The Paris-based telecom giant Orange has decided to make use of the IoT wireless technology, LoRaWAN to connect smart cities deployments across France. The LoRaWAN is a media access control (MAC) protocol for a wide area of networks. It has been designed to allow low-powered devices to communicate with Internet-connected applications by making use of long range wireless connections.

Partnership Between Orange and Lora Alliance

LoRa Alliance is an open, non-profit association of members that believe that the Internet of Things era is right now. This alliance has been initiated by industry leaders that saw it as a mission to standardize Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN).

The LoRa Alliance has introduced the LPWAN, this is a specification intended for wireless battery operated things in a regional, national or global network. Ultimately, the LoraWAN specification targets key requirements of the IoT. This includes secure bidirectional communication, mobility and localization services. By making use of LoraWan there is no need for complex local installations. Moreover, it gives back the freedom to the user, developer, and businesses that enable the roll out of IoT.

Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunication operators with sales of 40 billion euros in 2015 and 155,000 employees worldwide. Only in France, the company employs around 96,000 employees. Orange is present in 28 countries and the group has a total customer base of 252 million customers worldwide. Having a partnership with Orange can be considered a big deal for LoRa alliance and it greats great initiatives.Geoff Mulligan, Chairman of the Alliance, commented on the partnership with Orange:

“Having Orange join the Alliance is a testament to the strong global ecosystem, with over 300 member companies, the Alliance has built in just the past year. We are excited that a leading global telecommunication operator like Orange, with a strong focus on open standardization bodies, is joining the LoRa Alliance to contribute their knowledge and drive the further adoption and evolution of this open standard.”

Internet of Things Networks Across France

Orange had announced back in September 2015, that the company wanted to build an IoT-enabled network across France. This IoT network should provide a foundation for a range of smart cities applications across the country. Before bringing the product to a national scale, the company ran a trial of the LoRaWAN protocol in Grenoble, France with more than 50 companies.

The trial has proven to be successful and now Orange is ready to bring the network to a national scale. Furthermore, this network will enable cities and companies to develop smart city applications and run them on the Orange network. With this development, cities and companies avoid having to build their own infrastructures. The mobile operator believes that the use of the LoRa IoT network will be more cost effective to connect low power sensor node than their existing cellular network. As said by Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Senior Executive Vice President for Innovation, Marketing, and Technologies at Orange:

“The development of the Internet of Things is expected to surge in the coming years. As a part of our new Essentials2020 strategic plan and the announcement of our France-wide LoRaWAN network, we have decided to take an active role in driving the success of the LoRa® Alliance. LoRaWANTM is complementary to our overall strategy for Internet of Things. LoRa Alliance and LoRaWAN meet customers feature expectations, our business model and have the largest LPWAN eco-system.”

Conclusion

The development of the LoRaWAN network across France will allow cities to start working on new smart city projects. Furthermore, this development will also be profitable for local and national governments as they won’t need to make any additional investments in building their own network. The partnership between Orange and LoRa Alliance is one that can bring along many possibilities for local governments and companies across France.