Redexia was born in January 2019 with the aim of becoming Spain's first national LoRaWAN network. Currently it is in the midst of deploying the network, focusing initially on large cities; complete national coverage is estimated to be in place three years from now at the latest.
The truth is that LoRaWAN is becoming consolidated as the protocol of choice for any IoT project that requires sending small data packages and requires low battery consumption. For example, projects involving smart meters, sensors, geolocation, etc.
In the specific case of smart metering, and particularly in the case of smart water meters, LoRaWAN technology, due to its technical characteristics (especially in terms of battery consumption and deep indoor coverage), is becoming consolidated as the most effective communications protocol.
The truth is that LoRa technology is not a promise for the future or a proof of concept, but a confirmed reality. Currently, more than 100 countries have LoRaWAN networks, and the successful cases are many. Only in Europe there are more than 80 million sensors connected using LoRaWAN networks to date.
In this regard, if we study how the sales of IoT sensors are evolving worldwide, we can see that that LoRaWAN is by far the IoT protocol that grows most.
On the other hand, Redexia, since it was founded, is part of the 'LoRa Alliance' association, a nonprofit association created in 2015 by industry leaders that understood that the IoT revolution is happening now.
LoRaWAN, the connectivity of choice for the water sector
The water sector is clearly experiencing a change, and the possibilities that the Internet of Things (IoT) offers could change significantly the way the resource is managed. The progress of IoT technologies and solutions is generating new opportunities, as well as new business models in the water sector. This applies to irrigation management, waste water treatment plants, water meters, water quality monitoring and water leaks monitoring, to give a few examples.
In irrigation, where often there is no mobile coverage nor electric outlets, LoRaWAN connectivity is the protocol that can best meet existing needs. Likewise, in the case of water meters in dwellings or factories, where once again smart meters that ensure optimum battery consumption and excellent connectivity are a must, LoRaWAN technology is the protocol of choice.
In this context, and as an example, Veolia announced a few months ago their intention to deploy 3 million smart water meters based on LoRaWAN in France. In Spain, Redexia is nowadays in a testing phase with several companies involved in the water industry and smart meters.
The installation of smart meters enables those companies to collect information more quickly and efficiently, and also allows deploying new smarter and more sustainable solutions.
Thanks to LoRa, a sensor's battery can last up to 12 years, with no need to recharge it until after that timeframe
Other uses based on LoRaWAN technology
IoT applications at the company or individual level are almost endless. Aside from those mentioned in the water sector, we can cite some examples in other sectors such as the infrastructure sector, smart cities and buildings, and asset geolocation.
In the case of smart cities, monitoring and controlling air quality, noise levels, how full waste bins are, parking spaces, and the structure of historical bridges or buildings, are all very important in order to optimise certain processes, such as: avoiding accidents, traffic management, avoiding high pollution points, controlling fraud in public car parks and even optimise the route of garbage trucks.
In buildings, applications include controlling energy use, temperature, humidity, potential water leaks, and the presence of rodents or smoke in real time; together with the possibility of monitoring whether spaces are occupied, whether doors and windows are open/closed, the location and movement of high value assets, etc.; these would contribute to having a smart building easily. We should highlight the 'easy' nature of solutions, since the inclusion and installation of LoRaWAN sensors is extremely easy and quick because they do not require an electrical outlet.
Finally, we should mention the geolocation possibilities that LoRaWAN trackers offer. Indoor or outdoor monitoring of assets and/or people (packages, containers, trucks, ships, motorbikes, suitcases, livestock, pets, people, etc.) with no need for mobile coverage or a SIM card, and with no need to charge the device every night, is a great advantage for many companies, especially in the logistics sector.
The challenges of IoT projects
It is quite easy and intuitive to understand the benefits of connecting objects and for these objects to transmit important information. However, connecting objects is not enough. The amount of information that can be collected on a daily basis is overwhelming, so the challenge is to extract value from all that data generated. To do that, we have to organise the information properly, analyse it, and, most importantly, apply a layer of intelligence to enable smart decisions that optimise processes, reduce expenses, improve productivity, etc.
LoRaWAN, the leading IoT protocol
Talking about IoT is talking about object connectivity. Currently, there are multiple protocols to connect objects: 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, Wifi, Bluetooth, NB-IOT, LTE, Sigfox and LoRa. What makes a difference is that the LoRa protocol, the same as Sigfox, is based on LPWAN technology (Low Power Wide Area Network), so you eliminate one of the current hurdles of IoT sensor projects: battery consumption. Indeed, thanks to LoRa, a sensor's battery can last up to 12 years, with no need to recharge it until after that timeframe. On the other hand, because LoRa uses a band frequency range that is not subject to licensing, the connectivity costs it can offer are a lot more attractive than those of other technologies such as 4G or NB-IoT.
The progress of IoT technologies and solutions is generating new opportunities and new business models in the water sector
Therefore, the LoRa network is particularly suited for any sensor project, where the information transmitted does not require a high band width, but small data packages: geolocation, temperature, pollution levels, meters, motion sensors, meter readings, etc. The LoRa network thus is well suited for any project involving monitoring, tracking vehicles and objects, smart cities, precision agriculture, waste management, industry 4.0, etc.
Redexia's founders, Alex Bryszkowski and Juan Ederra, have already led innovative projects in the past. Over 12 years ago they founded the IP telephony operator Vozelia and the online marketing agency Labelium in Spain, respectively. With this new project, together they bank on the IoT sector and more specifically on the success of the LoRaWAN protocol.