Drei and Actility roll out LoRaWan in Austria

  • November 1, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Telco Drei (Three) is rolling out a LoRaWan in Austria using technology from French firm Actility.

Vienna-based telco Drei serves over four million users and selected Actility’s flagship carrier-grade IoT network server and platform ThingPark Wireless to operate the national LoRaWan in Austria.

ThingPark Wireless is an IoT network platform for service providers rolling out national IoT connectivity services. The multi-technology platform powers almost all large scale LoRaWan deployments worldwide, and it is designed for security, scalability, and a set of features and qualities that make it carrier-grade. The modular platform supports the latest specifications of the LoRa Alliance, enabling seamless interconnection with other licensed and unlicensed public networks as well as LoRaWan-based local and private networks.

ThingPark Wireless helps Drei monetise IoT connectivity and accelerate the adoption of IoT at scale across multiple industries. It also facilitates the transformation of sensor data into business insights for users of IoT services by adding data processing and exposure services to ease the integration with any third-party business application.

The IoT platform provides bi-directional drivers for the LoRaWan device ecosystem and automatically implements scalable mediation connectors to all major data and application platforms including Azure IoT Hub and IoT Central, AWS IoT and Greengrass, Cumulocity, SAP, and ThingWorx.

Drei is also connected to ThingPark Exchange. This is an IoT peering hub for public, local and private LoRaWans and satellites. It also supports Helium and Sigfox networks, connecting more than 25 networks worldwide.

According to Drei, the expansion of the network across Austria is progressing rapidly. The nationwide network will become the basis for use cases related to Industry 4.0, energy companies, service providers, smart cities, retail and facility management.

For example, Stadtwerke Wolfsberg is using Drei’s network for its smart water meter initiative, enabling households to stay up-to-date on their water consumption and costs as well as eliminating time-consuming manual meter reading reports. The network targets smart city and industrial applications, including telemetry data transmission for heat, water, gas and electricity meters.

LaaPlus, a real estate company based in Laa an der Thaya, uses Drei’s LoRaWan to connect smart meters and heat meters. LaaPlus is planning to expand the use of the network to include water meters.

LoRaWan wide area connectivity requires an energy budget that remains an order of magnitude below competing technologies. As battery replacement is a driver of utility telemetry, LoRaWan has become a preferred choice for new utility metering projects.

“Observability used to be the mantra of information technology, now it also applies to the real world,” said Olivier Hersent, CEO at Actility. “Utilities and industries all over the world need to be more flexible, efficient and resilient. They are accelerating their IoT programmes to gain real-time hindsight into stock levels, implement predictive maintenance or demand-response programmes. Observe everything is the new mantra, and LoRaWAan is the technology which was designed for it.”

Rudolf Schrefl, CEO of Drei Österreich, added: “We are proud to play a role in accelerating Austria’s digitisation, especially in the realms of industrial and utility applications. In conjunction with 5G and NB-IoT, LoRaWan establishes the technical foundation for sustainable IoT tailored for smart cities, energy-efficient buildings, intelligent agriculture and more. In an era where natural and energy resources are both scarce and costly, real-time insights into field metrics have become the bedrock of sustainability.”

Hutchison Drei Austria (www.drei.at) is a 100% subsidiary of CK Hutchison Holdings in Hong Kong and part of 3 Group Europe. In 2022, Drei achieved a revenue of €885m.

Actility (www.actility.com) specialises in low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity for the IoT.