IoT

Measurement and energy services provider Minol-ZENNER and Taiwanese OEM Gemtek invests in Swiss IoT startup to create new possibilities for efficient network reading.The two companies aim to create unified transmission standards and full-coverage networks to support efficient and economical remote meter reading and other services.

According to a company release, low power wide area networks (LPWAN) are expected to “make up the volume of connected devices and growth of IoT.”

The Minol-Zenner Group believes that LPWAN can accelerate smart meter deployments and reduce network deployment costs while providing more services and information to consumers. Long-range communication, long battery life sensors and low-cost, in-building home gateways are key to achieving these goals.

“The Internet of Things of Things offers the housing and utility sectors significant benefits particularly in terms of transparent and timely consumer information. Our new partnership gives us direct access to this innovative technology, enabling to offer customers concrete and comprehensive solutions at an early stage,” said Alexander Lehmann, managing director, Minol-ZENNER Group.

Together, Minol-ZENNER and Gemtek will invest $7 million in the Swiss startup. Tracknet also has offices in California and is focusing on proving low power, long range solutions to consumers in the industry.

LPWA and IoT

In a recent article in Metering and Smart Energy International magazine, Dr. Shane Rooney, executive director at the GSMA writes, "Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks will play a crucial role in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT), connecting up billions of devices across a diverse range of vertical industry sectors such as utilities, agriculture, manufacturing and transport.

"They are an emerging, high-growth area of the IoT that complement and extend conventional wide area networks that make use of 2G, 3G and 4G cellular technologies. LPWA networks are designed for low cost applications that have low data rates, long battery lives, long reach and operate in remote and hard to reach locations where existing mobile technologies may not be well suited."

He continued on to say that LPWA networks are an emerging, high-growth area of the IoT that complement and extend conventional wide area networks that make use of 2G, 3G and 4G cellular technologies. LPWA networks are designed for low cost applications that have low data rates, long battery lives, long reach and operate in remote and hard to reach locations where existing mobile technologies may not be well suited. This could be anything from industrial asset tracking, safety monitoring, water and gas metering to smart grids, city parking, vending machines and city lighting.

Finally, the LPWA market has the potential to be huge with Analysys Mason estimating that there will be 5 billion LPWA connections by 2022 with a value of $7.5 billion. [Licensed spectrum key to success of LPWA networks]