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APT launches dual LoRa-LTE network in Taiwan

Steve Rogerson
August 17, 2016



Asia Pacific Telecom (APT) has launched Taiwan's first IoT dual-network multi-platform IoT alliance. Called IoT by GT (Greater Taipei), it involved more than two years of research and development. This foillows Sigfox's recent announcement of an IoT network deployment in the country.
 
Since the launch of GT 4G, APT has been evolving into a non-traditional telecommunications company, with a commitment to develop an IoT platform to transform Taiwan into a smart island.
 
Local and international heavyweights have worked together to deliver this collaboration. Foxconn provided the hardware, FH-Net deployed the LoRa network, and APT is responsible for the application development and service delivery. Partners include domestic and overseas manufacturers, such as Actility, IBM, Semtech, Cisco, Advantech and Shin Kong Security, spanning the midstream and downstream industries of wafers, platforms and terminals. Those who become a Certified IoT by GT Smart Life partner are entitled to free use of the LoRa network, implementing a shared economy.
 
APT has broken with telecommunications tradition in building Taiwan's first IoT dual network, using the LPWAN communications protocol in combination with the APT 4G LTE network, to support a wide variety of applications across a range of industries. APT has already rolled out 500 LoRaWan hotspots, supporting Taiwan's first IoT network for Greater Taipei and Taoyuan.
 
Responding to service requirements for services covering the entire island, Taiwan hopes to be able to develop into a smart island by the end of 2016. By 2020, IoT ecosystem partners in Taiwan are expected to have delivered hundreds of millions of networked devices, which will allow Taiwan to become an IoT nation and expand into overseas markets.
 
LoRaWan is a global IoT success story. Almost 400 institutions or companies, with more than 20 telecoms providers, are members of the LoRa Alliance, which was established thanks to the optimism of companies regarding business opportunities in the smart city and smart factory markets. Founded by Actility, Cisco, IBM, Semtech, Microchip and other technology leaders in 2015, the LoRa Alliance is an open, non-profit organisation committed to the implementation of LoRaWan as a long-range, low-cost and low-power consumption wide-area networking technology for IoT.
 
The IoT by GT dual-network platform supports both networks of LoRa hotspots and the existing 4G LTE, integrating partners such as Cisco, Jasper, Actility and IBM Bluemix into this dual network. It provides developers with a complete IoT set-up to accelerate application innovation.
 
Actility’s ThingPark IoT product is at the heart of this platform. ThingPark is the next generation standards-compliant IoT platform.
 
“Actility is proud to be working with FH-Net and APT to deliver this large-scale, fully operational LPWA roll-out, which immediately catapults Taipei to the forefront of the world’s leading IoT cities,” said Olivier Hersent, founder and CTO of Actility. “We see this as a great opportunity to be at the heart of one of the most exciting IoT markets, which is preparing for explosive growth, and we look forward to continuing to work with APT to deploy new services and capabilities within the platform.”
 
Using LoRa terminal devices, Energy Management Systems and Yung Loong Engineering will launch smart water, electricity and gas meters with instant meter reading, history and anomaly warnings. In addition, the Security Institute of Science & Technology has launched a smart water level gauge that integrates data transmission from water level gauges, solar charging and a cloud data platform, reducing the construction of monitoring stations and maintenance and operation costs.
 
LoRa IoT can be used to track vehicles, goods and pets to send instant location and provide geo-fenced alerts. Examples include the LoRa Multipurpose Tracker, designed and developed by Foxconn Technology Group, weighing 21g and combining GPS and wifi. It is available for indoor and outdoor positioning; it also combines a customised location based system for real-time tracking. Added to this are multiple functions such as path history, electronic fence and tracking management, combining LoRa and tracking services.