Orange commits to IoT with LoRa network investment

French operator Orange has confirmed its commitment to the Internet of Things by announcing its investment in a narrow-band network based on LoRa technology.

This announcement doesn’t come as a great surprise given Orange’s recent investment in IoT startup Actility, which is focused on LoRa. It was joined in that investment by KPN and Swisscom, so maybe we’ll see similar announcements from them.

Orange plans to generate €600 million euros in revenue from IoT by 2018, so it needs to get a move on. This LoRa network will be developed in parallel with efforts to optimised existing networks for IoT – essentially enabling very low bandwidth, low power communication.

Stéphane Richard, Chief Executive Officer of Orange, said: “The development of the Internet of Things is expected to surge in the coming years. By 2020, we believe that there will be more than 25 billion objects connected in the world.

“As a part of our new strategic plan Essentials2020, Orange has an ambition to become the number one operator for the Internet of Things,” said Orange CEO Stéphane Richard. “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.”

Orange has been trialling a LoRa network in Grenoble together with over 30 partners. Orange validated the interoperability of certain sensor suppliers with its network and its platform, which manages the data from these objects. It’s safe to assume it considered that trial a success, which is why it’s moving things along now.

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