With 80 Countries and Counting, Senet LoRaWAN Platform Adds Features

By Cynthia S. Artin July 24, 2018

Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) connectivity platforms are gaining in popularity, particularly as the roll out of 5G networks lags, and alternatives like Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) are turning out to be more expensive and complex than developers initially imagined.

One of the advantages of standing up LoRaWAN networks is economics. LoRa’s parts are affordable (including transceiver chips) and work with a family of highly integrated base station chips with high capacity, which developers have been using to build simple to sophisticated point to multipoint networks.

LoRa runs on unlicensed spectrum, not direct sequence spread spectrum technology using an unmodulated carrier in an FM chirp, and while LoRa is perfect for certain applications (which don’t require real-time “pinging” of endpoints for example), it’s not appropriate for all IoT and IIoT use cases.

A LoRaWAN is a media access control (MAC) layer protocol designed for large-scale public networks with a single operator, and is an approach that has been developed, supported and promoted by the LoRa Alliance, of which Senet has been a long-term member and active contributor.

As LPWAN grows in popularity, traditional network operators and Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are paying attention as this technology enables them to extend their offerings to their embedded base of business and enterprise customers, albeit using dramatically different technology which can be supported by their core connectivity capacity but is a “different animal.”

Senet, over the last year, has cultivated relationships with traditional providers by initially establishing a global LoRaWAN they call their Low Power Wide Area Virtual Network (LVN™), which comes with some interesting “business model” support capabilities enabling revenue share agreements and more.

Their incentive-based “Connectivity Marketplace” is an attempt to bring together network operators, IoT infrastructure providers, solution providers and system integrators for both technical and business collaborations.

Earlier this month, Senet announced new features created to simplify the deployment, management and monetization of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) and applications.

“Companies cannot afford to defer their IoT investment until 5G arrives or delay business growth opportunities based on the promise of NB-IoT or LTE Category M1 coverage at a future date to be determined,” said Bruce Chatterley, CEO at Senet. “With these new platform enhancements and our partner-centric engagement models, we’ve effectively broken the mold for reliable, secure and cost-effective IoT connectivity and application deployment at massive scale.”

Additions to Senet’s already expansive global footprint, channel plan and gateway support include:

  • Australian and Latin American regional channel plans.
  • EU and U.S. 16-channel plans.
  • Dynamic channel plan support for full control over an ISM-band.
  • Support for the Laird Sentrius gateway.
  • Support for the Tektelic KONA 16 Macro and KONA 8 Indoor EU/India 868 gateways.

“It takes a robust set of hardware, software and network components to deliver the interoperability and functionality needed for LPWA networks to scale,” says Mareca Hatler, research director for global IoT research firm ON World. “Senet’s continued support of best-in-class infrastructure components and IoT connectivity management make LoRaWAN one of the premier solutions for global LPWAN deployments.”

New Network Operator features include:

  • Customer onboarding and service provisioning capabilities to streamline the implementation and delivery of multi-tenant connectivity services.
  • Gateway provisioning and application monitoring capabilities for enhanced quality-of-service and end-customer application support.
  • Advanced network planning such as mapping service addresses related to device and gateway locations, gateway viewsheds and computed path quality of devices, to increase the accuracy and reliability of service delivery.

In addition, Senet has established a unique way for infrastructure providers to participate in the IoT marketplace through its Radio Access Network (RAN) Provider Services. Companies with physical assets such as towers, rooftops, billboards, light poles and municipality-owned locations can join the Senet LVN as a RAN Provider, by deploying LoRaWAN gateways and immediately share in the revenue generated by all end devices connecting to their radio access network.

“Senet’s RAN services combined with flexible, low-cost LoRaWANTM gateways make it possible for all types of infrastructure providers to immediately start offering IoT services,” added Hatler.

New RAN Provider features include:

  • A dedicated RAN Provider portal with access to a full suite of RAN management and deployment capabilities.
  • Gateway usage statistics for accounting, capacity planning and utilization.
  • Advanced network planning such as mapping service addresses related to device and gateway locations, gateway viewsheds and computed path quality of devices, to increase the accuracy and reliability of service delivery.

New Application Provider features include:

  • Enhanced network usage and management views, and detailed statistics to provide critical insight into application performance.
  • Support for application monitoring, troubleshooting and service alerts to enhance application performance and resulting business value.
  • Customized interfaces and improved geolocation services that simplify the implementation of power-efficient, GPS-free location capabilities for asset tracking applications.

Edited by Ken Briodagh
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Contributing Writer

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