“What is your favourite IoT use case?”
It was a question posed to an industry panel at IoT Solutions World Congress 2019 in Barcelona a few weeks ago, and the small panel was comprising luminaries from the likes of Sprint, Ericsson, the LoRa Alliance, and the Zigbee Alliance.
Their answers were quite interesting and different, from lightbulbs to drones, from traffics to hospitals.
And if you throw the question to Donna Moore, CEO and Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance, as I do at LoRaWAN live in New Delhi, you may get such an answer. "THERE is no such 'A' use-case."
"Once you have a LoRaWAN network to deploy, you start with a use-case, then you just need to keep adding them on the same network without additional cost." She said. As a CEO and Chairwoman of the fastest growing technology alliance and a non-profit association of more than 500 member companies, she sees the alliance the way as an ecosystem, and she represents everyone from those doing the silicon to those making the sensors, to network operators, deployments operators, and people running the application layer. "It's about all the use-cases working together."
“I feel so honored to be leading this organization.” And she describes it as one of the biggest transformations of our era.
Yes, we're now a part of the greatest digital transformation, new digital technologies spearheaded by IoT, AI, and 5G, are rising and as the tools of the digital change, they promote production and integrate every data from our lives to pron up a completely new digital society.
And that's why they're the advanced technologies.
Not those studying topics in academia, but about the deployment of the product, about use cases in reality. Thus coming in two dimensions: building and driving the standards and then shifting those standards to products; doing development to a company, to complement the standards, and then those products should make our life and world better.
This is how Alper Yegin, Vice Chairman of LoRa Alliance and Director of Standards and Advanced Technology Development of Actility, defines the advanced technology in an interview with C114 at LoRaWAN live in New Delhi.
And he gives me an example--ADR (Adaptive Data Rate), a mechanism for optimizing data rates, airtime and energy consumption in the network. And with the help of less airtime and power cost, not the energy consumption could be beneficial, but also the spectrum optimizing. “It's one of the advanced features of LoRaWAN technology.”
In fact, the optimization of these parameters in the network dynamically and intelligently is the key to reduce the TCO of end devices.
All the tech solutions have to fit the real problems in the business world, “Every network vendor implements ADR in its own way, the algorithm gets better through wider usage.” The mass amounts of the use cases will evolve the productions.
And what are the current needs for IoT? The answer would be price, coverage, and lower power consumption. Given the fact that we're really at the very beginning of deployment stages now, though some countries walk faster especially in the 5G area, like China and South Korea, the answer reminds us to be careful in the deployment of IoT devices.
Because the IoT devices need to be in there for the next 15 years to 20 years facing the challenges including the coverage, located in hard-to-access environments such as building basements or within meter access hatches, update by OTA, etc. What's more, they need to connect billions of physical devices around the world, Gartner predicts there will be 20.4 Billion IoT Devices by 2020, and the number will be over 64 billion by 2025 as Business Insider forecasts, the number would be a disaster.
“No one can get there if there is no guarantee that the technology would be there, the technology would serve their needs. So a company like Veolia (a French transnational company with activities in three main service and utility areas traditionally managed by public authorities) starts to put 3 million meters on LoRaWAN, it shows the tech is validated.”
Alper Yegin, Vice Chairman of LoRa Alliance and Director of Standards and Advanced Technology Development of Actility
LoRaWAN has established itself as one of the leading LPWA technologies in the past few years alongside SIGFOX, RPMA, and other cellular standards such as NB-IoT and LTE-M.
There are no low-level spells in the world, but an unwise wizard, I always said.
To take advantage of the benefits of the convergence of 5G and IoT, we need to consider multiple options we can make for different use cases, and only with the strategy of using multi-technology could meet each specific needs and lead us to optimize methods and performance, it is the only way to get a right complete end-to-end infrastructure in the right place.
The 5G is a long journey, so does IoT. In the very young market, LoRaWAN has found its right place to fit in, and behind it, the LoRa Alliance as an open and the biggest ecosystem in LWPA, the growth of its membership demonstrates that alliance's a healthy organization and its leadership in many regions across the world. “the more members we bring on, the more abilities we get for us to continue to scale, to offer more services and more choices.” Donna Moore said.
The advantages of LoRaWAN tech itself and the guarantee of the return of the investments make this all happened. “Here is the value,” she looked straight in my eyes, “and we're always moving our standards forward, always trying to collaborate with other technologies, like 5G and WiFi, so we can cover all the use-cases together.”
That's probably the future, she said.
Numerous media and telecoms promise us a beautiful scene of 5G future, but we won't get there unless IoT and 5G hand in hand together, they both play a crucial role by enabling the equipment and enterprises to connect all stages.
The LoRa Alliance is on the stage now, as well as the members.