New communities in global and open LoRaWAN network

‘The Things Network’ has welcomed two new European communities

Published on: 08/01/2021
Last update: 08/05/2021

Pamplona in Spain and Oradea in Romania are the most recent members of global LoRaWAN network, The Tings Network (TTN).


Just at the closing of 2020, December 8th, The Things Network (TTN) got two new communities in their portfolio. With the three new gateways that the two communities hold together, TTN has now 15.840 gateways in their network covering 150 countries globally.

The new cities are Pamplona in Spain and Oradea in Romania. Both are still missing a number of percentage points to become full members. The score depends on the number of gateways in the community, the existence of internal communication channels, exposure, and registered members.


Public and private stakeholders

Rishabh Chauhan, Global Community Manager in TTN, explains to me (the author) that they have three kinds of main stakeholders: City officials, private companies, and students and academia.

TTN is a public, free open source network in which all may join with a community and gateways. According to Rishabh Chauhan, TTN does not directly assist in setting up gateways:

but we curate a lot of content for people to add their gateways to the network and also allow sharing this capacity with everyone. On the technical side, we make it easy for gateway vendors to allow their units to connect to the network (this is done on the software side).


Smart technology

IoT-technology develops cities by presenting a possibility for optimizing resources and creating a more coherent and environmental-friendly cities. IoT devices can collect a wide number of data, which can create action, human or technological. This might be about air quality in schools, the rise of water in channels, or the need for irrigation of plants in the city or on fields.

There is a demand on gateways and IoT devices in TTN and The Things Industry (TTI), which is the primary sponsor for TTN. TTI offers industrial applications and licences for interested parties in the LoRaWAN network.

In the Opening Keynote at the Things Conference in February 2020, CEO Wienke said that while  in 2018 the demand on deployment was in hundreds, it is in 2020 in tens of thousands.


The Things Network rolling out

TTN started in August 2015 in Amsterdam as a free open source alternative to proprietary IoT networks with subscription. TTN’s manifesto says:

Controlling the network that makes this possible [to connect everything via the internet, ed] means controlling the world. We believe that this power should not be restricted to a few people, companies or nations.

The city of Amsterdam, where TTN started, was covered by LoRaWAN after only six weeks of work by TTN. When rolling out the network, TTN got permissions from Deloitte, KPMG among others to place gateways on their premises.


LoRaWAN: Pagers vs. the first mobile phone

In an article on The Next Web from 2015 is a quote from TTN co-founder Giezeman: 'Sigfox is like pagers and LoRaWAN is like the first mobile phones.'

LoRaWAN is a narrowband technology, which can only transfer small amount of data and therefore the battery lasts longer. Data can be transferred over long distances, in average about 10 km.

It is an open network which means that the user doesn’t have to stick to one single vendor. At the same time, it is secure because of the end-to-end encryption. The owner is the only with the ”key” to the device code.



Final take-aways

  • The Things Network is an association of LoRaWAN communities where everyone can part of a global, open IoT-network.
  • IoT devices are need in huge numbers and used for Smart City transformation.
  • LoRaWAN is a narrowband technology which means that it can transport small information in a very large distance.

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