Video: Solving connectivity for the Internet of Things
This post was originally published on Engineering@TelenorDigital.
Click the image above to start playing the video
During the Telenor Technology Fair last month, I (Jan Jongboom) gave a talk about connectivity and IoT, a subject which I’m dealing with in my day-to-day job. We’ll go over the current issues with connecting smart devices, promising new technologies, and our experiences making the Telenor office in Fornebu (Oslo) smart. It’s also a tale of how telco’s need to transform if they want to be part of the IoT movement.
If you don’t like video, the slides and outline are listed below.
- Jan Jongboom, part of CTO Office, focusing on Internet of Things
- IoT in Digital is spread out
- Four different teams working on variety of aspects.
- Interesting part: all aligned goals, all ended up at the same problem.
- When connecting devices, two choices: long range, or long battery life. Pick one.
- Long range: traditional cellular tech. 2G. Battery life of a week.
- Short range: variety of choices, bluetooth, zigbee, etc. Range at most 100 meters.
- If we want to do this ‘IoT’ thing, connecting sensors, we need to do better. Bandwidth doesn’t matter for the first time.
- Can we do better? Yes!
- Variety of new tech is coming out. All same principle:
- Sub-GHz spectrum (868 MHz in Norway, free spectrum)
- No gateway pinning
- Big antenna picking out the signals
- Results: penetrates buildings, walls, etc. Range of 2 kilometers in downtown Oslo (from Olav’s balcony to the library), 10-15 kilometers in open field
- Only draws power when emitting data, perfect for sensors. (e.g. send temperature measurement every 15 minutes)
- Variety of vendors: LoRa, Sigfox, Siglo, Weightless-N
- Can enable completely new business models: better be part of it…
- Our choice: LoRa.
- Available today for relative low cost. Gateways 1200, end-device chips 6, complete PIR sensor we bought is 30.
- First project: Telenor Eiendom
- Making Fornebu smart with 400 sensors
- It’s a pilot with internal customer. Let’s build some own sensors.
- 100 of these developed internally. 300 bought from external party.
- Build up hardware competency in Digital.
- Flex-desk availability rates, monitoring temperature, counting toilet usage, push button to indicate problems
- Using LoRa we only need 2 gateways on the top of building, nothing else. Just buy the sensors and deploy
- Integration with facility management system MCS to auto-dispatch coffee repairmen / women
- Making Fornebu smart with 400 sensors
- Lot of initial work
- Gateways are available, but they are dumb
- Just scan spectrum for messages, forward the data, but to where?
- Traditional model, buy service from Huawei or something
- This is the new decade, The Things Network can solve this efficiently w/o waiting for telcos
- Instead of buying it, let’s build it ourselves
- Multiple basestations will receive the data (no gateway-pinning)
- Forward to network. All logic in here: de-duplicating, adjusting data-rate, join’ing, verifying, etc.
- Also encryption, as all messages are end-to-end encrypted, gateway cannot do MITM.
- Took the demo-implementation from Semtech (company behind LoRa), and went building on top of it.
- Comes into network
- Routing the messages through AWS IoT
- Store data into DynamoDB
- Subscribe to live-feed f.e. to create calls in facility management system, or use historic data to analyse when desk was used.
- Our problem is not unique. Private site, private network. No telco required. But it’s a lot of work on the tech site.
Lora Network Server
- Take our learnings and enable anyone to take advantage of them.
- Network Infrastructure as a service. You bring gateways and devices, we handle everything from device onboarding to historic data APIs.
- Telenor LPWA (working title): create private network with the push of a button.
- Telenor Eiendom’s network is already running on it. Can open this up to anyone. E.g. Telenor Norway, but also DNB HQ f.e.
- Live at http://lora.cloud.tcxn.net:1880/
- Additional benefit: we can route messages for other networks through any gateway that’s part of LPWA (regardless of branding): building a big Digital network around the world.
- The Fornebu network is open through Telenor LPWA
- Read f.e. http://blog.telenor.io/iot/2015/08/04/smart-meetingroom.html, get a device and register, it’s pretty simple.
- Trondheim team happy to help out when you want to take it further.
- Get your data out of the system and start hacking something cool!
- Thank you