How LoRaWAN powers up smart cities of tomorrow today

THE ACTILITY BLOG

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 As resources become scarcer and facilities outdated, governments globally are taking different measures to address these issues and adjust to evolving demands.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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In North America, LoRaWAN Technology Is A Major Sign Of ‘Smart Things’ To Come

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The Actility Blog

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

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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

Actility announces new investors in $75 Million Series D Funding round: Cisco Investments joins as investor

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The Actility Newsroom

Actility announces new investors in $75 Million Series D Funding round:
Cisco Investments joins as investor

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) for Internet of Things (IoT), announced today at the LoRa Alliance™ All Members’ Meeting that Cisco Investments has taken a stake in the company’s $75 million Series D funding round, joining BNP Paribas and alongside existing investors including Creadev, Orange, Inmarsat and Robert Bosch Venture Capital. The funding will enable Actility to roll out industrial IoT solutions with its partners for key verticals such as logistics and supply chain, smart buildings and energy and utilities; to accelerate its global growth; and to make strategic investments to enhance its technology portfolio.

Since 2010, Actility has been pioneering the fundamental technology that led to the operating framework of LoRaWAN™ and was a founding member at the launch of the LoRa Alliance in 2015. Today, Actility is the driving force behind a full suite of LPWA IoT software that serves the world’s largest service providers, solution providers and enterprises in capturing the full benefit of IoT’s explosive growth potential.

“Cisco’s strategic investment in Actility further enhances the collaboration of two complementary IoT solution providers with big plans for the connected world,” comments Mike Mulica, CEO of Actility.

“Cisco is focused on enabling the rapid proliferation of IoT through LPWA technologies, including LoRaWAN gateways and geolocation services,” said Amit Chaturvedy, Head of IoT Investments and Acquisitions at Cisco. “We invest in companies that share our passion for helping customers and are leaders in their technologies. Actility is dedicated to a great customer experience through the LPWA IoT on-boarding, operating and monetisation experience. We are pleased that Actility intends to use the proceeds of this investment round to scale their business faster and more reliably all around the world.”

Actility Advances to Preferred Solution Partner Within the Cisco Solution Partner Program

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The Actility Newsroom

Actility Advances to Preferred Solution Partner Within the Cisco Solution Partner Program

Paris, France, 6 December 2016: The Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to bring together people, processes, data and things to enhance the relevancy of network connections. As a member of the Cisco Solution Partner Program, Actility is able to quickly create and deploy solutions to enhance the capabilities, performance and management of the network to capture value in the IoE. 

Actility’s ThingPark suite is an enabler of scalable LPWA networks and interoperable IoT Applications and services. ThingPark Wireless is a core network management and supervision solution for LPWA connectivity. ThingPark OS is a central IoT management service to connect sensors to applications. ThingPark X is a data analytics and control framework which exposes data from connected things to applications, and offers off the shelf IoT industrial applications. ThingPark Market is a B2B ecommerce platform aggregating, distributing and connecting IoT devices and applications to the ThingPark platform

“We’re very pleased to have reached the level of Preferred Solution Partner with Cisco, which demonstrates that our ThingPark suite is a compelling product for our joint customers in combination with Cisco’s hardware solution and integration capability,” comments Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “As a Preferred Solution Partner, we’ll be even better placed to deliver some of the best carrier and enterprise LPWA solutions on the market across a wide range of industries, accelerating the explosive growth of the IoE globally.”

The Cisco Solution Partner Program, part of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, unites Cisco with third-party independent hardware and software vendors to deliver integrated solutions to joint customers. As a Preferred Solution Partner, offering the ThingPark Suite, Actility has achieved Cisco compatibility certification on at least one solution and can provide its customers with 24-hour, 7-days-a-week customer support.

Actility introduces integrated LoRaWAN™ solution for Cisco IoT networks

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The Actility Newsroom

Actility introduces integrated LoRaWAN™ solution for Cisco IoT networks

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) is working with Cisco to integrate Actility’s Long Range base station (LRR) software in Cisco’s LoRaWAN™ Interface Module for LPWA IoT networks. The initiative is targeting both operators and enterprise customers, allowing them to create value added end to end solutions for IoT markets such as smart cities, connected assets, logistics management and industrial IoT. The combined offering addresses the requirements of private and public LoRa networks, and can deployed in a customer’s premises or offered as a hosted service. Actility’s ThingPark solution in combination with Cisco’s state of the art hardware will together simplify and accelerate the deployment of best-in-class LPWA solutions.

“We’re really excited to be able to work alongside Cisco and combine our best in class LoRa network software with their best in class hardware solution and integration capability,” comments Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “Together, we’ll be able to deliver some of the best carrier and enterprise LPWA solutions on the market across a wide range of industries, fueling the explosive growth of IoT globally.”

 

Actility’s ThingPark Wireless platform provides long-range network connectivity for low-power sensors used in multiple applications such as smart cities, facility management and asset tracking. The Cisco gateway is the vital link between the LoRa radio links to sensors and devices, and the global internet or private customer network. Actility ThingPark ensures that it is straightforward for customers to configure and deploy IoT networks and solutions by validating all the components of an end-to-end solution, from sensors and devices through network connectivity and applications. Now Cisco’s gateways will offer ThingPark customers world-leading networking technology ready to use and deploy in their Actility-powered service solutions.

The initiative will enable LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) networks to be expanded on a global scale, fuelling the rapid growth of the next generation of IoT services for both carriers and the enterprise. Actility and Cisco are both members of the LoRa Alliance.