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.
Figure 1 provides an overview of an IoT solution connecting sensors to an application server. In the figure, the following components can be distinguished:
- Communication device
- LoRa connect service domaino Network access and servero Software platform
- Application server
Figure 1 LoRaWAN Network Architecture
KPN offers two separate products that use KPN's LoRaWAN. The most recent and complete product is KPN Things. KPN Things offers several connectivity options, including LoRaWAN and on top of that offers options, like hardware, data management and applications. The second possibility to use KPN's LoRaWAN is the ThingPark platform. This platform was introduced at the launch of the network and is now offered only in cases where the regular option, KPN Things is not viable. The ThingPark platform offers, in addition to complete management of the operational LoRaWAN 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.
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 follow the certification guidelines, compiled by several operators in the Collective LoraWAN Device Qualification Program (CLDQP). The requirements can be found at https://lora-alliance.org/in-the-news/collective-lorawanr-device-qualification-program.