France’s Orange pledged further support to Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology LoRA, becoming a board member of the LoRa Alliance.
Orange is clearly a fan of the technology, after announcing in September it is selecting LoRa as its platform for a planned IoT rollout, following a successful trial in Paris and Grenoble, with more than 50 partner companies.
In a statement, the operator said it is joining the board of the LoRa Alliance, the lobby group promoting the standard, in a bid to “drive the global success of the LoRaWan protocol”, which is designed to provide long-range and low power connectivity between sensors and base sensors.
Orange joins other high profile companies on the board, including domestic rival Bouygues Telecom (which has also announced deployment plans), Cisco and IBM. Other notable operator board members are KPN and Proximus, while Swisscom, Tata and Telkomsel are alliance members.
Orange was keen to repeat a previous statement that it is keeping an open mind on which technology to use for LPWA networks. The press release announcing its board membership stated that LoRa technology “is complementary to our overall strategy for Internet of Things.”
Indeed, while LoRa continues to gain traction, the technology is facing competition from other proprietary LPWA offerings, developed by Sigfox, and start-up Ingenu. Meanwhile most mobile operators are likely to opt for the 3GPP-backed NB-IoT standard for deployment of LPWA applications, once it is ratified later this summer. Last week Mobile World Live reported that Vodafone plans NB-IoT trials across its footprint next year.