Roaming, which enables IoT devices to communicate through multiple operator LPWA networks, is now a reality thanks to the LoRa Alliance™. The LoRa Alliance, the global association of over 400 companies backing the LoRaWAN™ standard for Low Power Wide Area IoT networks, is delighted to announce widespread support from operators and network software vendors for the capability, which is being showcased by Alliance members at Mobile World Congress.
Passive roaming offers extended coverage for specific use cases by leveraging collaboration between multiple networks, and provides increased capacity and extended device battery life in areas where there are overlapping multiple networks. It enables LoRaWAN Service Providers to better manage capacity and optimise?their coverage. The technology depends on common standards both for network management and interconnections, and the LoRa Alliance has taken the leading role in establishing those standards.
“The foundation of the Alliance is based on collaboration and with our diverse member ecosystem from the end devices to the services offered we have a complete insight into IoT use cases,” said Geoff Mulligan, chairman of the LoRa Alliance. “This insight enables the LoRaWAN specification to reflect and focus on what functionality and features are key in the real world. Adding roaming demonstrates the power of this collaboration in action and ensures that LoRaWAN can offer global coverage.”
“As one of the founders of the LoRa Alliance, we strongly believe that the aim of the Alliance is to bring together the strength of its members, especially among operators, to spread LoRaWAN coverage across the world. Roaming is key for Objenious customers to fully benefit from LPWA network capabilities across all their locations and business,” said Stephane Allaire, Objenious CEO.
Jasper Snijder, KPN’s executive vice president for new business, added, “Internet of Things doesn’t stop at national borders. For many use cases, for instance asset tracking, it is important for our customers that ‘things’ remain connected across the globe. As the first operator in the world with a nationwide LoRaWAN network, we are delighted that soon we are going to be able to offer our customers multi-national LoRaWAN connectivity and coverage.”
“Orbiwise has always been among the first to support the new LoRaWAN features introduced by the Alliance,” Peter Thomsen, CTO of Orbiwise, said. “Roaming is a major step forward of the standard; we are strongly committed to include it in our commercial releases in the coming months and work with all the companies in the LoRa Alliance ecosystem to ensure robust interoperability.”
“LoRaWAN defines a communication model in which end-device roaming between operators is available to all devices. This unique feature separates LoRaWAN from other IoT communication technologies by allowing end-device manufacturers and solution providers to confidently create applications that can operate across diverse regions, with different network operators, and even between public and private networks,” said Dave Kjendal, CTO and vice president of engineering at Senet. “This is but one example of how the openness of the LoRa Alliance is nurturing an ever-growing ecosystem of technology and solution providers, making it a key enabler of use cases that could otherwise not be achieved. Senet is committed to providing this capability alongside other LoRaWAN operators to drive the momentum of IoT deployments around the globe.”
Tracy Hopkins, CCO of Everynet Ltd, said, “Like many operators and LoRaWAN network providers Everynet supports roaming between its own networks. This crucial additional capability will ensure that all devices will be able to be connected irrespective of where they may roam. This is one of the key priorities for our global network customers along with FOTA and geo-location. The collaboration between members of the Alliance and the open standard that they drive will ensure that many of the vertical use cases for low-cost LPWA IoT will not be limited by lack of coverage — and this will drive real global scale.”
“As a founding member of the Alliance and member of the Board of Directors, Proximus has always been highly involved in the Alliance’s activities to promote the LoRaWAN protocol. Now that LoRa technology has been deployed by major mobile network operators, roaming is the next big step to answer the IoT customers’ needs across the borders. I am confident that thanks to the Alliance, the processes will soon be defined and standardised to make of roaming a reality,” commented Geert Standaert, chief technology officer of Proximus.
“We’re delighted to see widespread support for passive roaming amongst the operator community and the Alliance membership more widely,” says Actility founder and CTO Olivier Hersent. “We know that end customers will find this capability very valuable in enabling new use cases and supporting innovative business models. With Actility software powering around half of all large-scale LoRaWAN network deployments, implementing the standards defined by the Alliance has been a key priority for us, which is why we are able to demonstrate this implementation.”
Roaming also enables devices to connect to different LPWA networks depending on the local coverage, and enables use cases in which assets need to be monitored and tracked as they move between countries, such as baggage monitoring or parcel/shipment tracking.