The sun was shining in Paris, it was Paris Fashion Week, the Louvre was looking magnificent as I entered the fabulous Hotel du Louvre opposite, I was even wearing my Vivienne Westwood shoes to mark the occasion. So why did I cram into a hotel ballroom instead of drinking a glass of wine at one of the many street side cafes to watch the amazing outfits as they passed by?
To hear the latest about LoRa, no, not a fabulous French film star or even a fashion designer but a Low Power Wide Area, LPWA network technology and I was not the only one! This was the first event hosted by the LoRa Alliance since its inauguration at Mobile World Congress in March, and there was standing room only!
The LoRa Alliance is an open, non-profit association of members that believe the internet of things era is now, as do we all! Their stated mission is to standardise LPWAN's and build an ecosystem of products that span the entire value chain from chips through IoT sensor products, gateways, network servers to applications for the IoT. They are well on their way by simply seeing the number and range of companies at this event. The members of the Alliance now total over 80, with 30 joining since March. These include MNO's like Bouygues Telecom, the event host who showed the status of their LoRa network plans to cover France, KPN, Swisscomm and Proximus; who made an announcement at the event of their National LoRa network plans for Belgium and Luxembourg, the latest MNO to join being SK Telecom.
Other members include Cisco, IBM, HP, Schneider, Microchip, MultiTech, Murata, Foxconn, FastNet, Sagemcom, Augtek along with companies growing up with LoRa, Actility, Kerlink, LinkLabs, the Alliance is Global and offers opportunities for both the 'big' boys and emerging start-up companies.
Semtech who own the technology are really trying to step aside and let the Alliance drive LoRaWAN, the global open standard, ensuring interoperability across the value chain via a certification program, I personally remember that particular journey with Bluetooth!
As well as hearing about members and networks, we heard from Nicolas Sornin, who co-invented LoRa about plans for roaming, and other features planned by the Alliance Technical Committee for the next version of the LoRaWAN specification. LoRaWAN R1.0 was publically released on 16th June.
A brave Jon Pearce from Microchip demonstrated how many companies are required to turn on a light bulb! Using sensors, gateways, network servers from four different manufactures and a third party cloud platform illustrating the power of interoperability, it was impressive - with the few bytes of data going from France to Spain to Switzerland and back to France.
Add a super presentation from Jerome Hamel from 7Layers on the history and value of certification and finally with the wit and Industry knowledge of Analyst James Brehm you really had been educated, enlightened and entertained.
It was extremely worth standing for in a hot crowded room, the buzz and excitement was contagious and the additional rooms held an 'open market place' showcasing some of the 100 plus LoRa IoT products already available to purchase, correlating the fact the IoT era is NOW!
The cocktail reception finished the afternoon off with interesting conversations, new connections, exciting technology discussions and who can refuse free wine? Not me!
To quote Stale Petterson the acting Chairman and initiator of the Alliance as he announced he was stepping down and handing over to the new Chairman, Geoff Mulligan "My baby has grown up and now I have to leave her in the hands of others, but she makes me proud".
Stream Technologies is a Contributing Member of the LoRa Alliance and has integrated LoRa Gateways and the LoRaWAN Network server onto the award winning IoT-X Connectivity Enablement Environment.Back