The LoRa Alliance has launched an initiative to accelerate roaming across Europe with low power wide area networks (LPWAN) and around the world.
The Connect EU initiative supports and encourages collaboration among all LoRa Alliance members to use the LoRaWAN LPWAN technology across Europe. Multiple network operators have also deployed roaming-capable platforms for global connections as well as over satellite via a UK operator. Full LoRaWAN roaming is available in 27 countries around the world as well as via Lacuna Space which has IoT satellites in an equatorial orbit.
“As of the end of 2020, we have public and private LoRaWAN networks active in more than 160 countries around the world,” said Donna Moore, CEO and Chair of the LoRa Alliance. “We also know that true global coverage is most quickly accomplished by interconnecting networks and allowing devices to seamlessly move between them—especially for logistics and tracking applications. Many of the largest global brands have supported this approach by implementing LoRaWAN roaming across their networks, making LoRaWAN more accessible than ever before.”
An update to the TS002-1.1.0 LoRaWAN Backend Interfaces Technical Specification at the end of last year make roaming easier and add support of LoRaWAN geolocation features for roaming devices. LoRaWAN roaming covers both mobile and fixed assets of multi-national customers, whose devices leverage the radio coverage from roaming partners across multiple countries.
In addition to public-to-public network peering, LoRaWAN’s roaming capabilities also support public-to-private and private-to-private network peering. The LoRaWAN protocol also offers a unique feature, whereby a given device could be served simultaneously by several gateways that may belong to its home network and one or more visited networks. This allows several networks’ gateways to act as one, with unified coverage serving the device.
In addition to being able to access LoRaWAN roaming via agreements with network operators, LoRa Alliance members have launched roaming hubs that support multiple network interconnections. These hubs make it easier for network providers to connect to multiple vendors. Roaming is already accessible via satellite network provider Lacuna Space, allowing for integrated terrestrial and satellite networks, and providing coverage to remote areas.
LoRa chip supplier Semtech has added a gateway chip to its range that supports the fine timestamp capability that provides accurate time of arrival information for each demodulated message. The LoRa Core gateway chip enables the network-centric geolocation of LoRa devices without the need for the additional cost and power of GNSS positioning hardware at each IoT node. This helps accelerate the development of applications using the LoRaWAN LPWAN protocol says the company.