Introduction to KPN LoRa

KPN’s Low Power Long Range (LoRa) network service is based on a relatively new LPWAN protocol for IoT and supplements existing 2G, 3G, 4G and LTE-M networks. The network eliminates significant barriers such as cost and energy consumption so that numerous (battery powered) devices can be connected. KPN has equipped hundreds of existing mobile transmission towers across the Netherlands with a LoRaWAN gateway and antenna, allowing millions of devices to be connected. Future functionality will also include roaming of end-devices on foreign partner networks. Figure 1 provides an overview of an IoT solution connecting sensors to an Application Server. In the figure, the following components can be distinguished:

  • Sensor

  • Communication device

  • LoRa connect service domain

    o Network access and server

    o Software platform

  • Application server

  • Application

Figure 1 LoRaWAN Network Architecture

The service includes the use of a software functionality, the KPN LoRa platform, which is powered by the Actility Thingpark platform. The KPN LoRa platform offers, in addition to complete management of the operational LPWAN network used by KPN staff, the following functionality towards the customer:

  • Device (subscription) management

  • Insight in message flow

  • Data routing towards the customer’s Application Server.

Certification

To ensure that KPN’s customers will experience the same quality of the KPN LoRa network as any other high quality KPN mobile network, all LoRa devices that are connected to the KPN LoRa network must be certified. Certification of the LoRa devices can be performed by several official test houses that are working with the LoRaWAN™ Certification Program. An actual overview of certified devices can be found at: https://www.lora-alliance.org/certified-products.