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Orange enhances internet of things strategy with additional services

Orange has beefed up its internet of things strategy and announced the deployment of a long-range network to support IoT projects in 17 urban areas in France

French comms services supplier Orange has made a number of enhancements to its internet of things (IoT) strategy, and announced a long-range (LoRa) network to support business IoT deployments across France.

It has also enhanced its Datavenue service – a platform launched in 2014 to gather, store, combine and secure data for service providers and manufacturers of connected objects – with more capabilities around big data and the IoT, opening it up to companies from new verticals including health, insurance, logistics and transport.

The enhanced platform now includes two additional offerings: Live Objects for IoT and Flexible Data for analytics.

Live Objects will allow platform users to select connected objects or sensors from a catalogue; choose a suitable connectivity option, such as mobile broadband, LoRa or Wi-Fi; process and store data generated; and integrate the data into their systems.

Flexible Data will provide a big data environment composed of data analysis apps in partnership with Splunk; predictive analytics in partnership with PredicSis; a private data-sharing space allowing users to buy third-party data and get the most out of their own; and a secure cloud infrastructure.

It will also offer a startup kit for LoRa based services, which will be available at first in Grenoble and two sites in Paris.

The LoRa IoT network, meanwhile, will be rolled out in Angers, Avignon, Bordeaux, Douai and Lens, Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Nantes, Nice, Paris, Rennes, Rousen, Toulon, Toulouse and Strasbourg, during the first quarter of 2016.

Ericsson on board for trials

Additionally, Orange is working with Ericsson to optimise and standardise future 2G/4G cellular networks to better support the IoT.

A joint trial, focusing on bringing coverage to hard-to-reach indoor environments, such as basements, to enhance the effectiveness of smart meters is set to take place in the next month.

The trial will exploit the 900MHz spectrum band in the hope of enhancing device reachability by up to 20dB, seven times further than the range of lower-rate applications.

The trial will also investigate the use of lower-cost, lower-complexity IoT devices with only one receive antenna instead of two, half-duplex frequency division duplexing (FDD) and power saving mode technology.

Ericsson, which has brought chipset manufacturer Sequans to the table for this part of the trial, said that simplifying the device architecture and reducing the need for duplex filters could cut the costs of IoT deployments by 60% in some cases.

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