Tag: wide area networks

IBM pushes low power WANs

ibm-officeBig Blue said it is cooperating with Semtech to create a new technology using low power wide area networks (LPWANs) that it says has advantages over wi-fi and cellular nets for machine to machine communication.

The long rage wide area networks (LoRaWAN) uses a spec and protocol for low power nets that uses a wireless spectrum that can contact sensor over long distance in anticipation of the emergence of the internet of things (IoT).

These networks have better mobility, security, bi-directionality and localisation as well as being cheaper than existing networks, IBM said.

Semtech, IBM and other firms have formed an organisation called the LoRa Alliance to develop and provide standardisation for the technology.

The technology promises communications of over 60 miles in favourable environments, nine miles in semi rural environments and 1.2 miles in urban environments with data rates of 300 bit/s up to 100 kbit/s.

Sensors can run on one AA battery for 10 years and AES128 keys make for good security, IBM claimed.

Applications include machines telling distributors when they’ve run out of supplies or need fixing; cities could offer smart metering; distributors can track cargo containers; and home heating firms would get alerts when oil tanks are running low.

IBM has made the LoRaWAN protocol open source to encourage standardisation.