Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Swisscom to start IoT trials in Geneva and Zurich

Steve Rogerson
March 18, 2015
 
Operator Swisscom is about to test an IoT network. This low-power network is the first of its kind in Switzerland and connects devices that exchange only small amounts of data with each other and require little power.
 
The idea is for it to complements the existing M2M mobile networks. The pilot project for will start in April 2015 in Zurich and Geneva.
 
The low-power network (LPN) or low-power wide area network (LPWAN) connects applications in the M2M area for which sim cards are not required. Sensors, smart meters and trackers exchange only very small quantities of data and use very little broadband and power for this purpose. Small packages of data are transmitted sporadically.
 
Here, LPN is a practical network. One advantage is that only a small amount of current is needed to operate the network, making it energy efficient. LPN is therefore suitable for networking devices that have small batteries with a long battery life.
 
“With LPN, we are making innumerable new M2M applications across all segments possible in one go,” said Jaap Vossen, head of M2M sales and marketing at Swisscom. “For example, the networking of everyday devices such as sensors, water dispensers, waste bins and letterboxes. The user is notified in real time when the post has arrived, for instance.”
 
The low-power network comprises additional gateways with an output up to 0.5W. The emissions produced are significantly less than those of a cordless phone used in the home. The sensors are connected with each other via secondary frequencies in the non-licensed ISM 800 band. Swisscom will test LPN as of April 2015, initially as part of a pilot project in Zurich and Geneva. Together with the first customers and partners, Swisscom is working on potential applications and testing the LPN specifications.
 
The Swisscom M2M Centre of Competence was founded to support customers with regional and global requirements. Along with the flexible connectivity management platform and roaming coverage, Swisscom can also support companies of any size from the design phase to planning and implementation of future-oriented M2M services. The cloud-based application enablement platform makes it possible for customers to manage their M2M data, and is the cornerstone for applications such as remote maintenance, mobile payment, fleet telematics, and track and trace.
 
Swisscom has been part of the LoRa Alliance since January 2015. The goal of the LoRa Alliance is to establish an open global standard for LPN.