● This low-bandwidth technology offers interoperability between connected objects, allowing users to deploy various things that they want to integrate into the network.
● LoRaWAN® has more than 180 operators worldwide, notably in the fields of CSR such as energy and water management, or in other applications such as geolocation.
LoRa offers interoperability between connected things, allowing users to deploy the various objects they want to integrate into the network.
“There are now virtually no sensors that are incompatible with the LoRaWAN® protocol,” explains Laurent Chivot, Innovation Project Manager at Orange. Providing low-bandwidth, low-consumption technology, the LoRa network is now a reference in France for the Internet of Things (IoT). This open standard offers interoperability between connected objects without requiring complex local installation, allowing operators to deploy different connected objects and integrate them into the network. These “smart” objects are equipped with a battery and are wirelessly connected to the network. They transmit a relatively low data flow (between 0.3 and 50 kb/s) through secure two-way communication.
“This technology can now rely on a strong and available ecosystem, making it sustainable.” For the specialist, the dynamic around this protocol is very positive: “We are exceeding double-digit growth, mainly because the competitive landscape has become simpler.” This clarifies the options for operators using this network. Regarding use, the challenges of vehicle connectivity and safety have boosted BtoBtoC integrations. “LoRaWAN® is being used by companies operating car theft deterrent boxes that were previously connected via GPRS. We are also seeing a growth in usage due to the explosion of new mobility, for example, bicycle trackers.”
These sensors can also be used in football stadiums to measure humidity and indicate when to water the pitch.
Technology at the service of ecology
The uses of the low-bandwidth network are increasingly driven by the need to address social and environmental responsibility (CSR) issues. “In France, we consider that nearly 15% of the volume of water is lost in public networks, which has a double impact: we lose resources and have to use energy to pump additional water. Today, sensors allow operators to detect these leaks by listening to the networks at the quietest times.” One of the most widespread uses of LoRaWAN® sensors is to measure the energy efficiency of buildings, which in turn provides new ways of controlling electricity, water and gas. “The tertiary decree, which requires an energy audit to be carried out, will make the use of these technologies more widespread,” notes Laurent Chivot. This text stipulates that the reduction in the final energy consumption of these buildings must reach at least 40% by 2030, then 50% and 60% by 2040 and 2050, respectively. LoRa is also being targeted in the agricultural sector, where farms are increasingly supervised through the use of weather sensors, which can predict when there is a risk of frost or give a very accurate idea of rainfall, among other things. “These sensors can also be used by football stadium operators to measure humidity levels and indicate exactly when to water the pitches, instead of automatically watering them at set times.”
For the uses of the city of tomorrow, which require better control of energy resources, LoRaWAN® is a relevant, sustainable and secure solution, for example, to control public lighting networks. “Companies have come up with the idea of controlling the lighting networks of large cities, based on data on the number of people visiting certain places. With respect for privacy, they can measure the flow of people from the presence of mobile phones connected to the Orange network.” For the expert, LoRa will continue to develop in infrastructure to meet the growing need for operational efficiency. “At SNCF, LoRaWAN® sensors provide information on the presence of water in technical installations such as escalators in stations, or on the state of fatigue of ventilation systems in car parks.” Combined with artificial intelligence algorithms, this data allows agents to perform predictive maintenance. This is a way of ensuring the comfort of users and the durability of equipment.