Two LoRaWAN companies have announced they have set their collective sights on bringing connectivity to India, tackling some of the country’s most pressing challenges – resource management and public safety and well-being, through better lit communities and cleaner, better managed water.
Nordic Automation Systems (NAS) tapped SenRa for access to the massive Indian market, as a local service provider given the LP-WAN networks SenRa has been rolling out over the last year.
NAS will combine their metering technology and applications with SenRa’s network services, leveraging experience building service networks in other parts of the world (with products distributed in over 25 countries).
Headquartered in Estonia, NAS started out a few years ago as a small company creating industrial tool sensors, but grew along with the Industrial Internet of Things, becoming a provider of vertical LoRaWAN™ solutions including end-nodes, gateways and a cloud platform. They have implemented end-to-end technologies including smart metering and monitoring, smart city and industrial IoT applications, many with Semtech chips.
While NAS brings the hardware/software they manufacture and license to projects, SenRa, which is a pure-play network service provider – or Network as a Service provider (NaaS) – will handle the connectivity, and help market combined solutions throughout India, which is the only country SenRa serves.
Both companies are part of the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit membership association initiated by industry leaders with a mission to standardize Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) being deployed around the world. The Alliance members collaborate to drive the global success of the LoRa protocol by sharing knowledge and experience to guarantee interoperability between operators in one open global standard, and their open community ecosystem vibe continues to produce partnerships like this.
LoRa network technology is designed to connect low-cost, battery- operated sensors over long distances that were previously too challenging or cost-prohibitive to connect and is being used by many companies in India to build networks (including Tata Communications, which has a $100M program rolling out to hundreds of cities).
With its unique penetration capability, a LoRa gateway deployed on a building or tower can connect to sensors more than 10 miles away, including electricity and water meters.
For SenRa, the partnership with NAS accelerates their path to revenue with cost-saving and even life-saving solutions.
“We are very happy to work with NAS and have seen first-hand the finesse NAS brings into the product design and execution,” said Ali Hosseini, CEO of SenRa. “At the same time, we are offering NAS access to the fastest growing IoT market in the world.”
As the problem of water scarcity is growing in India, Viljo Veesaar, CEO of NAS, believes this is a mission as much as a business opportunity. “Our metering products are very simple to use and will bring first-hand awareness to people in India about their water usage, enabling them to manage their consumption and control their costs.”
“We see extensive opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region and having a strong local service provider like SenRa as a partner in India is a turning point for us,” says Veesaar continued.
There has been a tremendous increase in the smart metering market so far and the growth does not seem to be ending at any time in the coming years. The Asia-Pacific is estimated to be the fastest growing market for smart meters. The main factors of growth are largely driven by energy conservation, government policies, need for more accurate billing as well as increasing smart grid deployments globally.
“We see huge growth potential in smart water metering in general, and specifically, in India, in the areas of retrofit, volumetric and ultrasonic meters,” Hosseini said. “We are focusing together with NAS to progress on all three fronts and are honored to help India with digital tools that can scale up to impact many communities and improve millions of lives.”
The companies are also focusing on street lighting. “India is planning to replace most conventional street lights with LED lights across the country in the near future,” Hosseini said.
“We are collaborating with NAS to connect smart luminaire controllers into street lights to increase energy efficiency while also ensuring streets are well lit and safe. We are working with community leaders to help improve operations, management and fault correction control at the individual light level and are getting very positive feedback that new initiatives by these municipalities show real progress to the citizens they serve.”
The two companies will be demonstrating both water and light solutions at the IoT India Expo 2018 in New Delhi in early March.
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