The LoRa Alliance® is an open, nonprofit association that has become one of the largest and fastest-growing alliances in the technology sector since its inception in 2015.
Its members closely collaborate and share expertise to develop and promote the LoRaWAN® standard, which is the de facto global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity. LoRaWAN has the technical flexibility to address a broad range of IoT applications, both static and mobile, and a robust LoRaWAN Certification programme to guarantee that devices perform as specified.
The LoRaWAN standard has been deployed by more than 120 major mobile network operators globally, and connectivity is available in more than 140 countries, with continual expansion. More information: lora-alliance.org.
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Our mission is to support and promote the global adoption of the LoRaWAN® standard by ensuring interoperability of all LoRaWAN® products and technologies, to enable the IoT to deliver a sustainable future. One of the key vertical markets the LoRa Alliance and its members operate in is Smart Utilities.
Utility companies for water, electricity, gas and heating are being challenged to meet greater public demand, increase efficiency and provide high-quality services across dense urban or remote rural areas. Therefore, utilities stand at the forefront of digital transformation and a global ICT strategy of adopting IoT to build tomorrow’s new smart grid and profit from internet-based solutions.
In addition, utilities are transitioning from distribution network operators to system operators, resulting in a more dynamic, adaptive, and interconnected utility distribution network, facilitating new use cases and benefits.
Connectivity technologies have been around the utilities for the past two decades, but mainly through a mix of technologies that were not optimal for interoperability or affordable for every application.
Today, with the disruption of new low-power consumption and long-range connectivity with LoRa and LoRaWAN network technology, utilities can benefit of the same network of smart meters for automated meter data collection and other IoT devices to improve operational efficiencies, and generate more efficient revenue streams with wireless monitoring of energy, gas, heat and water use in near real-time.
In 2018, more than 142.8 million new smart meters were shipped globally and, by 2024, the annual shipments should reach 210 million, representing an acceleration and an adoption rate over 50% of the total annual volume of new shipments in the metering industry.
Smart meters for utilities
LoRaWAN®, among the new Low Power Wide Area network technologies for connecting smart meters and IoT sensors with utility applications, is an open standard technology offering unique and disruptive flexibility to deploy private and public networks in a cost-efficient manner, alongside its interoperability at the network and device levels.
In most situations, utility connectivity networks require small payloads of data from daily index to every ten minutes logs with data throughputs of several kilobits. Some specific use cases— like breakers for electricity, prepayment systems, or services supported by remote valve control — can justify a need for low latency.
For the use cases requiring latency of 1 second or more, LoRaWAN can perform well enough to support the automation system requirements.
LoRaWAN network infrastructure deployment and maintenance occurs at a much lower cost compared to traditional WMBUS, cellular technologies and proprietary ones, due to the high link budget and long-range performance of LoRa radio that enables wide area network deployment.
For instance, LoRaWAN applications for water and gas meters can currently support battery life of over 20 years when transmitting once per day.
Since utilities are responsible for the infrastructure and the distribution of electricity, gas, and water, they are considered critical infrastructure and national or regional regulators demand a high level of security.
LoRaWAN specification applies 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) algorithms to provide two-layered end-to-end encryption to protect the confidentiality of the payload during the network transport and the device authentication for network security. Utilities can profit from this end-to-end security layer to protect all data communications within meters and other IOT devices connected to a LoRaWAN public network.
Become a member of the LoRa Alliance
Being a very rapidly expanding global Alliance, our members come from organizations of all types around the world addressing all aspects of the ecosystem. Members include multi-nationals telecommunication companies, equipment manufacturers, system integrators, sensor manufacturers, entrepreneurial start-ups and semi-conductor companies. In the Americas, APAC and EMEA, our members develop, deploy and use the technology across countries and continents, driving the implementation of the Internet of Things. The LoRa Alliance® is an organisation with membership addressing the need of the individual company and is divided into a sponsor, contributor and an adopter levels.