Successful international roaming demonstrated by Orange, KPN, Actility opens new horizons for IoT

The Actility Newsroom

Successful international roaming demonstrated by Orange, KPN, Actility opens new horizons for IoT

Orange, KPN and IoT connectivity platform supplier Actility today reveal the first successful field test of actual roaming between nationwide public IoT networks, implementing the latest LoRa Alliance™ specifications. Roaming is the ability for an IoT device to seamlessly connect to different LoRaWAN networks to transmit its data. This successful implementation of roaming protocols in the field opens up the possibility of connecting sensors or trackers that move between countries. It also simplifies the implementation of international business applications – by removing the need to both integrate several IoT platforms and contract with multiple LoRaWAN operators – thereby reducing time to market for customers.

In October, the LoRa Alliance released the first version of the LoRaWAN Backend Interfaces Specification. This governs how LoRaWAN sensor data are passed between different networks to enable roaming. Based on this specification, Orange and KPN set up a secure roaming interface between their Actility network server platforms, and have successfully tested Orange devices operating on the KPN network in the Netherlands and KPN devices operating on the Orange France network.

“This first successful LoRaWAN compliant roaming communication in the field is a critical milestone to unlock several key segments of the IoT market by removing the barrier of national borders,” says Bertrand Waels, head of Alternative Radio Access at Orange. “Our tests in an open collaboration with KPN in the Netherlands and with the support of Actility show that the specifications published by the LoRa Alliance do work reliably in the field.”

Roaming is important for the whole IoT ecosystem (device manufacturers, device owners, application platforms, and network operators). Roaming simplifies the development of international use cases, such as with a trucking company’s logistics chain or a start-up selling products across Europe. It can eliminate the need to develop variants of devices and applications for each IoT network and national markets, optimizing time to market and bringing economies of scale.

“Unlocking international markets is a major driver for our customers. We are pleased with this major step, roaming is key to extending our LoRaWAN based IoT services around the globe,” adds Carolien Nijhuis, Director IoT at KPN.

Since its foundation in 2015, the LoRa Alliance has been developing open LoRaWAN IoT standards to the benefit of a large and dynamic ecosystem. 

“Actility was a major contributor to the roaming specification work because we believe the benefits in terms of applications and greater simplicity and reduced costs for the ecosystem are clear,” says Olivier Hersent, CTO of Actility. “Ultimately the LoRaWAN ecosystem can seamlessly cluster thousands of networks. We believe an open and multi-vendor system can scale up to the requirements of the Internet of Things.”

KPN launches world’s first nationwide LoRa Internet of Things (IoT) Network, powered by Actility’s ThingPark

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The Actility Newsroom

KPN launches world’s first nationwide LoRa Internet of Things Network, powered by Actility’s ThingPark

Actility, the industry leader in low power wide area networking, is proud to celebrate the successful deployment of the world’s first nationwide LoRa network for the Internet of Things with Dutch telecom operator KPN . After an intense period of 8 months’ work, several hundred LoRa antennas have been installed all over the Netherlands. KPN’s LoRa project initially went live in in the cities of Rotterdam and The Hague. Thanks to strong positive feedback and consumer interest in the early deployments, the network roll-out was accelerated at the beginning of this year, and has just been completed. The KPN network will support uses as varied as street lighting, street signage, waste management and animal tracking.

Actility and KPN have been pioneering the world-leading development of the European Internet of Things together since 2014. Combining Actility’s innovative ThingPark solution for the Internet of Things with KPN’s leading mobile network gives the country a world #1 “best-in-class” solution. It will address the needs of a wide variety of markets with very different requirements, but sharing the common need to connect sensors cost-effectively, over long distances and in both built-up areas and wide open countryside. KPN will leverage the ThingPark Wireless solution to connect a wide range of objects in markets as diverse as agriculture, smart building, transport infrastructure and healthcare applications.

One of the most attractive applications of KPN’s LoRa network is Smart Public Space Management. Citizens across the Netherlands will see a variety of benefits including improved street signage, better waste management in public spaces and smart street lighting.

“We congratulate KPN on being first in the world, thanks to their extremely efficient and successful roll-out across the Netherlands. KPN is a true pioneer and has made good on its ambition to turn the whole country into a smart nation, connecting cities and rural areas, and making life a little smarter for all its inhabitants”, says Actility’s CEO Mike Mulica.

“KPN is pleased with the fruitful collaboration with Actility, which allowed the successful nationwide roll-out in less than a year”, says Jacob Groote, Executive Vice President Service Platforms at KPN.

KPN accelerates roll-out of Internet of Things network in the Netherlands

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The Actility Newsroom

KPN accelerates roll-out of Internet of Things network in the Netherlands

KPN has announced to proceed to a faster roll-out of the IoT network in the Netherlands. The initial aim being to reach a nationwide coverage by the end of 2016, an increasing interest in the project has led KPN to decide to complete the roll-out by the second quarter of this year.

The network is the so-called Long Range Wide Area Network (LPWA), or LoRa network, which allows for devices to be connected and to exchange small amounts of data over a very long distance with a minimal power consumption, enabling new disruptive services. The cities of Rotterdam and The Hague have been connected to the LoRa network since November. As the demand for this network has been found to be bigger than initially expected, poles in the rest of the country will be equipped with LoRa antennas at very short term.

The LoRa network has been launched in addition to the already existing mobile and fixed networks of KPN. The technology enables devices to be connected without the use of a traditional sim-card. Moreover, very little power is used to make the network work. 

Actility and KPN to collaborate to deploy the first nationwide LoRa network

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The Actility Newsroom

Actility and KPN to collaborate to deploy the first nationwide LoRa network

Rotterdam, 4 November 2015 – Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), proudly announces its collaboration with Dutch telecom operator KPN for the roll-out of a nationwide IoT network in the Netherlands. KPN has selected Actility’s end-to-end LoRaWAN-based core network ThingPark Wireless™ solution and targets full country coverage by the end of 2016.

Within the partnership, KPN is deploying LoRa base stations on their 3/4G tower locations. This means that as from November, clients can use KPN’s LoRa network for their applications. Examples of use cases are street lights, smoke alarms, smart parking, asset tracking and utility metering. KPN and Actility closely collaborate in a team of expertise with the aim to achieve a nationwide roll-out, which will cover at least 50% of the surface of the Netherlands with indoor coverage by the end of 2016.

KPN will be using Actility’s ThingPark Wireless solution to connect a wide range of objects in all key Internet of Things verticals. This open IoT platform will then allow KPN’s wide range of eco-system partners to launch Smart City, automotive, energy, smart building, healthcare and Smart Home applications. Actility’s solution also includes the ThingPark Store, an online marketplace engine dedicated to IoT sensors, applications and network solutions by which Actility makes the roll-out of new innovative IoT services accessible to sensor vendors, network solution vendors and end-users.

“LoRa powered by Actility offers KPN all of the benefits of a new class of IoT networks; low-power, low-overhead, and low-cost plus advantages including true two-way communication, localization and dynamic bandwidth assignment,” said Jacob Groote, VP Mobile Operations at KPN.

“Our collaboration with KPN underlines the importance of nationwide roll-outs throughout Europe. We are delighted with this partnership through which KPN shows trust in Actility by implementing our platform onsite”, said Olivier Hersent, CTO of Actility. “Actility is deeply committed to working together with KPN to address customer needs across key verticals.“

LoRaWan: the protocol for Low Power Wide Area networks

As a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, Actility works with the LoRa eco-system of device and application providers to enable public or private networks connecting multiple applications onto the same network infrastructure. This means that only a few base stations are needed to cover an entire city or country, making the Internet of Things possible at minimal infrastructure investment.

Internet of Things specialist Actility announces $25 million funding round led by Ginko Ventures, KPN, Orange, Swisscom and Foxconn

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The Actility Newsroom

Internet of Things specialist Actility announces $25 million funding round led by Ginko Ventures, KPN, Orange, Swisscom and Foxconn

Investment from leading telcos and Foxconn investment fund offers powerful endorsement of Actility’s unique approach to IoT enablement

Paris, France, 16 June 2015: Actility, a leading provider of network solutions and managed information systems for the Internet of Things (IoT) market, today announced it has secured a $25 million funding round led by Ginko Ventures. Ginko Ventures leads a prestigious group of investors including tier-one telcos KPN, Orange, Swisscom and Foxconn, along with the existing investors Fonds Ecotechnologies managed by Bpifrance Investissement, Idinvest Partners, and Truffle Capital.

The investment will allow Actility to accelerate its go-to-market strategy for ThingPark, its open standard IoT network solution; funding its operational resources, building a high level of service and continuing to develop technology partnerships to foster a healthy ecosystem. It follows a recently concluded technology partnership between Actility and Swisscom.

A fully integrated platform for nationwide IoT, Actility’s ThingPark™ is designed to enable IoT services for any market sector, offering ready-to-go IoT connectivity plus a full set of ready-to-sell applications in less than one month. It is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) radio network built on the LoRaWAN™ standard, developed and supported by the LoRa™ Alliance. LoRaWAN networks address the three critical elements required for IoT networks connecting billions of devices: low power, long range, and low cost. ThingPark represents the first end-to-end, LoRaWAN interoperable platform to serve the IoT market for every use case.

“Today’s wireless technologies are not optimized for IoT applications which require sensors to be low power and able to run on a battery with very little maintenance. ThingPark provides the technology to connect both long range and low power sensors over unlicensed ISM band spectrum, allowing low cost and fast roll-out of IoT networks for a wide range of IoT applications,” said Olivier Hersent, Founder, CEO and CTO, Actility. “We are delighted to have secured the backing of such prominent communications industry leaders.”

“With more than 50 Billion devices to be connected by 2020, Cisco believes that new scalable IoT infrastructure and services will become key evolution at every scale, for Telcos, cities and corporate campuses,” said Tony Shakib, Vice-President IoE (Internet of Everything) Vertical Solutions at Cisco.
He added:“We backed LoRaWAN as an open technology for IoT and are excited to see today such industry momentum behind Actility, whom we see as a critical partner to make pervasive IoT infrastructure and services.”

“After the rise of personal connected objects such as consumer wearable devices, we are now witnessing the emergence of a second wave: managed connected objects,” said Hersent. “Managed connected objects are creating a more efficient, more sustainable world. With a ubiquitous and cost-effective IoT network in place, utilities for instance will be able to accelerate their smart-metering plans, to optimize the filling of fuel tanks, to increase the use of renewable energy by dynamically controlling thermostats. We have the technology to achieve a paradigm shift in remote monitoring and management – think of instant fire or leak detection, or prevention of loss of valuable equipment using smart tracking. Ubiquitous IoT will have a huge impact in agriculture and other key sectors of the economy. ThingPark is available now, allowing Telecom operators or municipalities to deploy an IoT network in a month.”

Foxconn Group is transforming to be a High Technology Solution Provider, including Hardware and Software Value creation. Through this strategic investment, we will expand our current collaboration with Actility to bring its LoRaWAN technology and IoT Platform and Solutions to Taiwan, China, and the rest of Asia,’ said Fang Ming Lu, Executive Vice President of Foxconn. “We will leverage our strong network to accelerate the development of the IoT ecosystem, as well as promote and integrate Actility’s IoT Solutions for Smart Cities implementation in APAC.’

Jasper Snijder, SVP New Business at KPN, said:“As a founding member of the LoRa alliance, we’re proud to partner with Actility and contribute to the development of the Internet-of-Things – the next big thing in the digital landscape.”

Pierre Louette, Orange’s Deputy CEO who is also responsible for Orange Digital Ventures said: “Actility’s connected objects platform is based on bringing together its open service approach with the power of networks. This clearly corresponds to the ambition of Orange Digital Ventures to invest in actors that are developing innovative digital services that contribute to change our customers experience and answer the changing desires and needs of our customers. The Internet of Things is an extremely promising new market and it is important for Orange to support the start-ups and developers who are currently working on services that will become part of our future.”

Jean-Paul de Weck, CEO Swisscom Broadcast: “This is a technology that comes at the right time for operators to accelerate the connection of objects. There is set to be a huge increase in the demand for IoT and we see Actility as a key partner as we expand our activities in this market.”

“Actility’s innovative platform combined with operators’ ability to deliver long term network services nationwide are key to the adoption of IoT applications such as utility metering, street lighting, asset tracking or home security that need resilient and cost effective infrastructure in place for many years,” saidDominique Pitteloud, Managing Partner at Ginko Ventures. “Key to the structuring of the investment round was to bring together a set of strategic investors to collaborate on building the infrastructure for the successful deployment of these new services.”