LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo by Alper Yegin

The Actility Blog

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo

LoRa Alliance Members Meeting in Tokyo by Alper Yegin

Here are a few highlights from our recent LoRa Alliance Members Meeting that was held in Tokyo…

Our 2-day Technical Committee meeting was packed with people (nearly 60!) and an overflowing agenda.

Basic building blocks of FUOTA (Firmware Update Over-The-Air) feature, namely multicast setup, fragmentation, and application-layer clock synchronization specifications, are now published. These specs can be freely downloaded from Resource Hub. Collection of these specs enable efficient, reliable, and secure distribution of large (kilobytes of) files to a group of end-devices over LoRaWAN networks.

Another noteworthy development was the initiation of DLMS and Wireless M-Bus application stack adaptation work. Much like what we did for Zigbee Cluster Library, profiling and compressing these popular app-stacks to be used over LoRaWAN brings the benefit of both the app and connectivity ecosystems together. The next app-stack we are eyeing is the OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) which connects EV (Electric Vehicle) chargers to the cloud.

One of the challenges of IoT is the device lifecycle management, with its most basic need: introducing a new device to the provisioning system by its identifiers and attributes. Performing that operation in a reliable, secure, and scalable way is more challenging than it appears. In order to streamline that process, the Technical Committee is embarking on defining a QR code format that any device manufacturer can safely use against any provisioning system.

Regional Parameters TG continued expanding its coverage by introducing new countries in the Middle East and Africa.

Also a change in leadership: Nicolas Sornin, who has been co-chairing the Technical Committee since its inception has stepped down, and is now replaced by Thorsten Kramp. The Technical Committee is grateful to the valuable contributions and leadership of Nicolas, and now welcomes Thorsten, another co-author of the original LoRaWAN specification, to his new role.

It was a pleasure delivering an introductory talk on LoRaWAN security, addressing how we use strong cryptography to protect LoRaWAN networks against unauthorized use, spoofing, alterations of in-flight frames, and snooping.

As always, we in Actility were very active across the board contributing to all aspects of the Alliance, including sponsoring the event and hosting a fun night playing bowling.

Our booth was packed with several demos, including ThingPark Enterprise, ThingPark Exchange, ThingPark Location, and Abeeway Trackers. We showcased public and private LoRaWAN networks, collaborating with each other through a peering hub, and enabling tracking apps.

It was a very productive meeting, thanks to our hosts and participants from Japan and the region. The next stop for a LoRa Alliance Members Meeting will be right across the Pacific, in San Diego, during the first week of February. I am looking forward to meeting our ever-expanding LoRaWAN family in sunny California.

by Alper YEGIN, Actility’s director of standards and advanced technology development and also vice chairman of the LoRa Alliance.

Ms Moore: The LoRa Alliance’s New CEO Shares Her Vision

The Actility Blog

Ms Moore: The LoRa Alliance’s New CEO Shares Her Vision

Donna Moore is CEO and chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance since March 2018.

Actility: As you’re joining the Alliance, where does it stand? How do you see its achievements so far?

Donna Moore: Let’s start with a warm thank you: Actility has been a very strong presence within the Alliance!

To answer your question, I’m so excited to take this role and be in a position to work with the board and members. If you look at the lifecycle of alliances, the LoRa Alliance is far ahead: it has reached 500 members within only three years and has so many real-world use cases and implementations! Now, we’re at a point where end users are achieving ROI, cost savings, and operational efficiencies. It’s phenomenal to see all of this happening so quickly. A lot of this has to do with the diverse ecosystem within the Alliance and its size.  

“If you look at the history of IoT, it’s very complex to implement true Internet of Things where all devices are connecting and sharing data and ability to create meaningful change.”

Each member brings something very specific to the ecosystem, and implementations are taking place all over the world. That’s really unheard of!

Actility: How do you assess the LoRaWAN footprint today? Are cultural differences impacting adoption and implementation?

Donna Moore: We are a global alliance that focuses on understanding regional differences.

“What differs from one region to another, for example, are government agencies and implementations.”

As a matter of fact, I get emails every day from members all around the world telling me about their new implementations and new verticals. We do have regional vice presidents that report to the board and deal with regional government agencies to oversee implementations. As we move forward, our priority is both to support LoRa Alliance members as a whole on a global basis, but also regionally. We’re seeing a lot of regional requests for support from the LoRa Alliance for regional engagement, but it’s everywhere: Asia, Europe, North America, and most recently South Africa, Oman in the Middle-East… it’s really worldwide!

Actility: What is your strategic direction for the Alliance?

Donna Moore: I want to continue building on this exceptional momentum! We want to stay open to other verticals as well as to the needs of the market. The board is working on a strategic roadmap for the Alliance as well as a technical roadmap. As an Alliance, our top three areas of focus are:

Prioritization: there’s so much going on at the moment in the Alliance, so the board is very keen to prioritize and execute;

Strategic alliances: no single organization can capture the IoT market, it really is about partnerships and ecosystem development. For IoT to succeed, these partnerships are needed to create, develop and expand the market.

Certification: Based on my strong certification background with the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA), I know that it is key to ensuring interoperability, particularly as devices scale to the billions. As LoRa Alliance members see their devices enter the market, we need to have a strong certification program to ensure devices are manufactured to the LoRaWAN specification.

“What I love about IoT is that it works globally and truly does require collaboration with many partners. That’s one of the key reasons why the LoRa Alliance has been so successful so quickly.” 

Actility: Talking about the DLNA, what are the key takeaways you bring from the DLNA Alliance on the lifecycle and challenges of alliances?

Donna Moore: DLNA was the first IoT group to achieve success. It started in 2003 and has now over 4 billion devices in the market. The alliance achieved its goals in terms of developing the specification, and even today its certification program is still running through a third-party.

“I bring to the LoRa Alliance the experience of successfully leading an alliance through its full lifecycle and achieving worldwide market adoption in the IoT, backed by a solid certification program.”

Actility: What do you think of the multiple certification layers (LoRa Alliance, MNO, technology provider…) today available for the LoRaWAN technology?

Donna Moore: Well, there are a lot of layers of certifications and it can be confusing for device and sensor developers. My personal experience is that when you have several layers to go through, it can be complicated, expensive and time-consuming. My goal is to look for a way to make the LoRa Alliance the single body that meets all the needs of this ecosystem.

“Because LoRaWAN sensors are inexpensive and developers are often startups or mid-market companies, they struggle to pay for extensive certification. We are currently evaluating our certification program to find the right balance of testing, pricing, and outcome.”

Actility: You’re the first female leader of the Alliance, how you see diversity and female representation in tech evolving?

Donna Moore: First of all, it’s an honor to be the first CEO and chairwoman! Fundamentally, my nomination means that the Alliance understands the importance of diversity, which encompasses experience, education, leadership, problem-solving… Because of my background, I bring another viewpoint in IoT to the LoRa Alliance.  

“I’m able to put myself in the shoes of the end-user and think about the alliance and technology from a business perspective, which helps to understand what it means when it’s implemented in the real world.”

To take a concrete example, in the DLNA everything was technically complex. DLNA was primarily for home networks. In its early stage, you had to be a technical person to understand this technology. The role of diversity, in this case, was to help make things easier for consumers at home who were not necessarily early adopters. Now the good thing about LoRaWAN is that it is so easy to understand, this is a big part of why this technology is being adopted so quickly! An end user doesn’t have to be an expert to understand how to get all of the devices to work together and communicate, they’re able to simply experience the value.

Actility: It’s great to see how positive you are about LoRaWAN and the Alliance! What do you say to people who argue that IoT market is not taking up as fast as it should? How do you reassure the Alliance members about business expectations? Why do so many users start to pilots?

Donna Moore: Everything you just mentioned is right. If we look at the IoT when it first came on the radar, everyone was very excited, there was a lot of hype, but after a few years, the industry started to wonder about the ROI, the ecosystem wonders why adoption isn’t picking up as fast as they expected…. It’s absolutely normal at this stage of its development. The reality is that within the LoRa Alliance, there are a lot of implementations taking place, with a lot of activity taking place outside of the limelight.  

“This is how you get to the next stage, which is the hockey stick: large companies start rolling out and you begin to see massive adoption.”

Take Comcast’s Machine Q announcing a major roll-out in 30 cities in the US. What you have to remember is that our current phase is all part of the technology life cycle. The LoRa Alliance is in a strong position and our members will soon reap the benefits of broad market adoption and scale far beyond the uses cases that have been demonstrated to date.

NNNco reaches out to 30km range with LoRa network

NNNCa National Narrowband Network Co logo

The Actility Newsroom

NNNco reaches out to 30km range with LoRa network

Actility partner pushing the capabilities of LoRa to the max

Actility would like to congratulate our partner NNNCo in quite literally “going the extra mile” with LoRa. 30km range clearly demonstrates the promise of LoRA to cover a huge footprint with a low cost and easy to roll out network. And with their innovative multicast solution on trial in built up areas we’re pleased to be supporting NNNCo in their quest to create new possibilities with LoRa, and great new services for their customers.

Actility & Abeeway on track to connect runners thanks to LoRa technology

The Actility Newsroom

Actility and Abeeway on track to connect runners thanks to LoRa technology

Paris, 23 September 2016: On Sunday, thousands of runners will take part in the famous Paris-Versailles race, a 16 km long trail starting at the Eiffel Tower and finishing at the Versailles Palace. Among them, a group of pioneer connected athletes will be tracked and their vital signs monitored along the way thanks to LoRaWAN technology. 

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) and Abeeway, specialist in geolocalisation have joined forces to connect the race using innovative trackers, advanced mobile LoRa gateways, and prototype LoRa-connected sports watches.

A team of 15 Actility runners will carry an Abeeway tracker with them which is able to detect where each runner is at each given moment on the course, which runs along the banks of the Seine in Paris and then through dense suburbs to Versailles. The progress of the race can be followed on this website: https://iot.abeeway.com/paris-versailles/ created by Abeeway. The coverage and LoRa network are provided by Actility. The LoRaWAN low power wide area network, technology makes tracking runners possible by allowing the tracker, which is no bigger than a car key, to pass data to the gateway over a long distance while still consuming very low power.

“LoRaWAN technology is nowadays used for a large number of services in the city, optimizing day-to-day functioning of companies, governments and citizens”, said Olivier Hersent, founder and CTO of Actility. “Tracking of objects is one of the most used services in industries and public spaces such as airports and ports. But of course, it also comes in handy for more entertaining activities like sporting events”!

“The Abeeway micro-tracker is an ideal product for tracking applications that require low consumption and unlimited messaging. The application allows us to follow the whereabouts of these trackers with great precision throughout the whole Paris-Versailles race. We are delighted to collaborate with our partner Actility on this project”, added Florian Sforza, CEO of Abeeway.

To follow Actility’s results, please go to https://iot.abeeway.com/paris-versailles/ this Sunday 25 September from 10h00.

Actility ThingPark and Digita will take IoT to new heights with a national LoRa network for Finland

Digita logo

The Actility Newsroom

Actility ThingPark and Digita will take IoT to new heights with a national LoRa network for Finland

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), and Digita, the Finnish broadcast network operator, are teaming up to take the next step towards a fully-connected Finland by rolling out a LoRa network. Following the completion of a successful trial period of several months, the companies have seen that the market is ready for a full-scale commercial deployment. The service is available for local implementation everywhere in Finland from October 2016. Rollout for full area coverage starts from major cities. 

This is the first commercial LoRa network for IoT to be deployed in Finland. The deployment also emphasizes the opportunity that LoRa brings for companies like Digita, which is not a traditional cellular operator, to leverage the tall radio and television masts of their broadcast network to become key players in the Internet of Things.

The LoRa network will enable services across a wide variety of domains, including smart cities, smart agriculture and logistics. Exploring the benefits for smart homes, during the trial period, Digita and partner VVO Group evaluated a solution using Actility’s platform, which monitored temperature and humidity in 200 of VVO Group’s properties in the city of Espoo. 

“Maintaining healthy living conditions is easy when the factors that affect residents’ comfort can be recognised in real time,” explains Kimmo Rintala, head of VVO Group’s property development unit. “Continuous measuring also enables us to detect obvious apartment-specific faults even before the residents themselves have time to react. Digita’s solution eliminates the need for property-specific installations, as it is based on sensors within apartments that are able to communicate directly with Digita’s system.”

The LoRa core network service is delivered through Actility’s ThingPark Wireless solution, a fully integrated platform for the Internet of Things. Making use of Digita’s broadcast masts means that the technology can be deployed at very high points overlooking the city and be exploited to its full range. 15 of Digita’s 38 main masts are over 300 meters high.

”Finland is an innovative country, with a real hunger for new technologies. The IoT provides fantastic new opportunities to create compelling services for citizens and government. The increased area that can be reached quickly by implementing LoRa technology on broadcast masts, ensures even better coverage and reduces the required number of gateways. With our partners at Digita, we expect to be able to beat the current LoRa range record of 15km,” declares Olivier Hersent, CTO of Actility.
“We believe that IoT technology will revolutionise our daily lives. It can be used, for example, to monitor building conditions, save energy, prevent water damage, prevent theft, locate objects, locate pets, optimize farming and monitor health. In theory, there is no limit to the kinds of applications that are possible,” explains Digita’s COO Markus Ala-Hautala.