LoRa Lacuna

LoRaWAN Alliance beefs board of directors

Trade association for leading long-range wide area network technology adds key US comms service provider to ecosystem supporting extended IoT connectivity using satellites

The LoRa Alliance has announced that member company EchoStar Mobile has joined its board of directors to drive development of the LoRaWAN standard, in a move it said validates the strong market opportunity for the open wireless standard for internet of things (IoT), low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) in satellite IoT connectivity and adds the heft of a leading global service provider.

LoRaWAN has evolved into a leading standard for low-power wide area networking (LPWAN) connectivity via satellite, with alliance members increasingly offering options for what are intended to be cost-effective, satellite-based connectivity in response to market demand.

To date, LoRaWAN connectivity using satellite has proven its value across a wide range of applications, including metering, asset tracking, structural monitoring, utility and water distribution networks, precision agriculture, wilderness, remote and extreme sports safety trackers, off-grid tank delivery, remote asset monitoring, environmental and wildlife monitoring, and more.

Leading industry analysts said there is a growing expectation that LoRaWAN is poised to change the economics of satellite for the IoT, making a wide range of low data rate applications economically viable in areas where they are often not currently feasible. This includes asset tracking across borders, and many remote monitoring needs.

Currently, the LoRa Alliance has an ecosystem providing LoRaWAN via satellite or delivering services using them.

LoRa Alliance members active in this area include ActilityEchoStar MobileEutelsatHello Space Systems Teknoloji ASLacuna Space Ltd.Plan-S Satellite & Space Technologies IncSenetTelnet and Wyld Networks, as well as other members using LoRaWAN over satellites for connectivity.

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Donna Moore, CEO and chair of the LoRa Alliance, said: “Early on, the LoRa Alliance ecosystem recognised the significant opportunities for LoRaWAN connectivity using satellites. To support this market, we added long-range frequency hopping spread spectrum (LR-FHSS) to LoRaWAN, enabling numerous benefits including license-free connectivity that reduces costs, providing direct link to satellite which is ideal for hard-to-reach locations, along with low power requirements and increased network capacity.

“This allowed us to take the leadership position in the LPWAN space by enabling extended IoT connectivity with truly global reach, resulting in leading global telcos announcing deployments of satellite extensions for LoRaWAN and cellular IoT. I am very excited to have EchoStar Mobile’s Telemaco Melia join our board of directors; it is a strong move to ensure LoRaWAN continues to meet the needs of this high-growth market, and I look forward to EchoStar Mobile’s perspective and contributions to the leadership of the LoRa Alliance.”

Telemaco Melia, vice-president and general manager of EchoStar Mobile, said: “EchoStar Mobile’s commercial launch of a real-time LoRaWAN-based service in 2022 demonstrated commitment to our vision of providing standards-based satellite IoT services. Standards are known for reducing costs, and LoRaWAN is no exception.

“Lower-cost satellite transceivers and service combined with a single network technology stack enables all IoT devices, whether connected via satellite or terrestrially, to take advantage of LoRaWAN to deliver better return on investment and address unmet demand.

“Our wide-area satellite coverage has created market opportunities for LoRa Alliance members to deploy their solutions in remote and low-density areas previously uneconomic to serve with terrestrial LoRaWAN infrastructure,” he said. “We are honoured to join the LoRa Alliance board of directors to continue to advance the success of LoRaWAN in satellite-based IoT.”

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