Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Longview IoT enhances LoRa gateway at IoT World

Steve Rogerson
May 16, 2019
 
At this week’s IoT World in California, Longview IoT added to its IoT offering, including an enhanced version of its LoRa gateway with multiple frequencies for coverage worldwide, a gateway designed for indoor environments, and sensors to support a growing list of enterprise IoT use cases.
 
Texas-based Longview IoT’s offering includes interoperable sensors, gateways, cloud analytics and industry-specific applications that come pre-configured for installation. The additions include:

  • A new version of its gateway, which offers increased power output and supports the 800 and 900MHz frequencies to cover several additional regions, including Europe, Middle East, Africa and south-east Asia, in addition to North and South America. The gateway is a wide-area networking device that creates LoRaWan connectivity for sensors and other IoT components.
  • An IoT micro-gateway, which is an indoor LoRaWan gateway that creates a high-speed 900MHz LoRaWan. With its small form factor and flexible power and connectivity options, the gateway can be a seamless addition to office, residential, factory or warehouse environments.
  • IoT sensors, including two push button sensors, temperature and humidity sensor, leak sensor, fill sensor, motor sensor, and an air-quality sensor, which allow Longview IoT to support various IoT use cases across vertical markets, from asset tracking to site and equipment monitoring to safety applications.
The offering builds on top of the LoRa protocol, extending its capabilities with technologies such as the company’s patented Super-B protocol that allows for more scalable networks and over-the-air (OTA) upgrades, meshed gateways that drive lower operations costs and hybrid GPS for better location with less battery usage.
 
“The Longview IoT solution is the only complete, end-to-end IoT solution engineered specifically for enterprise scalability, security, reliability and performance,” said Brad Bush, managing director of Longview IoT, a Carnegie Technologies company. “These additions to our product portfolio build on Longview IoT’s mission of making IoT easy, accessible and secure for all enterprises worldwide.”
 
The Super-B patent-pending protocol is designed to bring quality of service (QoS) to LoRa-based IoT networks. Super-B allows organisations to achieve up to 95 per cent capacity on their LoRa network, paving the path for enterprises to scale their IoT deployments cost-effectively and conduct firmware OTA (FOTA) updates without adding hardware.
 
All private LPWANs including LoRa networks operate in unlicensed spectrum, which can be significantly interference-prone, as sensors from IoT networks talk to the network, and over each other, to report their data. This creates significant data loss, with companies often programming their sensors to transmit messages multiple times to improve the chances of a successful transmission. This practice further compounds the interference problem.
 
The Super-B protocol is built on top of the LoRaWan protocol and uses the same network infrastructure as LoRa. However, Super-B extends LoRa’s structure to allow for the scheduling of messages into a time slot in which each sensor in a network can transmit to the gateway. By being able to schedule a specific sensor’s transmission time slot without increasing power requirements, interference is reduced, data delivery is improved and better QoS is achieved. Because there is less noise from the scheduled transmissions, more sensors can be added to the network, allowing for LoRa networks to scale without expensive new gateways.
 
The protocol also extends the bi-directional communications capabilities found in class B LoRa, creating robust FOTA capabilities to allow for easy security and maintenance updates.
 
Updates can be broadcast to all sensors or in a discrete way to just one sensor with a specific message. Both types of updates can be inefficient or impossible with current LoRa networks. Longview IoT also supports any LoRa 1.0.3-compliant class A sensors, avoiding vendor lock-in.
 
“Super-B capitalises on the best parts of LoRa classes A and B to deliver scalable, secure IoT capabilities to enterprises across a wide range of industries,” said Bush. “Today’s enterprises need IoT networks that can support thousands or tens of thousands of sensors per site or across sites. Low-powered networks have been unable to meet this challenge, until the arrival of Super-B. By bringing capabilities such as QoS, FOTA and scalability to LoRa networks, Longview IoT is again demonstrating its technological superiority in delivering solutions that help enterprises lower their total cost of ownership and derive real value from their IoT networks.”