WiFi & LoRaWAN® combination to achieve greatness: explained by the latest LoRa Alliance white paper

During the past month of November, the LoRa Alliance brought out a new White Paper on Wi-Fi & LoRaWAN® Trials, summing up use cases across regions which combine these two technologies, to shed light on the great amount of disruptive use cases both Wi-Fi and LoRaWAN® connectivity have allowed to develop during the past years, giving new ideas to existing market players who have deployed these technologies, and also to inspire Network Operators, Enterprises or Communities, who have deployed either Wi-Fi or LoRaWAN® networks, to consider extending their offerings by deploying other complementary technology.

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Until not long ago, the options for radio connectivity where scarce and focused mainly on cellular connectivity, Wi-Fi, or customized networks. It hasn’t been until recently that companies have been able to take advantage of licensed and license-exempt spectrums to include cellular IoT, private LTE, private 5G, Wi-fi and Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) IoT networks such as LoRaWAN®, being Wi-Fi and LoRaWAN® the most used technologies in these fields.Getting to choose the correct multi-radio strategy is becoming more important each time to succeed in a connected world and selecting the wrong coverage can have fatal effects on the company’s strategy, as it can increase costs and deteriorate security. Luckily, both Wi-Fi and LoRaWAN® are growing at a fast pace and are enabling innovative business models which support a vast array of use cases in the fields of Smart CitiesSmart VenuesSmart Transportation and Smart Homes, such as metering, predictive solutions, asset tracking and monitoring, among others. This gives the development of the Wi-Fi & LoRaWAN® Trials white paper an even more impactful meaning, as the combined work of 11 different global companies, from both Alliances and from all regions, these being Boingo Wireless, Charter Communications, Cisco, Kerlink, Lacuna Space, Nesten, Simplycity, Skyhook, Semtech Actility and Abeeway, gives an even more vast intake on these technologies and offers meaningful and insightful content for readers to really get to understand the power these technologies can have when applied to growing companies.Actility has taken part in the sharing of these use cases by explaining in–depth The Indoor & Outdoor Asset Tracking for Automotive Industry. This solution was created in collaboration with VolvoHERE Technologies and Abeeway to help track valuable assets at the Volvo Trucks factory in France. At this plant, hundreds of racks are used to carry engines along the production chain, which are spread over 25.000 sq. meters. These racks can easily get lost, generating blocks in the entire production chain, creating the need for a connected tracking solution.This problem was solved by covering this wide space through the combination of Wi-Fi fingerprinting technology and an industrial grade LoRaWAN network. The solution worked by allowing Abeeway’s low power consumption Industrial Trackers to collect Wi-Fi AP information – after covering the 25.000 sq of the plant with 60 Wi-Fi Aps – and relaying the measurements over LoRaWAN® technology, due to Actility’s ThingPark, for accurate positioning determined by HERE. ThingPark optimized LoRaWAN® controller, leverages macro-diversity to provide reliable communication through-out the factory with few gateways and BLE beacons on the Abeeway trackers complement the location infrastructure at strategic, hard to–get–to areas and even through the hardest conditions, like when the racks go through the painting process at more than 70°C.The solution managed to optimize the rapid roll throughout the production process, while giving accurate indoor location in a 35,000 sq. m. facility and standing the harsh conditions created at some of the production line points.This is only one of the many use cases addressed on this white paper, and just one more example of why Wi-Fi & LoRaWAN® are two of the most adopted license-exempt technologies. Together they address a large proportion of IoT use cases with their approach for disrupting private-public business models and enabling participation in 5G success.

About ActilityActility is a world leader in Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark™ platform and network technology to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. The vast majority of nationwide LoRaWAN® network service providers (over 50) and hundreds of companies trust ThingPark™ all over the world. Through its subsidiary Abeeway, Actility also provides patented ultra-low power tracking solutions. ThingPark Market offers the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and applications to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.

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