If you Need It: They will Build.
We spoke with George Dannecker and Steve Ball of Senet, a LoRa based service provider today. It’s clear to me that the opportunity for specific IoT carriers is going to be a real market and offer some unique advantages that can compete with cellular and Wi-Fi solutions.
Besides the range advantages that LoPan type solutions have, their sole purpose makes it a better partner for prioritization and planning.
Wi-Fi and LTE have existing customers that they serve that have more demands and more revenue at risk than IoT can contribution. While 50 Billion devices sounds like a big number the data communication needs parallel the beeper traffic in the early 90s.
In addition the issue of being where the customer needs you to be can’t be overstated. As LTE struggles to manage DAS and Small Cell deployments for consumer data demand, saying you need to support an agricultural deployment is like a single shareholder sharing the stage with the institutional investors. They have the same right to speak, but their impact is very different.
LoRa has advantages in the fact that the existing infrastructure is in place and the added range makes it rare that new towers are needed.
Armed with this base of opportunity, George Dannecker pointed out that it typically takes them only a few months to have the network deployed. In effect, we can say the Field of Dreams phrase, “If you build it, they will come.” Now becomes, “We will add to the field and be there when you are ready”.
Many of the existing customers are in rural markets with propane. They also have supported suburban home heating solutions with oil heat.
The important aspect is that the use of Lora lends itself to fast deployments with little configuration issues. While these systems do not have to be single purpose the costs allow for a base to be set and then new customers to be added.