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UAE’s Thuraya joins the LoRa™ Alliance

Thuraya's headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph courtesy of
Thuraya’s headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Photograph courtesy of

Leading mobile satellite services (MSS) operator Thuraya Telecommunications Company has joined the LoRa Alliance™, supporting its mission to standardize Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) deployed around the world.

The LoRa Alliance was launched in 2015 to define and promote a low power, secure, carrier grade standard for low power wide area Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity. It aims to enable IoT, machine-to-machine (M2M), smart-city and industrial applications, and has already generated high levels of interest and participation in its first 18 months of existence. End users will now be able to implement LoRaWAN™ technology over Thuraya’s network.

Thuraya M2M Product Manager, Marwan Joudeh said: “We want to take every opportunity to grow our M2M/IoT presence, so we are pleased to join the LoRa Alliance. Membership gives us access to an excellent ecosystem of developers and solution providers. This way of working will encourage the mass adoption of low cost, long range IoT/machine-to-machine connectivity while extending the range of such solutions through our robust satellite network into remote and rural areas. This is a key advantage for applications covering the energy and utilities, logistics, agriculture and security sectors. The Thuraya team is looking forward to exploring the breadth of opportunities this will generate, and we also want to offer our own expertise to help foster further innovation.”

LoRa Alliance Chairman, Geoff Mulligan said: “We are very pleased to have Thuraya join the Alliance, they bring expertize and technology to our ecosystem that can help address the many needs of the rapidly growing LPWA Market.”

LoRa Alliance members share knowledge and experience to deliver end to end IoT solutions including sensors, gateways, connectivity and applications. This collaboration with one another is designed to drive the global success of LoRaWAN™, the protocol that offers bi-directionality, security, mobility for asset tracking, and accurate localization.

The LoRaWAN™ standard for secure, carrier grade low power wide area networks is the first LPWAN protocol for LPWAN solutions developers. It offers interoperability and security for network operators deploying large multi-tenanted open networks running multiple applications as well as private networks. Entire cities or countries can be covered with a few base stations, no longer requiring the upfront rollout and maintenance of thousands of nodes as in traditional mesh networking, and therefore minimizing investment.

Joudeh said: “Membership of the LoRa Alliance adds further momentum to Thuraya’s M2M presence. Standardization generates volume, and the methodology and approach of the LoRa Alliance will help us develop long term opportunities on a significant scale. Thuraya will develop an extensive M2M presence, and this is a key element of our exciting FUTURA next generation capability plans.”

IoT will bring operational efficiency to a new level, and the scale of opportunity is considerable. The International Data Corporation predicts the IoT market will grow to $7.1 trillion by 2020 worldwide, from $1.9 trillion in 2013. Projections for the number of connected devices may vary – Gartner’s 26 billion by 2020, Cisco’s 50 billion and Intel’s 200 billion – but all are sizeable. So too is the expected percentage that will be low-power devices requiring wide-area networks, which cannot be served by existing cellular and Wi-Fi technologies.

Thuraya M2M

Earlier this year, Thuraya launched a dedicated M2M service and terminal across its extensive coverage area and, working in partnership with ViaSat, for the first time over North America. The Thuraya FT2225 fixed terminal works on the Thuraya network and on ViaSat’s mobile satellite services network, leveraging ViaSat’s L-band high capacity satellite system. Thuraya’s terminal offers remarkably efficient bandwidth usage, low-latency IP networking, and high levels of security. It is supported by a market-leading 99.9% service level agreement, and reduces total cost of ownership.

Thuraya’s robust secure two-way communications M2M network enables M2M and IoT application deployment beyond the confines of traditional cellular networks. By joining the alliance, Thuraya is looking to expand its solutions offering in areas such as rural IoT and M2M connectivity, smart agriculture, water management, smart metering, weather and asset monitoring.

Discussions have also begun with platform providers to tap into a broader IoT market reach, both for application enablement and connectivity management.

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