion connected things in 2020 will be in China.” Mike Mulica, Actility CEO

The products we displayed on our booth were either Chinese or European devices, such as Lansitec Asset Management Tracker, EMS Water meter, Turbo Technologies TBS-100 smart wireless smoke detector, and the Life+ SmartWatch.

Popular indoor tracking and smart parking demos

What’s more, our interactive demos attracted lots of visitors to our brand. They discovered how to measure room temperature and ambient relative humidity, estimate brightness, and detect movements with LoRaWAN sensors. Among the most popular demos were also the indoor tracking demo with our partner Lansitec as well as the smart parking one, developed in partnership with Foxconn.

We made fruitful connections with other partners on the LoRa Alliance booth. We also got very good meeting opportunities with big players such as Bosch, Cisco, AsiaInfo, Alibaba, and Foxconn.

About a dozen Chinese and international journalists visited our booth to get a better understanding of our solutions and market positioning. They also discussed our objectives and challenges with me Bing Liu, the CEO of ThingPark China and ZQ Shr, our Vice-President. The over 80 published articles following the show prove how popular a topic the IoT is in our country, and will help us gain awareness more rapidly.

A developer platform alliance

We were also proud to present our three strategic plans to MWC participants. Firstly, we will enable operators and enterprises build up low-power IoT platforms and networks; secondly, we aim to develop vertical market applications with partners that cover the smart city, smart agriculture, industry 4.0, logistics, and bike-sharing, etc. And finally, we want to build an ecosystem across industries, similar to a developer platform alliance.

This event was indeed a great opportunity to raise awareness about ThingPark China among all our stakeholders. We are delighted with our encouraging first steps as the “Chinese IoT baby dragon” and with the support of our parent company, Actility!

In North America, LoRaWAN Technology Is A Major Sign Of ‘Smart Things’ To Come

Daytona car race picture small

The Actility Blog

In North America, LoRaWAN Technology Is A Major Sign Of ‘Smart Things’ To Come

Daytona car race picture

As global service providers increasingly lay the foundation for the Internet of Things (IoT), the spotlight is beginning to turn on the US and Canada. Companies like Comcast and Cisco are now accelerating the North American front by leveraging LoRaWAN technology. For businesses large and small who want in on the action, the race is on.

In June, representatives of over 500 companies gathered in Philadelphia, PA for the 8th LoRa Alliance All-Members Meeting. The event was hosted by Comcast, who recently joined the Alliance as a Sponsor member and also sits on the Board of Directors.

“Smart City” of Brotherly Love

Since October 2016, Comcast’s IoT service machineQ has launched Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) in 15 cities across the US for Smart City applications.

“We’ve seen excitement about a Comcast solution that is opening a whole new world of use cases that were previously not commercially viable due to the cost of connectivity and end devices, limited battery life, and inability to get coverage.”Alex Khorram, General Manager of machineQ

In a recent press release, Sam Schwartz, Chief Business Development Officer, Comcast Cable said: “Technologies such as LoRa are setting the stage for the era of connected devices, and we think our network potentially has a role to play in connecting the millions of internet-enabled devices deployed within enterprises.”

Such bold claims are not theoretical— large-scale rollouts of LoRaWAN networks have already occurred across dozens of countries in five continents with even more to come in EMEA and APAC regions. The sensors and connected devices built upon this technology enable businesses to create solutions for metering, monitoring, alerting, fault detection, and tracking to name a few.

Much lower TCO

In grasping the complete benefits of LoRaWAN, it’s important to see how it stacks up against IoT cellular networks. Essentially, Things are connected to license-free wireless spectrum offering:

  • Long distance coverage (many miles depending on the height of the gateway)
  • Low power consumption, which leads to longer lasting batteries (can be multiple years, even a decade or more in some instances)
  • Deep indoor/underground signal penetration
  • Easy implementation and operability in any environment

All of the LoRaWAN benefits result in a much lower total cost of ownership for an ever growing number of use cases.

As a LoRaWAN pioneer and founding member of the LoRa Alliance, Actility is working with customers and partners across the globe such as Orange, NTT and Inmarsat, developing compelling use cases and creating new business models.

Follow the ‘smart’ footprints

In Europe, national mobile operators were among the very first to invest and innovate with the LoRaWAN technology. Public and private smart city stakeholders are leveraging the technology for various use cases:

  • smart lighting on bike lanes (allowing for substantial energy savings for cities)
  • smart parking to reduce traffic congestion (improving retail activity)
  • smart waste management from collection to treatment and recycling (increasing efficiency and cost savings)
  • tracking (expected to be one of the killer applications for IoT)

Building on the LoRa Alliance momentum last June, Actility and Comcast co-sponsored the machineQ SmartCity Hackathon in Philadelphia.

Another highlight for IoT in North America this month was Cisco Live Las Vegas where our strategic partner and investor, Cisco, continues to drive the next phase of the North American IoT revolution. After all, if LoRaWAN boosts businesses in agriculture, transportation, waste management, connected building, parking, and other compelling use cases around the world, why not in the US and Canada?

The short answer is: it already is, and if you want to get a jump-start on upcoming opportunities, the time is now!

As Actility’s Head of Sales for this region, I’d be happy to answer any question, and fill you in on LPWAN technologies and Actility. 

Contact Mark Ewen