Paris, Friday, September 18, 2015
In addition to its cell networks, Orange has chosen to invest in a new Low Power Wide Area1 (LPWA) network, a narrow-band technology which guarantees connectivity at a reduced energy consumption rate and at a lower cost. Orange has chosen to rely on LoRa (Long Range) technology to deploy this network that will cover the whole of metropolitan France.
A part of its Essentials2020 strategy, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a focus area for Orange, which plans to generate 600 million euros in revenue by 2018. After nearly a decade of experience as an operator in machine-to-machine (M2M) communications with its 2G/3G/4G networks, Orange is now broadening its connectivity offer and preparing for the future of the IoT. With this network based on LoRa technology, it is especially useful for connecting sensors in Smart Cities. Orange is also continuing the work on the standardisation of future cell networks (2G/4G)2 for the IoT, which will be operational in 2017 and for 5G by 2022.
Stéphane Richard, Chief Executive Officer of Orange, said: "The development of the Internet of Things is expected to surge in the coming years. By 2020, we believe that there will be more than 25 billion objects connected in the world. “As a part of our new strategic plan Essentials2020, Orange has an ambition to become the number one operator for the Internet of Things. To answer all the needs, we decided, as a supplement to the cellular networks, to deploy a national network dedicated to objects that need narrow-band connectivity, and also to low energy consumption. This network, based on the technology LoRa, will gradually open from the first quarter of 2016.
“Beyond connectivity, Orange is also involved in the distribution of connected objects, in the aggregation and data processing stemming from these objects as well as proposing value-added services in the field of health and well-being, the connected home and Smart Cities."
The LoRa network will be operational from the first quarter of 2016 and progressively deployed nationwide. It will be used to transport communications from objects' for Orange, its mass market and business customers. Orange has tested the LoRa technology by carrying out a large scale trial in Grenoble, involving more than 30 partners.
The objects have different connection requirements, which depend on the speeds, criticality and frequency of the information communicated. In order to ensure the development of these uses, Orange has chosen to invest in a range of solutions, to become an operator of the IoT, whatever the objects' needs and whatever the technology used.
Beyond connectivity, Orange will supply its mass market and business customers with services and platforms that are compatible and interoperable with these different networks dedicated to connected objects.
1 These networks carry exchanges between small connected objects, that are not plugged in, which require a low connection cost and for sporadic, non-critical communications.
2 2G EC-GSM (extended coverage GSM) standard / 4G: cat 0 LTE and PSM (Power Saving Mode).
Tests under real conditions in Grenoble
Since May 2015, Orange has been experimenting with a network based on LoRa technology in Grenoble, in partnership with more than 30 businesses. This trial, which was carried out under real conditions, was used to test the network's main uses (collecting information from sensors, controlling objects, regularly locating objects, etc.). Orange validated the interoperability of certain sensor suppliers with its network and its platform, which manages the data from these objects.
Orange has now gathered feedback from the businesses involved in order to improve the quality of service.