The LoRa Alliance — a global association of tech companies that back the LoRaWAN open network standard — has announced that it has experienced “explosive growth” last year, exceeding the 100 LoRaWAN network operators milestone worldwide by the end of 2018. The broader availability of the long-range wide area network standard makes it easier to deploy IoT devices using existing infrastructure.
Over 100 operators have gone live with both public and private LoRaWAN networks, thus broadening the system’s reach. It’s reported that the number of end devices connected to the networks has tripled since the beginning of the new year, showing significant adoption rates of the platform.
“Reaching this operator milestone is a major achievement for the LoRa Alliance. Only LoRaWAN has strong, established networks with broad coverage areas, while also offering the private network option. For companies looking to launch IoT products and solutions today, the LoRaWAN standard is the only viable solution. Features like firmware updates over the air and the fact that LoRaWAN is an open specification with a robust certification program ensure network and device interoperability. These benefits give confidence to the market that companies are future-proofed and can deploy solutions today with assurance they will work in the future.” — Donna Moore, LoRa Alliance CEO
The press release notes that LoRaWAN network deployments were higher in Asia-Pacific and European regions, rolling out at 30% and 50% respectively, along with additional areas being added continuously. More operators are investing in the network, which the Alliance states is “compelling proof” that network operators are making a long-term commitment to the LoRaWAN standard. This, of course, will help support market demand for IoT applications.
While I believe this is excellent news for anyone working with or building IoT devices, the Alliance seems to be going overboard with the “proof” of adoption and deployment of the network. I think a fair amount of that boost belongs to the engineers and makers who are sweeping up the influx of low-cost LoRa-equipped development boards and modules for their projects and needed the network to drive them. Regardless, this is indeed a significant milestone, and the deployment rate will undoubtedly increase.