The global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), the LoRa Alliance, has announced that it experienced explosive growth in 2018, exceeding the 100 LoRaWAN network operators milestone globally at the end of December.
Wider availability of LoRaWAN networks makes it easier than ever to deploy IoT solutions leveraging existing infrastructure, allowing products and solutions to be offered and connected now.
More than 100 network operators have deployed and operate LoRaWAN networks, which are both public and private, significantly broadening the technology’s reach. This flexibility is a unique differentiator of LoRaWAN compared with other LPWAN technologies. In addition, the number of end-devices connected to LoRaWAN networks is reported to have tripled since the beginning of the year, which demonstrates significant acceleration of adoption compared with other technologies yet to achieve such an expansive footprint.
“Reaching this operator milestone is a major achievement for the LoRa Alliance,” said Donna Moore, CEO and Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “Only LoRaWAN has strong, established networks with broad coverage areas, while also offering the private network option. For companies looking to launch IoT products and solutions today, the LoRaWAN standard is the only viable solution. Features like firmware updates over the air and the fact that LoRaWAN is an open specification with a robust certification program ensure network and device interoperability. These benefits give confidence to the market that companies are future-proofed and can deploy solutions today with assurance they will work in the future.”
LoRaWAN networks are being actively deployed globally, with the Asia-Pacific and European regions showing the most growth, at 30% and 50%, respectively, throughout 2018. Regional specifications are established in all key regions with additional regions being added continuously. The total operator investment in LoRaWAN is significant on a global basis, offering compelling proof that network operators are making a long-term commitment to the LoRaWAN standard and supporting the market demand for IoT applications.
Among other, Ronan Le Bras, Head of Technical Strategy, Wireless Networks; Orange, commented: “Orange is pleased to see the growth of the LoRaWAN ecosystem and the adoption of this open and interoperable standard in all parts of the world. Orange selected LoRaWAN for its first network dedicated to the IoT in 2016 to address sensors and other affordable objects consuming little energy.
“The Orange LoRaWAN network covers over 30,000 municipalities and 95% of the population of Metropolitan France. In 2018, Orange Slovakia launched a service using LoRaWAN for Smart Cities use cases. And to support its international customers and French companies with needs outside of France, Orange Business Services launched on-premise LoRaWAN connectivity suitable for a range of applications especially in smart cities and industry, including energy and fluid management, on-site tracking, geo-fencing, waste control, environmental metering, lighting and parking monitoring.”