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Orange picks LoRa for French IoT network

Steve Rogerson
September 23, 2015
French mobile telephone company Orange has chosen to invest in a low-power wide area (LPWA) network, a narrow-band technology aimed at guaranteeing connectivity at a reduced energy consumption rate and at a lower cost. Orange has picked LoRa technology to deploy this network that will cover the whole of metropolitan France.
A part of its Essentials 2020 strategy, the IoT is a focus area for Orange, which plans to generate €600m in revenue by 2018. After nearly a decade of experience as an operator in M2M communications with its 2G, 3G and 4G networks, Orange is now broadening its connectivity offer and preparing for the future of the IoT. With this network based on LoRa technology, it is especially useful for connecting sensors in smart cities.
Orange is also continuing the work on the standardisation of future cell networks (2G and 4G) for the IoT, which will be operational in 2017, and for 5G by 2022.
"The development of the internet of things is expected to surge in the coming years,” said Stéphane Richard, chief executive officer of Orange. “By 2020, we believe there will be more than 25 billion objects connected in the world. As a part of our new strategic plan Essentials 2020, Orange has an ambition to become the number one operator for the internet of things. To answer all the needs, we decided, as a supplement to the cellular networks, to deploy a national network dedicated to objects that need narrow-band connectivity, and also to low energy consumption. This network, based on the technology LoRa, will gradually open from the first quarter of 2016.”
Beyond connectivity, Orange is also involved in the distribution of connected objects, in the aggregation and data processing stemming from these objects as well as proposing value-added services in the field of health and well-being, the connected home and smart cities."
The LoRa network will be operational from the first quarter of 2016 and progressively deployed nationwide. It will be used to transport communications from objects for Orange, its mass market and business customers. Orange has tested the LoRa technology by carrying out a large-scale trial in Grenoble, involving more than 30 partners.
The objects have different connection requirements, which depend on the speeds, criticality and frequency of the information communicated. To ensure the development of these uses, Orange has chosen to invest in a range of systems to become an operator of the IoT, whatever the objects' needs and whatever the technology used.
Beyond connectivity, Orange will supply its mass market and business customers with services and platforms that are compatible and interoperable with these different networks dedicated to connected objects.