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Semtech uses LoRa to help Ofo track bikes

Steve Rogerson
October 26, 2017

Chinese bike sharing company Ofo is equipping its bicycles with Semtech LoRa devices and wireless RF technology to complement its licensed spectrum connectivity options. This will let it achieve full network connectivity even in remote areas and dense buildings.
Globally, Ofo operates in more than 180 cities providing approximately ten million bicycles and 25 million rides daily. The bicycles are outfitted with GPS and Glonass trackers that transmit data via the cloud to an online application allowing Ofo and its users to pin-point the location of the bicycles. LoRa technology and the LoRaWan open protocol provide Ofo with connectivity across wide areas as the company grows its business globally.
“Ofo is a pioneer in the field of the IoT and has pioneered the application of NB-IoT, NFC, BLE and other IoT technologies,” said Xue Ding, co-founder of Ofo. “On this basis, Ofo will continue to explore other IoT solutions as we constantly reduce operating costs and improve operation level. Semtech’s LoRa technology is one of the best choices and Ofo is willing to work with global partners to promote a green riding culture.”
Semtech’s LoRa wireless RF technology is a widely adopted long-range, low-power technology for the IoT that gives telecoms companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products and IoT services worldwide. IoT networks based on the LoRaWan specification have been deployed in more than 60 countries.
“With its global interoperability, the LoRaWan open protocol’s capabilities are complementary to licensed spectrum networks to provide customers with full-complete coverage in remote areas,” said Mike Wong, vice president of Semtech’s wireless and sensing products group. “Long-range, low-power and ease of deployment are crucial for companies that are scaling at the rate like Ofo is, and LoRa technology provides all of these features.”
Ofo is a Beijing -based bike sharing company, founded in 2014. As well as Asia and Europe, it is now operating in the USA in Seattle.
French company Kerlink’s gateways are being integrated in Digimondo’s LoRaWan rollouts in Germany and across Europe. Digimondo has a LoRaWan server called Firefly. Along with E.On, it recently completed one of Germany’s largest LoRaWan IoT rollouts using Firefly software and Kerlink hardware in the city of Gehrden and surrounding areas.
The deployment installed more than 1100 smart electricity meters and smart-parking sensors. Powered by Kerlink’s Wirnet iBTS Compact stations, the network is said to generate efficiency of higher than 97 per cent uninterrupted connectivity, compared with approximately 80 per cent efficiency of meters in basements with classic mobile radio connectivity such as LTE.