MWC 2019 – LoRa Alliance: interview with CEO, Donna Moore

LoRaWAN was named by multiple sources as the de facto LPWAN standard, the millions of devices we now have on the market, the global footprint …

Donna Moore, CEO of the LoRa Alliance
At Mobile World Congress 2019, we had the opportunity to interview Donna Moore, CEO & Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance accompanied by Marc Pegulu, VP IoT Product Marketing & Strategy at Semtech, to discuss the latest developments of the Alliance and the LoRa technology.

Interview conducted by Manuel Nau, Managing and Editorial Director at IoT Business News.

IoT Business News: Can you share with our readers some of the key achievements of the LoRa Alliance in 2018?

Donna Moore: Within the last year, some of the biggest changes have been that:

LoRaWAN was named by multiple sources as the de facto LPWAN standard, the millions of devices we now have on the market, the global footprint with over one hundred countries and one hundred network operators supporting LoRaWAN, and the fact that our deployments, in particular over the last six months, are at scale and growing massively. One of them is the Veolia and Orange project with 3 million water meters to be connected to Orange’s LoRa network in France. And there are very large projects in many countries. So we are just globally now and the numbers are escalating in terms of mass deployments. These are some of the key announcements of last year.

What is interesting with LoRaWAN recently is that a venture capital fund called Momenta Ventures has launched a 25 to 50M$ fund for LoRaWAN companies because they believe that LoRaWAN is really the LPWAN winner. And they believe they are going to see tremendous return on their investments. I have never seen this for an open standard before, having a private equity ready to fund small startup companies. The typical investment should be 500k$ per project and exclusive to LoRaWAN companies. This means they do believe in our technology.

We have features such as the firmware update over the air (FOTA) which is a big differentiator for us. It guarantees the sustainability of the devices out in the field. Specifications of the FOTA have been released 6 months ago and the implementations are available now.

LoRa Alliance booth at MWC2019IoTBN: What is the view of the Alliance on 5G vs LoRaWAN in IoT?

DM: It is really application dependent. 5G is high-bandwidth, low latency, primarily for emergency services or entertainment services in the connected car for example. But this is not our space. Ours is wireless applications requiring long battery-life, availability and flexibility of private and public networks, with the possibility to easily densify coverage in urban areas by just adding a few gateways. We have CAPEX or service models.

IoTBN: What is the split in terms of volumes between LoRaWAN devices connected to private vs public networks?

DM: The Veolia and Orange project is 3 million devices for example so we have large deployments coming on public networks. We have the leading operators supporting both LoRaWAN and cellular technologies to allow all the different use cases with IoT. We see massive roll outs in progress on both types of networks.

IoTBN: What about roaming across public networks. Is it available now or still in trial phase?

DM: We already have operators with roaming agreements in place like Objenious, KPN, Swisscom…so it’s real. The technology is available and the operators are negotiating the agreements now, driven by the needs of their customers for applications like logistics for example.

IoTBN: What is the strategy of the alliance to expand?

DM: We have a wide ecosystem going from chipset to system integrators with over 500 members representing all of these areas. Our developer ecosystem is very large, with companies like The Things Network and Actility and the innovation in terms of use cases and spreading is huge for LoRaWAN. But we also see the big companies like Google, IBM, Cisco opening the doors. And the innovation happening at their developers level is amazing. So we intend to continue our expansion in these areas.

LoRa Alliance ecosystem

In terms of marketing we are just launching a LoRaWAN showcase where our members can implement their certified devices into the showcase which is a kind of shopping place for customers to know where to find the devices they need.

We are also expanding our certification program which is designed to give full confidence in devices designed to be operating on the field for more than 10 years. In the program we are testing radio frequency as well as battery life for example. And we are launching this year a pre-certification tool allowing our members to pre-certify their devices on their own site. Then we have contracted with test houses all around the world so when they receive the pre-certified devices they only have to run a short test procedure. We then check the results at the Alliance and give the “LoRaWAN certified” logo. Usually the certification process takes a couple of days at the test house and with the pre-testing tool it will be even quicker, which also saves some money. The tool will be available mid-year. We are in the process of developing it right now. It will test compliance with the protocol as well as interoperability with different networks. This last part is the result of a focus group between operators where they have defined what they needed to guarantee interoperability. This is a huge step forward for us and for the market.

IoTBN: what are the regional dynamics in terms of LoRaWAN adoption?

DM: Asia and Europe are the strongest in terms of traction, but we are also seeing India where the government has just invested 150M$ in IoT development. The operators there are launching city wide LoRaWAN networks funded by the government.

Our footprint today comprises 101 operators worldwide and this number is increasing. 25% of those operators, claim they will keep LoRaWAN even when NB-IoT is ready, offering both solutions to their IoT customers. The reason for this is that they have benchmarked LoRaWAN against NB-IoT and for the use cases requiring extremely low-power, long range and deep indoor connectivity, LoRaWAN is the best. Therefore, LoRaWAN and NB-IoT are seen as complementary. An example is smart city applications: the utilities have meters located deep underground or behind concrete walls, but cellular cannot apply whereas LoRaWAN can. There are a lot of smart cities projects adopting LoRaWAN at the moment and therefore the coverage is extending quickly. There are also initiatives like the Fleet Space project which will offer a worldwide coverage through a combination of LoRaWAN and satellite. And when announcing their hybrid satellite-LoRa solution the company had 1 million sensors signed in less than 24 hours !

LoRaWAN coverage

MP: In terms of volumes, we have shipped (cumlulative since LoRa exists) a bit more than 80 million LoRa devices in total worldwide. Some of them are still using proprietary protocols on top of the LoRa physical layer, but there is a very strong adoption of the LoRaWAN protocol, and most of them should convert to LoRaWAN in the years to come.

IoTBN: what are the solutions available in terms of LoRa chipsets and what is the cost of a LoRa module today?

MP: Semtech is licensing the LoRa technology to other chipset vendors and module makers such as ST, Murata, Microchip…And now we are seeing LoRa modules below 5$ for a complete modem function.

IoTBN: is there any event planned this year to present the LoRa Alliance to the public?

DM: We have an event scheduled in Berlin on the week of June 11, with a few days reserved for the Alliance members and one day fully open to companies wishing to learn more about LoRa Alliance’ s ecosystem called LoRaWAN Live, this one-day event open to everyone will take place on June 13. It will be a huge event with speaker tracks, government officials, service provider tracks, live demonstrations. Everyone is welcome to join and enjoy this special day and see by themselves the unique possibilities offered by the LoRaWAN technology…


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T-Mobile and Sprint say merger is crucial for 5G

Sprint, the US subsidiary of Japan’s Softbank Group, and T-Mobile are waiting for US regulators to approve the 26 billion dollar deal. The companies …

The chief executives of T-Mobile and Sprint have defended their planned merger in a congressional hearing. The executives from America’s third and fourth-ranked wireless carriers said they need to work together to take on China.

Sprint, the US subsidiary of Japan’s Softbank Group, and T-Mobile are waiting for US regulators to approve the 26 billion dollar deal. The companies say it will help prevent China from dominating next generation 5G networks.

The executive chairman of Sprint, Marcelo Claure, said, “Sprint cannot do this alone and T-Mobile cannot do it either. We need each other in order to succeed. We cannot take lightly the fact that America needs to lead the world in 5G. China has made it a priority to win the 5G race. They are investing billions of dollars.”

The CEO of T-Mobile US, John Legere, said, “There are 3 million American jobs at stake with 5G leadership. If we don’t retain and take leadership in 5G as we did with 4G, we could lose those jobs.”

Officials in Washington have voiced concerns that using Chinese 5G equipment poses risks to security. But some in the government also worry that letting Sprint and T-Mobile merge could mean less competition and higher prices.

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Launceston and Hobart CBDs get first 5G but handsets still to come

PHONE UPGRADE: The new technology of 5G means customers will have to upgrade their phones to use the faster network. Here, LG Electronics …

He was commenting on the Deloitte report 5G:The new network arrives, which predicted the commercial launch of 5G this year, with up to 10,000 fixed wireless 5G services in operation by the end of 2019.

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5G Infrastructure Market Soaring at 95.8% CAGR to Reach $58174.6 million by 2025

… mobile edge computing, and fog computing. By chipset, the market is classified into application-specific integrated circuit, radio frequency integrated …

Portland, OR, March 12, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — According to this latest research study, the global 5G Infrastructure Market garnered $371.4 million in 2017 and is expected to register $58,174.6 million by 2025, growing at a healthy CAGR of 95.8% from 2018 to 2025.

The market growth is supplemented by the proliferation of M2M/IoT connections, and increase in demand for mobile broadband services. However, high investment and technological & infrastructure challenges in implementation of 5G network and privacy & security concerns are expected to impede the market growth. Furthermore, rise in government initiatives for building smart cities in Asia-Pacific is expected to provide lucrative opportunities for the market growth.

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5G technology in the healthcare industry vertical enables services such as remote patient monitoring, remote surgery, and others with the help of connected healthcare devices. For instance, in rural areas, it is not feasible for seasoned doctors located several miles away to reach the patients as it can be time-consuming. Although with the advent of telehealth and remote monitoring systems, patients can receive treatment from their homes. Doctors can recommend prescriptions and other information to patients with the help of video calls. This can save a significant amount of cost and time required in the conventional methods. In addition, with the use of 5G technology, transmission of large data files, communication in different languages, real-time remote monitoring, and others can provide lucrative growth opportunities for the 5G infrastructure market in the healthcare sector.

The 5G infrastructure market is segmented into communication infrastructure, network technology, chipset type, application, and region. Based on communication infrastructure, it is divided into small cell, macro cell, radio access network, and distributed antenna system. Based on network technology, it is categorized into software defined networking & network function virtualization, mobile edge computing, and fog computing. By chipset, the market is classified into application-specific integrated circuit, radio frequency integrated circuit, millimeter wave technology chips, and field-programmable gate array. Based on application, it is fragmented into automotive, energy & utilities, healthcare, retail, and others. Based on region, it is analyzed across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and LAMEA.

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The key players profiled in this report include AT&T, Ericsson, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Intel Corporation, Mediatek Inc., Nokia Corporation, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., and Verizon.

Related Reports:

Global 5G Technology Market Size Study, By Usability, By Technology, By and Regional Forecasts 2018-2025

5G Chipset Market By IC Type, Operational Frequency, Product and Industry Vertical: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2020 – 2026

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5G Wireless: Making the Reverse Logistics Connection

As new technologies pile up, consuming resources and delivering benefits of often questionable value, we consume more resources and the Earth is …

Editor’s note: Verizon sponsored this posting, asking Earth911 for a review of the sustainability impacts of 5G network technology that will be introduced to consumers and business this year. This article contains links to other websites. Earth911 is not responsible for the privacy policies of those other websites. When you click on a link, your information may be collected by those websites. Please read their privacy policies.

Sustainability is a problem of progress. As new technologies pile up, consuming resources and delivering benefits of often questionable value, we consume more resources and the Earth is taxed, sometimes to death. But technology has already reduced waste substantially and new faster wireless networks built on 5G promise to deliver greater efficiency, as well as support new approaches to recycling, logistics, circular economy business models, and the immediacy of experience shared around the globe.

5G, the next generation of wireless data network, provides speeds as high as 20-times today’s typical broadband networks. Because it is fast enough to respond to human activity in real-time, new forms of services, from remote monitoring of water use on farms to brain surgery conducted over thousands of miles, 5G represents an opportunity to rethink the organization of society to support sustainable approaches to human life.

Our challenge, as citizens, shoppers, and workers — including business owners, whose control of economic decisions has been amplified by fixed industrial technology — is to understand all the new components of technology and its social and environmental consequences. This writer has covered wireless technology since before new technologies were referred to as the Next G, or generation. 5G delivers a ubiquitous broadband network that can revolutionize the economy, bringing a circular vision of materials extracted from nature once to be reused as nutrients of future generations of products.

Here are four sustainability opportunities we see emerging with 5G technology:

Logistics Everywhere

It is difficult to keep in mind how much more information is available today than only 30 years ago. Humans can measure much of the world in detail, but analyzing all that data has remained a growing challenge. 5G’s 1 GBps+ bandwidth can transfer data from sensors to computer-assisted experts who will turn it into insights that can be used to improve the management of food, products, and waste.

Traditional ways of thinking about networks emphasize delivery of data rather than collection. But with the rise of the internet, people became more than recipients of broadcasts, they started sending their own information into the network. Connectivity has raised many privacy issues, but also delivered tools for improving life, preserving the environment, making better choices at the store, as well as our fitness and diets. Apps now interpret personal data to help keep us active, to track our caloric intake and burn rates. It may sound trivial, but it is what was possible with trickles of data.

5G will turn data sharing into an even greater torrent than today. With the rise of quantum computing, which will make quick work of analysis of massive amounts of information, 5G can be the link that turns data collection into action quickly. That will change our approach to anticipating demand and the relationship of customers values to business. Logistics systems such as Amazon, which currently fill our homes with boxes and wasted packaging, could become circular, with automated approaches to capturing waste and recycling or reusing it efficiently.

Circular local supply chains represent true progress toward a zero-carbon economy.

Work Without the Workplace

Back in the early days of cellular telephones, I happened to spend the afternoon with Craig McCaw, a founder of the wireless phone business. We were sitting with his executive team when McCaw pointed to the CEO and said that he did his best thinking when he was fishing; with a cell phone, he only needed to make a call to get that thinking.

But McCaw also pointed out the window at the city park below the office. “The guy cleaning the park will be able to take a call when his wife goes into labor and be with her for the birth, he said.” That vision has arrived, and more. The pace of growth in broadband capacity has changed the way people work repeatedly. Office sharing has replaced dedicated office space for many workers, and many corporations now provide remote work options for employees.

With 5G, work will be possible almost everywhere the network reaches. The technology supports up to one million connections within a kilometer, with high-speed transfer capability so that even a moving train, airplane, or drone can stay connected. All those connections represent places where humans will provide control and judgment, doing the work of our times.

Supply Chain Transparency and Accountability

All those new connections, including the ones we put in our homes, will provide new transparency in the economy, if we demand that insight into how the businesses operate. With millions of connections, including to individual packages and packaging used in consumer products, our mobile phones will have the ability to interrogate a product before buying to establish that it meets our environmental and social responsibility standards.

Imagine being able to see into the history of a product to see if it contains dangerous or unrecyclable ingredients or packaging. 5G can make that a reality, if we value transparency.

The World Bank is working to create databases and systems for establishing the provenance of a product, the basis for ecological accountability and, most importantly, transparency when deciding what to buy. 5G is essential to environmental accountability becoming a convenient and fast step in the buying process. Imagine being able to visit Amazon, Walmart, or a local shop with the ability to screen out all carbon-contributing or socially irresponsible products from your shopping list. We can manage CO2 emissions, sending feedback from customers to make clear that unsustainable products and practices will not be tolerated.

With transparency, people can take greater control of the economy.

Smart Packaging and Infrastructure

The recycling system depends on a fixed collection process and the success of consumers in separating their recyclable materials from true waste. However, we know that many materials can be profitably recycled if the cost of collection is kept low. 5G can support smart packaging that talks back to the producer to help streamline collection.

How? For example, a blue bin or even a wastebasket can be equipped with sensors that track the weight of collected material as well as what kind of materials are in the container. With that kind of insight at the “edge of the network,” where technology has exploded since 1990, it is possible to build collection routing for recycling pickups and route each material to the specialized recyclers.

A smart infrastructure in the city and rural communities, which can be connected at high speed to the 5G network efficiently, will create new combinations of services that create economic opportunity throughout the supply chain. Indeed, individuals with specialized knowledge ranging from how to compost to repair a broken mobile phone can be connected to customers more efficiently. This is not the old claim that the internet will let a fine guitar maker to sell a guitar to everyone in the world, but a chance to connect local workers to solve valuable problems.

Sustainability and progress will evolve together. 5G’s ability to connect billions of sensors and devices will give humanity new insights into the complex modern problems we face. 5G on its own is a tool, but combined with human creativity it is a potential silver bullet for sustainability challenges.

What Can You Do?

We encourage readers and companies to check out Verizon’s 5G Labs, where participants can receive up to $1 million in support for 5G-based solutions to major business, environmental, and social challenges. 5G phones will start to hit the market in the first half of this year.