Everynet’s new LoRaWAN network represents a crucial step for the long-term success of the technology and the adoption of LPWA devices. This blog delves into how the network will shape the development of the LPWA market in the near future.
Today Everynet has announced the launch of their national LoRaWAN network in the US. Initial efforts will focus on providing coverage to 36 urban areas and 100 logistics intersections by the end of this year. This is extremely significant news for IoT and many industries within the US. The availability of an extensive public, carrier grade LoRaWAN network will prove crucial to furthering the adoption of a variety of use cases.
Everynet explain that their choice in coverage areas are a response to where most addressable opportunities are available. Naturally this means that likely early adopters can be expected to be from the logistics sector, supporting track & trace and monitoring of transported goods – cold chain monitoring being a particularly relevant use case given the current requirements for vaccine distribution. Urban centres will bring demand from infrastructure monitoring, smart city, building automation, smart grid and metering use cases.
Everynet describe this initial rollout as “Phase 1” of their plans and understandably some LPWA use cases will be best served by the more complete coverage that will be provided in the future. Utilities for example may choose to defer immediately introducing LoRaWAN smart meters for all customers. Similarly, more remote grid locations will be beyond areas with guaranteed network coverage, at least to begin with. Agricultural use cases such as livestock monitoring and crop management are also likely to require support beyond the reaches of the earliest versions of Everynet’s network. Use cases with limited control over device deployment location such as manufacturer tracking of machinery and white goods may also require greater network coverage before adoption can accelerate. Campus based LPWA usage may also be better served by the installation of a private network for the time being, depending on location. It’s worth noting a synergy here though: any campus-based LoRaWAN proposition (such as, for instance, in an agricultural, oil & gas, healthcare, or retail park context) can potentially now benefit from ‘roaming’ onto a wider national network to support connectivity when devices are beyond the reach of a private network. A potential approach might be for a large end-user to deploy LoRaWAN private networks at key sites and rely on the nationwide network to support connectivity in-between those sites.
Amazon’s recent trials of Sidewalk for third party commercial users may provide an alternative networking solution in the future, with similarly widespread US LoRaWAN coverage. Of course Everynet’s network represents a more typical network model than Sidewalk, with the greater guarantee of service that entails, and is therefore a quite different proposition. Further information on Amazon’s new network can be found in our Key Topic Insight report: Amazon Sidewalk: A unique networking proposition (and related blogpost here).
Previously 5G mMTC technologies, LTE-M and NB-IoT, have been the more popular choice for use cases where a public, carrier supported network was required. The availability of alternative choices for such coverage is only going to drive further IoT growth. Competition in the space is only going to further encourage innovation, expansion and development, ultimately providing a greater choice and better service for end users. Crucially for LoRaWAN such a large public network rollout furthers its legitimacy in the LPWA space, and end users that baulked at the complications that come with the operation of a private network will be encouraged to consider LoRaWAN in future projects.