Sunday, June 12, 2016

Open IoT Network

Free and open wireless IoT network is under construction at Helsinki area and selected other cities in Finland. The purpose is to promote the technology and boost innovations and help companies entering in new digital businesses. Finnish business magazine Kauppalehti published my posting explaining the philosophy behind: Sharing economy ruling the Internet of Things (in Finnish).

Enevo engineers installing LoRa gateway at the roof of the Espoo office.

Currently there is good network coverage in city of Espoo, which is a suburb of Helsinki. Parts of Helsinki and Vantaa are also covered yet. There is single gateway now in Tampere.  The aim is to extend the network to cover most of Helsinki area. Tampere, Jyväskylä and Oulu are other cities to have network coverage. Check the latest coverage map from

The network is based on LoRa LPWAN technology, and the service is provided in  co-operation with The Things Network providing LoRa Network Server backend. The mission of The Things Network is to build a global open crowdsourced Internet of Things data Network. API to device data is documented and provided by The Things Network.

The LoRaWAN protocol is covered by LoRa Alliance an industry association with 150+ members. The aim of the alliance is to ensure interoperability of devices and gateways, while doing so, the existence of the alliance also eliminates risks related to proprietary and single source technology, associated with some other LPWA technologies.

It's not only Etteplan building the network, but there are number of partners supporting. Currently companies like Caverion, Fortum, Enevo, and Valmet have provided locations for gateways. Some other well known companies are soon to join, either to support or contribute to the network building. Further expansion of the network depends on interest of companies joining the movement. If you're interested in joining, please contact me.

What's the beef? The aim is to boost innovations by enabling easy piloting and development of IoT applications with wireless connected devices - the Things of Internet. For commercial deployment of a service, perhaps a commercial backend is taken into use instead of the crowdsourced one. The open network is also good for evaluating performance of the technology, even if private and closed network will be used for the particular the application in question.

Existence of the network makes it also possible to offer new types of services where devices, connectivity, backend and application are all offered as a single service. For most IoT applications, the device end and the application are what created the value. Connectivity and backend in between is often irrelevant for the end-user, as long as certain basic assumptions are met regarding availability, security, etc.

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