Pioneering the Internet of Things in Czech Republic

2nd December 2015
Joe Bush

České Radiokomunikace (ČRa) has selected the LoRa wireless RF technology from Semtech Corporation as the RF platform for the company’s first Internet of Things (IoT)-based pilot programme. Working with network partners RWE GasNet and Softlink, ČRa has developed a LoRa-based solution that was tested in the spring of 2015 and has now been launched in select markets.

The tests demonstrated the long reach, low power consumption and low operational costs of the LoRa technology. They also exhibited the signal quality and reach to both outside and inside facilities, which is a key parameter for smart metering.

“The LoRa technology and LoRaWAN results were significantly better than the alternative available technologies we evaluated, which opens up a wide field of use,” said Petr Sichrovský, Commercial Director, ČRa. “The Internet of Things will significantly contribute to making a wide spectrum of human activities more efficient and will make everyday life simpler.”

“ČRa demands strict RF standards for its network and has been very diligent in its evaluations of the LoRa technology and LoRaWAN protocol, which have exceeded ČRa’s expectations and delivered to us confirmation that the technology is a great choice for real world IoT networks,” added Jaap Groot, Vice President of System Business Development for Semtech’s Wireless, Sensing and Timing Product Group. “ČRa wants to provide a smart city infrastructure for its partners allowing them easier implementation of their own solutions.”

According to industry consultant Gartner, billions of devices around the world will be connected by 2020. ČRa is positioning itself to cater to IoT development throughout the country and region with infrastructure that offers nationwide coverage and a high performance cloud computing data centre.

The pilot network, developed by ČRa for RWE GasNet and Softlink, uses pulse sensors on the RWE gas pipeline to capture data that is then sent via the LoRa radio network into the ČRa cloud. From there, the data is processed and sent to end users. The pilot operation has been implemented in Prague and surrounding suburbs, and the network should be ready for commercial launch by the end of 2015.

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