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Actility partners with SoftBank to accelerate the Internet of Things in Japan

Actility, the global leader in LPWA network infrastructure and service platforms, is working with SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) to support the roll out of a complete low power wide area network solution which could trigger explosive growth in the IoT in Japan this year. The LoRaWAN network will enable a wide range of applications in Japan, ranging from tracking elderly family members to monitoring the condition of tunnels or automated water metering.

“SoftBank is a recognized global leader in all the important layers of the Internet economy. We are thrilled to be working together with the SoftBank team on their IoT strategy, and in particular, their commitment to LPWA and their forthcoming LoRaWAN deployment in Japan.” Mike Mulica, CEO of Actility

“SoftBank has been impressed with Actility’s deep knowledge of the LPWA market and their efforts in pioneering LoRaWAN. We look forward to building a vibrant LPWA business in Japan through close technology and market collaboration with Actility and their ecosystem partners,” explains Hironobu Tamba, Vice President, Service Platform Strategy & Development Division of SoftBank.

LPWA networks can connect remote sensors and devices over ranges of up to 15km, in heavily built-up urban areas, and with a battery life of up to ten years thanks to extremely efficient power consumption. This capability, coupled with low cost sensors and devices, is expected to drive explosive growth in IoT by transforming the affordability and commercial viability of applications across industry, infrastructure and even at home. SoftBank will provide complete IoT solutions using LoRaWAN, including devices, base stations, IoT network platform, and all the services required to implement these solutions including consulting.

In the future, SoftBank envisages applications in commercial facilities management; smart buildings; equipment monitoring and remote control and tracking in warehouses, for example; automated meter reading of gas and water meters; keeping watch over the elderly and children; road, tunnel and infrastructure monitoring; and transport fleet management.

The simplicity and low cost of LoRaWAN network deployment enable a rapid roll-out for IoT driven specifically by the low power consumption capability. As well, SoftBank expects to enable optimized IoT solutions which take advantage of the capabilities of cellular LTE networks alongside the LPWA network.

Partnering with SoftBank and Actility in this deployment and co-operating in the growth of a LoRaWAN ecosystem are the world’s largest OEM vendor, Foxconn Technology Group (headquartered in Taiwan) and LoRaWAN technology vendor Semtech Corporation (headquartered in the USA). 

Overview of LoRaWAN™

LoRaWAN is an LPWA networking standard developed by the LoRa Alliance, which provides wide area bidirectional connectivity to IoT devices with unprecedentedly low cost and energy efficiency. Over 390 companies have already joined the LoRa Alliance (at September 2nd, 2016), creating the largest IoT solution ecosystem for enterprises and consumers.

LoRaWAN ™ in Japan communicates using the 920MHz. The main features are as follows.

  • Battery life: 10 years or more (*1)
  • Communication range: up to 15km (*2)
  • Base station capacity: 10s of thousands of devices can connect to a single base station (*3)
  • (1) Battery lifetime in the field depends on the communication requirement.
  • (2) communication range is a published values of LoRa Alliance, not the actual range of the deployed services in Japan.
  • (3) Base station capacity depends on the time needed for communication by each connected device
What is LoRa and LoRaWAN white paper techniical overview, benfits and use cases

Learn more about the LoRaWAN technology by downloading the Actility “What is LoRaWAN” white paper