Thanks to its numerous strengths, LoRa will maintain its position alongside competing technologies for years to come. Etteplan has been involved in developing LoRa since day one and knows the technology inside and out.
LoRa is a radio technology designed in particular for data transfer in the Internet of Things (IoT). LoRa is best suited for data transfer that involves simple “things” and small volumes of data such as individual measurement results from thermometers or electricity meters.
“If you compare LoRa to competing technologies, it is open, reliable and cheap to use,” says Etteplan’s Technology Director, Jaakko Ala-Paavola. “LoRa is a low-power, long-range platform. It also offers strong data security thanks to many of its other features.”
LoRa is also reliable due to its long life cycle. The ecosystem surrounding the technology includes so many different parties that LoRa will, undoubtedly, continue to be available also in the future. Finland is a leading LoRa country, especially because of the nationwide public network in place in there.
Private networks and smart metering of water meters
LoRa is unique, for instance, because it freely enables the creation of private networks as well. This is a major benefit that guarantees LoRa’s position at the top of private network /technologies, also going forward. There is a demand for private networks, especially in industry. A typical application would be a factory or other building complex where a private network serving the IoT can easily be built using data terminals. Additionally, LoRa is ideal for serving the ever-more-popular building automation, which makes for more efficient and smarter buildings.
Currently, the hottest LoRa application is the smart metering of water meters, which was not possible earlier as it is rare for a power supply to be located adjacent to a water meter, to power a remote metering device.
Water meters are the perfect example of LoRa at its best. The application does not require a continuous flow of bits, just individual meter readings now and then. The low-power device operates with an in-built battery for twelve years while the statutory interval for renewing water meters is ten years.
“In addition, the application can be installed in the meter very cheaply: it increases the manufacturing costs of the water meter by a measly five euros,” Ala-Paavola points out. “For Etteplan, water meters are currently the most important application in public network solutions.”
Experienced LoRa specialist
Etteplan has been closely involved in the development of LoRa since the technology’s early days. The company’s commitment to developing the technology is illustrated by its LoRa Alliance membership. The LoRa Alliance is a non-profit organization, whose more than 500 member companies are on a mission to promote the LoRaWAN network and the LoRa application to achieve a better IoT and a smarter world.
Etteplan is a Contributor member of the LoRa Alliance and it has the world’s first Alliance-certified test laboratory. Also, the first-ever LoRa Alliance-certified product in the world was tested at Etteplan’s lab. Etteplan’s LoRa expertise guarantees the company a place among Finland’s top service providers. The company knows the technology like the back of its hand, after all, it was involved in defining, through the LoRa Alliance, what the technology means in practice. This expertise is supported by Etteplan’s strengths in radio technology and antenna design, and by its world-class test laboratory.
“We have plenty of references,” adds Ala-Paavola. “We have been involved in many projects both as the main engineer and in the role of integrator, where, for example, a ready-made commercial device has been integrated into a system designed for the customer.”