Last week’s Mobile World Congress in Los Angeles was a whirlwind of tech innovation, statistics, and speeches by leaders in the field. The themes of this year’s installment in the series of conferences by GSMA revolved around 5G, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, and last but not least, Internet of Things.
As Senior Director of the LoRa®-based ecosystem at Semtech, I was fortunate to be in attendance at the conference and the exhibition. Below, are my key takeaways:
5G – Gaining Hype
All carriers and infrastructure suppliers were demonstrating many possible use cases for 5G, specifically how it will help to enable the consumer market through low latency and high throughput. While 5G for the Internet of Things (IoT) is not yet a reality, the chatter at recent conferences is that the arrival of 5G will mark the beginning of IoT connectivity as a commodity. Operators will have to move up the value chain toward other services and applications – areas where Cloud-players are well established.
Hot Topics from Semtech and the LoRa Alliance®'s Booth
IoT and the future of low power wide area networks (LPWANs) were all the buzz from a jam-packed weekend in Los Angeles. Here are some of the most common questions I heard over the duration of the conference:
What are the most successful use cases in which Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology (LoRa Technology) and LoRaWAN® are already deployed?
- LoRa Technology has been successfully integrated into a vast array of verticals from smart agriculture to asset tracking. However, some clear and easy examples of its successful implementation can be found in smart city applications and metering. In the smart city space, municipalities have turned to LoRa Technology and the LoRaWAN open protocol to more efficiently manage everything from street lighting schedules, to waste management and GPS-free geolocation services. For metering, utility companies are able to monitor utility usage in real-time to reduce operational costs and conserve natural resources.
Can you give an example of a customer who received a clear return on investment through working with LoRa Technology?
- A recent collaboration in which Apana, a company specializing in smart water management systems, deployed LoRa-based sensors running in 500 of Costco’s North American warehouses. The system resulted in a reduction of 20% in water waste and approximately 22% savings in water bills. Costco was able to get a deeper, minute-by-minute look into how much water was being used in their buildings, and the company has since rolled out the Apana solution globally. Read more about this remarkable use case here.
What is the current deployment status of LoRa®-based sensors globally?
- By 2019, Semtech estimates there will be over 80 million LoRa-enabled nodes and over 200,000 LoRa-based gateways in place around the world. Additionally, the number of LPWANs based on the LoRaWAN open protocol is expected to exceed 70 countries. These numbers indicate that LoRa Technology and LoRaWAN together represent one of the leading LPWAN solutions globally.
LoRaWAN™ Regulations and Networking
Semtech’s LoRa Technology and the LoRaWAN open protocol are well known ― people love and are fascinated by our product and the open protocol from the LoRa Alliance™, and it is obvious from their eagerness to get our latest developments and news. Also, the activities of the LoRa Alliance are well understood by the analysts we met at our booth every day last week. This indicates the LoRa Alliance’s communications efforts have been successful, and proves the strength of its over 500 members.
Lastly, I had the unique opportunity to connect with some of the top minds in IoT at the IoT Rockstar reception at the Grammy Museum – cohosted by Semtech and machineQ, Comcast’s next generation LoRaWAN-based IoT service. The event was a resounding success, and I had great time meeting many of my North American colleagues both from Semtech and machineQ. LoRa Technology is here now and is proving to be an IoT champion. The use cases are everywhere, and products are widely available – solving business problems today. 2019 looks set to be the next in many successful years to come for IoT’s Rockstar.
Are you ready to learn more about real world deployments of LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN protocol? Explore use cases on our website:
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