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Evolution of LoRaWAN: Phases, Successes, and Future Projections by Kerlink

September 30, 2023
By The Things Industries

Yann Bauduin, Chief Sales Officer at Kerlink with extensive experience in the field, shares his insights and projections for the future of LoRaWAN.

He outlines three distinct phases in the deployment and evolution of LoRaWAN. The first phase, around 2015, was cellular-centric, driven by early adopters among telecom carriers. This phase saw significant rollouts, like the deployment of over 4,000 Kerlink gateways for Orange. The focus during this period was more on network coverage rather than specific use cases.

The second phase, around 2019, shifted towards data and application-driven deployments, particularly in smart cities and buildings. This period saw a transition to more private deployments, with a focus on extending network coverage to specific areas of need, moving away from the agnostic approach of telecom carriers.

In the most recent phase, post-2021, the market became more industrial-centric. Companies in sectors like energy and industrial IoT began driving the market, focusing on private network deployments for specific business needs. There was an increased emphasis on network performance, budget considerations over the project's lifespan, and the total cost of ownership.

Bauduin also discusses the successes of LoRaWAN, highlighting its widespread adoption as a leading LPWAN technology, the connection of over 200 million devices, and the robustness of the LoRa Alliance. He notes the maturity of the technology, its proven security, low cost, and suitability for private installations.

However, he doesn't shy away from discussing the challenges and "failures" faced along the way. These include the initial complexity brought in by telecom carriers and the ongoing competition with other technologies like NB-IoT.

Looking towards the future, Bauduin emphasizes the need for LoRaWAN to be considered as a commodity like Wi-Fi. He suggests a focus on use cases suitable for LoRaWAN, edge computing, high-quality network supervision, integration of internet protocols for device connectivity, and complementary technologies like FHSS for satellite use.

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