The Internet of Things (IoT) is accelerating the Digital World. All Connected things however, don’t have the same characteristics in terms of connectivity, bandwidth capacity and deployment. Until recently, the range of wide area connectivity technologies for M2M and IoT applications were largely limited to powered devices over cellular and WiFi. As cities become digital, billions of sensors placed in everyday objects and assets require cost effective, low power, low throughput, and long range access network. Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) is one such emerging and promising wireless technology for both private and public IoT infrastructure and is especially useful for securely connecting every corner of cities.

As one of the technologies inside LPWA landscape, running on unlicensed spectrum, LoRa is an enabler for new services related to IoT and Smart City and is disruptive. It’s distinguished advantages makes it suitable to address a massive IoT market segment, which existing cellular and Wi-Fi technologies have challenges to conquer. It is a new technology for battery powered sensors connectivity, and is relatively simple on backend infrastructure. For example, it can be deployed in a wide variety of situations such as environment monitoring, smart parking, water and gas metering, and asset tracking.

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In June 2015, Cisco, a founder of LoRa Alliance, rolled out the first-generation of Cisco LoRa gateway. Cisco continues to work with diverse partners to build a full-fledged LoRa system for Service Provider (SP), Smart City, and vertical customers.

Today, many IoT infrastructure projects and pilots (SP, Smart Cities, Utilities and other verticals) across US, Europe, USA, Middle East and Asia are adding LoRa validation to their schedule. However, one notable deployment is by du – the Dubai based telecom operator. As part of Dubai’s smart city framework that included 11 verticals and 28 use cases – Cisco, Actility and du collaborated to deploy first LoRa IoT network in UAE, and showcased real life smart city applications to better manage city resources. The solution is based on Cisco LoRa gateways and Actility’s ThingPark Wireless core network server. Initial applications include asset tracking with a smart sensor, smoke detection, and environmental monitoring like temperature and humidity with sensors that share real time information. This was also demonstrated at IoTWF 2015 in Dubai.

LoRa is enabling new services for public (SP) and private (i.e. Smart City, Utilities, Agriculture) IoT solutions. The open specifications, certification program, and fast growing eco-system make it ahead of the pack with competing LPWA technologies with real world pilots and deployments. In summary, LoRa has reached maturity and prime for adoption and deployment. For more information about LoRa, please visit here.

At GSMA MWC 2016 Barcelona, a strategic collaboration partnership was announced between Cisco and Actility to jointly help customer to accelerate LoRa deployment. To learn more visit here.


Vikas Butaney

SVP / GM, Cisco Networking

SD-WAN, Multicloud, and Industrial IoT