How LoRaWAN powers up smart cities of tomorrow today


How LoRaWAN powers up smart cities of tomorrow today

July 4, 2019 | written by ALAYKKA FOWLER

Gone were the days when “smart cities” only existed in films and stories.

smart cities with lorawan connectivity

Today, cities all over the world feel the immense pressure to transform into the cities of tomorrow and for sound reasons. City planning and construction affect the way everything around it operates, including their citizens’ way and quality of life. As resources become scarcer and facilities outdated, governments globally are taking different measures to address these issues and adjust to evolving demands.

Now, cities are leaning more towards a data-centric approach to solve various issues. Moreover, this is also to improve services and living environment for their citizens. For this reason, more of them are installing connected devices where data is crucial, e.g. parking spaces, trash bins, and utility systems. However, the challenge lies within having the right type of connectivity for optimum data gathering and service delivery as one type varies from another.


LoRaWAN for smart cities

When it comes to digitally transforming cities, the usual LTE or WiFi connectivity alone is not enough. In fact, there is a rising problem in the limited data spectrum that the world has today as urban areas become densely populated. This increasing strain on networks and network signals’ difficulty in penetrating enclosed structures and underground areas is a major obstacle in developing connected cities.

Additionally, for massively deployed sensors to work, the network they should be running on has to be dependable, secure, and sustainable in the long run. Unfortunately, this can mean having to face extremely high costs. However, where there are problems, there will always be solutions.

Thanks to LoRaWAN connectivity, cities can now address these challenges.

When the smart devices of cities operate on LoRaWAN, connectivity is reliable and requires low investment costs. This type of connectivity is ideal for facilities that do not involve large packets of data, like water and electricity meters and public transportation. 

actility smart cities

What’s even more interesting is its ability to penetrate densely enclosed places, such as concrete buildings and underground areas. This is something that most mobile data connections cannot do alone (and if they can, it can be really costly).

LoRaWAN is ideal for cities because it is a horizontal, open standard-based platform that does not require individually implementing multiple proprietary technologies. This means that it can accommodate all kinds of vertical use cases, whether it’s water, energy, or street lighting, without needing to deploy numerous infrastructures that are specific for each one. As a result, cities do not have to invest in different silo-based infrastructures achieving significant cost savings and efficient service delivery at the same time.

As the years go by, more cities are turning to LoRaWAN-based solutions either as an initial layer to their digital transformation projects or to complement their already existing internet connectivity.

Caldas da Rainha: Making Queen Leonor Proud

From what started off as Queen Leonor’s thermal town in the 15th century, the city of Caldas da Rainha in Portugal has understood what it means to be a city of the future.

With its recent deployment of Cisco’s LoRa technology solutions powered by Actility’s ThingPark Enterprise, the city now has a better view of their water, waste management, parking, and traffic flow systems. Because of this, Caldas da Rainha can manage their different public infrastructures and facilities better. Consequently, this allows them to monitor the health and performance of these facilities and perform appropriate actions to resolve any issues that they find making them a truly intelligent city.

Installing sensors in the different areas of the city allows Caldas da Rainha to generate and gather real-time data which they transmit over the Actility and Cisco LoRaWAN infrastructure. Afterwards, the command and supervision center will receive these pieces of information on the various applications that they use. For example, through their water facility sensors, they were able to detect leaks in the system which they promptly addressed. On the other hand, the connected devices enabled them to manage the parking and traffic flow of their bus system and run garbage collection more effectively.

By equipping themselves with the right technology and enabling themselves to carry out informed actions, Caldas da Rainha can better protect its investments for its people. At the same time, they can also maximize the benefits that they will get out of these. These will ultimately allow them to serve and take care of their citizens better.

LoRaWAN is of the essence

In this connected world, having the right type of connectivity is crucial to ensure high quality data collection and service rendering. For smart cities, connections need to be complementary. As high-speed mobile connections address the needs of individual consumers, macro-level stakeholders, such as industrial companies and the government should take advantage of LoRaWAN in their operations and services.

Leveraging on LoRaWAN connectivity is an essential layer to developing smart cities. As a low-cost, long-range, highly pervasive, and sustainable solution, LoRaWAN is definitely one of the keys to unlock the potentials of intelligent cities.

Make your city smarter with ThingPark.

Contact us today to discover our intelligent solutions for your city.

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LoRa Alliance All Members Meeting 2019: Celebrating Milestones and Showcasing LoRaWAN Roaming

LoRa Alliance AMM Actility banner


LoRa Alliance All Members Meeting 2019: Celebrating Milestones and Showcasing LoRaWAN Roaming

July 3, 2019 | written by GABOR POP

On June 11 to 14, the LoRa Alliance held its most important annual All Members Meeting event in Berlin. As always, it was a great opportunity to meet, discuss, and network with one of the largest tech ecosystems in the world. 

LoRa Alliance AMM Actility banner

This year, the Alliance achieved some incredible milestones that strongly contributed to position the LoRaWAN technology as one of de facto technologies of the IoT Market:

(1) Surpassing 100 LoRaWAN operators across more than 140 countries

Discover the latest deployments in this publication.

(2) Finalization of the LoRaWAN pre-testing tool which allows fast-tracking of certification processes

Per usual, the event took place following two parts. It dedicated the first two days to committee works: technical, marketing, and certification. The technical committee focused on finalizing the 1.0.4 version of the LoRaWAN standard. Meanwhile, the marketing committee developed a new marketing strategy based on a vertical approach of the IoT market. It was great to see the interest, involvement, and hard work from committee members. 

Moreover, the event  highlighted the live open house event on the third and last day. This was where LoRa Alliance members and participants were able to showcase their products and solutions and meet visitors. 

Finally, the Open House welcomed 500+ people and featured a mix of business and technical tracks. Additionally, more than 30 members of the LoRaWAN ecosystem also showcased their latest products and solutions during the event.

Talks from the experts and LoRa Alliance recognition

Actility and its partners presented an impressive line-up of speakers in both tracks.

Raphael Apfeldorfer talks about Actility-Idemia partnership for large scale device activation at the LoRa Alliance AMM 2019
Alper Yegin talks about Actility's ThingPark Exchange roaming hub at the LoRa Alliance AMM 2019

Raphael Apfeldorfer (left), Advanced Technology Director at Actility, gave a presentation about the Actility-Idemia partnership for large-scale device activation. Meanwhile, Alper Yegin (right), Director of Standards and Advanced Technology Development, gave a talk about how Actility is enabling roaming through the ThingPark Exchange peering hub. On the other hand, Birdz Veolia explained how they are deploying 3 million LoRaWAN water meters in France, based on an Actility-supplied network. Schneider Electric also presented their brand new connected electric panel that they are selling in multiple countries using the ThingPark Exchange roaming platform. 

LoRa Alliance awards Alper Yegin Lifetime Achievement Award

On another note, the LoRa Alliance presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Alper Yegin at the at the event. This was to recognize his valuable contributions to the LoRaWAN standard and the LoRa Alliance’s growth and activities over the past years. In relation to this, LoRa Alliance CEO and Chairperson, Donna Moore, said that 2019 is the strongest year on record due to the rapid growth of mass deployments with LoRaWAN networks having been established in over 140 countries worldwide. 


In the spotlight: LoRaWAN roaming and a neutral hub

Although the event addressed many different topics, the key highlight was roaming. With network providers implementing the LoRaWAN Backend Interface, more and more operators are establishing roaming agreements, whether it’s point-to-point or through a roaming hub.

The Actility ThingPark Exchange roaming hub, specifically, has achieved a critical volume of operators, with more than seven large European operators already onboarded. Currently, they are serving solution providers who will deploy LoRaWAN products in a multi-country environment.

Because the Actility roaming hub supports the latest Back End interface standard, it is automatically compatible with any LoRaWAN network server (even if they are not powered by Actility) and operator, making it the first truly neutral and live LoRaWAN roaming hub on the market.

“The first truly neutral and live LoRaWAN roaming hub on the market, already serving multi-country clients.”

With this in mind, Actility had the pleasure to host two exceptional partners in its booth – Schneider Electric and Idemia.

LoRa Alliance AMM Actility Booth

Schneider Electric demonstrated its brand-new Electric Panel of the Future, which they are selling in several countries leveraging the roaming hub. On the other hand, Idemia exhibited its full integration with the Actility ThingPark Activation service, which provides secure service activation and over-the-air personalization of LoRaWAN sensors.

Meanwhile, another Actility strategic partner, ST Microelectronics, showcased its implementation of firmware-over-the-air update using Actility ThingPark FUOTA. In the coming months, any device based on STM32 will be able to benefit from this feature. This solution leverages difference-based update for 10x compression.

For Actility, it was definitely an incredible event that highlighted the significant growth of the ecosystem and provided a good avenue to meet with existing clients and future partners. Looking at this, LoRaWAN is clearly scaling voluminously with its business rising in all regions, as the recent announcement from Clickey also proved. 

The next  LoRa Alliance All Members Meeting will take place in New Delhi, India mid-October 2020. We hope to see you there!

Expand your business horizons with ThingPark Exchange.

Contact us today to discover our IoT roaming solutions for your

global business.

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Adrien Doré launches BPI France Energy conference

Actility Energy speech with Adrien Doré speaker

The Actility Blog

Adrien Doré launches BPI France Energy conference

Adrien Doré, France Manager at Actility Energy, was pleased to introduce the 20th TOTEM event organized by the Hub BPI France and the French Electricity Union (UFE) with an opening speech on « The Digital: game changer of the energy transition? »

In his speech, Adrien spoke about the role of new technologies and especially of digital in the energy sector, explaining the concept of the « Digital Twin » as a key element in the energy transition. Many changes such as emerging renewables energies and new electric uses in our consumption result in a more complex energy sector. It is necessary to modelize the many data changes involved in a digital twin to quickly determine the optimal flexibility solutions.

Actility, an innovative leader thanks to its forward-looking DNA, develops « Digital Twins » of the French electric network to foster flexibility solutions while ensuring the security of energy supply.

You can find Adrien’s full speech (in French) by clicking on the following link:

Adrien Doré lance le 20ème TOTEM

Adrien Doré, directeur France d’Actility Energy, a eu le plaisir de lancer le 20ème TOTEM organisé par le Hub BPI France et L’union Française de l’Electricité avec un discours d’ouverture sur « le Digital : game changer de la transition énergétique ? ».

Lors de son intervention, Adrien Doré a pu particulièrement introduire le rôle des nouvelles technologies et du digital en particulier dans le secteur de l’énergie en expliquant le concept de « Digital Twin » et de son rôle déterminant dans la transition énergétique. Les changements induits par l’émergence des énergies renouvelables et de nouveaux usages dans notre consommation d’électricité complexifient le secteur de l’énergie. Or il est nécessaire de modéliser ces multiples données du monde réel dans un jumeau virtuel pour déterminer rapidement de nouvelles solutions de flexibilité optimales.

Actility, leader de l’innovation grâce à son ADN prospectif, développe des « Digital Twin » du réseau électrique français pour favoriser les solutions de flexibilité tout en assurant la sécurité d’approvisionnement.

Vous pouvez retrouver l’intégralité de la présentation d’Adrien Doré à cet événement en cliquant sur le lien suivant:

What challenges will the energy sector face in 2019? Here’s our CEO Olivier Hersent’s vision

2019 Actility Energy greeting cards

The Actility Blog

What challenges will the energy sector face in 2019? Here’s our CEO Olivier Hersent’s vision

2019 Actility Energy greeting cards

2018 has been, for Actility and the world of energy, a pivotal year. It is now clear for everyone that the question is not whether our energy mix evolves towards 100% renewables, but how fast. The question is no longer whether automobiles will be 100% electric, but whether hydrogen will have a small share of it one day. Oil Majors publicly announce that their investments are shifted toward electricity, and banks state that they will no longer finance oil prospecting. The very notion of a “ceiling” for the share of renewables in the energy mix is a thing of the past.

In the context of such a positive paradigm shift of our economy, we can be proud of our contribution in Europe, pitch after pitch to the most doubtful interlocutors demonstrating that digital would allow to aggregate and control hidden flexibility of consumers, and over the long term solve the fundamental issues of balancing and securing our grid. Beyond theories, we have, project after project and with each regulation change, landed these ideas in the real world in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and now Italy.

…Until today, when “brick and mortar” players like Auchan or Orange clearly articulate that the future of their energy optimization will rely on real-time control of the load curve of their sites. They have chosen Actility, as well as many other partners – generator or thermostat manufacturers, energy maintenance companies – who think of Actility as their partner to evolve their energy management towards full digital.

In this context, our priority and main challenge is to focus our efforts towards industrialization and management of an increasing number of projects: our information system needs to become exhaustive, eliminating random files on hard disks, our supervision system must become pro-active and raise alarms before any issue actually impacts operations, our customer relations must increasingly rely on digital online tools.

We have made great progress through 2018, we need to be fully ready in 2019.

Happy new year to all.

2019, quels challenges pour le secteur de l’énergie ? La vision du président Olivier Hersent

2018 aura été, pour Actility et pour le monde de l’énergie, une année pivot. Il est désormais clair pour tous les acteurs que la question n’est plus de savoir si nous évoluons vers un monde électrique 100% renouvelable, mais à quelle vitesse. Il n’est plus question de savoir si l’automobile de demain sera 100% électrique, mais seulement si l’hydrogène aura une petite part un jour. Les acteurs du pétrole annoncent publiquement réorienter tout leur développement vers l’électrique, et les banques qu’elles ne financent plus les prospections pétrolières. La notion du “plafond” supposé de la part du renouvelable dans le mix énergétique est maintenant un concept du passé.

Dans cette évolution très positive de notre environnement économique, nous pouvons je crois être fiers d’avoir joué un petit rôle en Europe en démontrant inlassablement aux interlocuteurs les plus dubitatifs que le numérique, en permettant d’exprimer et mettre à disposition les flexibilités latentes des consommateurs, pouvait résoudre le problème fondamental d’équilibrage et de sécurisation des réseaux sur le long terme. Au delà des démonstrations théoriques, nous avons aussi, projet après projet, évolution réglementaire après évolution réglementaire, fait atterrir dans la réalité ces idées en France, en Belgique, en Hollande et maintenant en Italie.

…Jusqu’à aujourd’hui, où il est clair pour des acteurs aussi “brick and mortar” que Auchan ou Orange que l’avenir de leur optimisation énergétique passe par le contrôle temps réel de la consommation de leurs installations. Ils ont choisi Actility, de même que de nombreux partenaires, fabricants de générateurs, de thermostats, gestionnaires d’installations, qui viennent désormais nous voir pour devenir leur partenaire dans cette évolution vers le pilotage digital des consommations.

Dans ce contexte, la priorité et le principal challenge, pour nous, est d’orienter nos efforts vers l’industrialisation et l’augmentation du nombre des projets: le système d’information doit viser à l’exhaustivité et l’élimination des fichiers qui traînent ça et là dans nos disques durs, la supervision de nos installations doit devenir pro-active et nous indiquer les pannes avant qu’elles n’aient un impact, notre relation client doit devenir elle aussi de plus en plus “digitale”.

Nous avons fait de grands progrès en 2018, nous devons être totalement prêts en 2019.

Très bonne année à tous.

Cedric presents at the French Electricity Union (UFE) annual conference

UFE logo

The Actility Blog

Cedric presents at the French Electricity Union (UFE) annual conference

UFE logo

Thursday, November 29th, at the annual conference of the French Electricity Union (UFE), Cedric de Jonghe, Europe Manager, was honored to be invited to introduce Actility Energy during a round table on the topic of transformation and cooperation in the energy sector.

Actility, a flexibility aggregator for 8 years, has developed suitable flexibility solutions to enable its partners to participate in all services keeping the electric network balance. Thanks to these collaborations, custom technical and operational innovations are being brought, like Actility’s joint effort with the operator Orange: Actility has invested into the telecommunication network’s security batteries, which were until now only expensive assets, to turn them into flexibility and profitable assets, maintaining their original use and function.

Cedric mentioned the importance of cross innovation. As an innovative scale up, Actility Energy partners with companies in the water industry like Veolia to apply Data analytics and valuation expertise. Also, in the domain of Blockchain, Cedric emphasized the cutting edge project with the Belgian grid operator Elia.

Cedric présente au colloque annuel de l’UFE

Jeudi 29 novembre, au colloque annuel de L’Union Française de l’Electricité, Cedric De Jonghe, directeur Europe, a eu l’honneur d’être invité à présenter Actility Energy lors d’une table ronde organisée sur la thématique des transformations et de la coopération dans le secteur de l’énergie.

Actility, agrégateur de flexibilité depuis 8 ans, développe des solutions de flexibilité adaptées pour permettre à ses partenaires de participer à l’ensemble des services d’équilibre du réseau électrique. De ces collaborations naissent des innovations technologiques et opérationnelles réalisées sur-mesure, tel le partenariat avec l’opérateur Orange : Actility a su investir dans les batteries de sécurité du réseau de télécommunication, qui étaient jusqu’alors des actifs coûteux, pour les transformer en actifs de flexibilité rémunérateurs tout en maintenant leur utilité et fonction originelle.

Cedric a également souligné l’importance des innovations transverses. En tant qu’impulseur d’innovations de grande envergure, Actility Energy a entrepris de collaborer avec des compagnies du secteur de l’eau telle Veolia en lui proposant son expertise en analyse et évaluation de données. De même, dans le domaine de la blockchain, Cedric a évoqué les projets d’avant-garde entrepris avec le gestionnaire de réseaux belge Elia.