The LoRa Alliance: Taking the 'O' out of IoT so it becomes just 'IT'

Martyn Warwick
By Martyn Warwick

Dec 3, 2018

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Jaap Groot, Vice Chair, Europe, LoRa Alliance

As Jaap Groot says, people are always confusing LoRa and LoRaWAN, so here's a quick explanation of the difference. LoRa is a well-established wireless communication technology, 'Long-Range Radio modulation' (or LoRa for short). It was developed to create the low-power, wide-area networks necessary for machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. Meanwhile, LoRaWAN, is a global specification created by the LoRa Alliance to drive a single standard for seamless interoperability across the industry. LoRa technology is particularly well-suited to applications in Smart Cities, Smart Homes and Buildings, Smart Environments, Smart Metering, Smart Agriculture, Smart Industrial and Retail and Logistics.

The LoRa Alliance is a rapidly growing technology alliance and a non-profit association of more than 500 member companies committed to enabling large scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) IoT through the development and promotion of the aforementioned LoRaWAN open standard.

The LoRa Alliance works in close collaboration with the WBA (Wireless Broadband Alliance) because the technologies the two bodies espouse and champion are remarkably complementary and together will address all IoT use cases. It is forecast that there will be 50 billion working IoT devices deployed within the next few years, and, as Jaap Groot points out, the 5G specification has a definition of "Critical IoT' that will be managed by cellular operators able to provide the high latency, throughput and security necessary to those "Critical " services. However, there are comparatively few of them and the vast majority of the 50 billion IoT devices will be simple, low cost and not always connected to a network. And that's where LoRa wins out and why it has a place in the coming 5G era.

Filmed at Wireless Global Congress, London 2018

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