SENET: The Next Big Thing in IoT
“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects.” – Herman Melville
How power wide area networks (LPWANs) have been gaining significant ground in recent years. They are giving tough competition to cellular networks. The main advantage of cellular networks is broad coverage, but there remain many locations with poor or no coverage. For many IoT applications, cellular networks are impractical due to its high power consumption. Though cellular costs are declining, LPWANs have a fundamentally lower cost infrastructure, especially in applications requiring low data rates.
Headquartered in New Hampshire, US, Senet Inc. is the first and only public provider of LPWA networks with class leading LoRa® modulation for IoT/M2M applications in North America. In 2014, following extensive study of the various LPWA network technologies, Senet selected LoRa® as the best overall solution. In early 2015, they joined the LoRa Alliance as a contributing member. The LoRa Alliance has grown rapidly to over 130 members in 6 months and has proposed a global, open standard protocol called LoRaWAN.
Founded in 2009, the company has FCC-certified gateways and an established North American network with real, production applications running today. When businesses decide that the open standards-based LoRa® network is the right solution for their IoT requirements, Senet is the answer. While dozens of new sensor-based solutions are being developed and tested on the Senet Network, the primary revenue-generating application is currently EnerTrac. The company is able to build additional network coverage within two to three months of customer requirements.
Senet’s competitors include existing networks (e.g. cellular), future technologies (e.g. LTE-M), and other vendors of LPWA networks. The key LPWAN competitors are Sigfox and Ingenu. Senet differentiates itself from them by being open standards-based and having the largest, existing deployment running a revenue-generating application.
Senet’s Unique Product Offerings
IoT is a nascent market and there are new solutions and new companies being created regularly that are inventing valuable applications to leverage the benefits of LPWA networks. The company has two important dimensions when it comes to product offerings: the Senet Network and the EnerTrac application. The main objective is to attract new solutions and to nurture the growth of existing applications running on the public Senet Network. EnerTrac remains to be a fantastic proof point of the value of a LPWA network since it provides low total solution cost, long range connectivity (> 15 miles rural), and low power (> 10-year battery life) device enablement. EnerTrac also demonstrates a rapid and easy to understand ROI.
In addition to the LPWA network benefits listed above, Senet’s LoRa® based network offers bidirectional communication, mobile device support, adaptive data rate support, and strong, built-in security features using AES-128 CCM. The company strongly feels that the benefits of an open standards based network are critical to building a competitive and rich ecosystem of IoT solutions.
As EnerTrac remains as Senet’s most deployed application, the largest customers are fuel dealers such as JS West, Proulx, and MFA (Missouri Farmers Association).
“We have been doing telemetry tank monitoring for many years albeit only on less than 1% of our tanks because the cost was just too high. When we discovered EnerTrac we were intrigued about its potential because their pricing allowed us to automate a very large number of our tanks”
– Jim Proulx, President -Proulx Oil & Propane
“We have found through our testing that reducing the number of times we have to go into a neighborhood is an advantage for both JS West and, just as importantly, for our customers.
Because the EnerTrac units were so attractively priced we found that we could now automate not just some of our larger customers but virtually all of our customers. In the past six months alone, we have installed some 10,000 EnerTrac monitors, have already removed 5 trucks from delivery service and are moving quickly to cover virtually all of our customers’ tanks. We now believe when we are completed we will have reduced our delivery fleet by more than 30%.” – Eric Benson, President -JS West Propane
Future Road Map
Currently, the network expansion of Senet is being funded primarily by the EnerTrac application. In parallel, the company is in the early stages of testing with over 25 innovative companies building a variety of sensor-based solutions. By the end of 2015, the Senet Network will have grown to over 100,000 square miles of coverage, collecting data from over 30,000 end nodes with coverage in the Northeast (New England and New York), significant parts of the Midwest (mainly in Iowa and Missouri), and California (San Francisco Bay area and the Central Valley). Future expansion plans will intend to broaden Senet’s geographic market coverage beyond North America.
Meet the Key Executive
George Dannecker, CEO
He has more than 35 years of multinational management experience in the technology sector. He has held management positions of increasing responsibility with Acme Electric Corporation, Gould, Inc. and AavidThermalloy, and was cofounder of Concord Communications and Teraconnect. He founded Vette Corp. and Coolcentric which became global leaders in the field of electronic thermal management with global sales and manufacturing operations in North America and China. Prior to founding Vette Corp. Dannecker was founder, CEO and president of TeraConnect, Inc. a venture-funded spinout from Lockheed Martin, commercializing optical transceivers used in telecommunications and data communications. He was also President and COO of AavidThermalloy, where he globalized manufacturing, expanding operations into England, Singapore, Taiwan and China and achieved revenues of more than $250 million. He joined Senet in 2013.