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Semtech announced this week availability of LoRa Cloud Geolocation, a new cloud-based geolocation service that is compatible with the LoRaWAN protocol and almost any network server. The geolocation service can be integrated to provide a low-cost, performance-optimized solution, and is the first of a variety of cloud services products that Semtech will be offering to support IoT application development.

LoRa Cloud Geolocation features simple API accepting signal-strength, signal-to-noise ratio and time of arrival data from LoRaWAN-based gateways and returning an estimated location; support for all LoRaWAN-based gateways, with or without accurate time of arrival data; compatible with LoRaWAN-based devices on all LoRaWAN-based networks; options for including multiple packets (uplinks) in a single query for improved accuracy; complete stateless with all required data included in the query; no device identity required – total device anonymity ensured; support for multiple antennae per gateway; and deploy in public cloud or on-premise.

When gateways receive the data packet transmitted by LoRa-based devices, they also generate metadata such as received signal-strength, signal-to-noise ratio and time of arrival. When this metadata from the gateways is assembled into a suitable query, and transmitted via an HTTP post request, then the service is able to calculate a location.

The service does not require any special hardware or software on the device itself, and there is no requirement for a GPS (or similar) chipset. Thus, the service enables geolocation with no additional power consumption in the device.

“Semtech’s new cloud-based geolocation service, accessed by a Cloud API call, will simplify and democratize access to geolocation for all LoRaWAN-based devices,” said Richard Lansdowne, senior director of LoRa Cloud services within Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “This is the first of a new breed of fully supported commercial LoRa Cloud services from Semtech that we will be providing as part of our overall strategy to simplify the development of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions, which leverage the unique low power, long range and flexible deployment benefits of our LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology. With a free usage tier to allow anyone to trial the service rapidly and easily, LoRa Cloud Geolocation also offers a simple and cost effect consumption-based pricing model.”

Over the past year, Semtech has trialed a free Cloud-based geolocation service with hundreds of users providing positive feedback on the ease-of-use and the performance of the service. LoRa Cloud Geolocation was in beta test this year with limited partners and over the coming quarter, many more users are expected to integrate the new service into their platforms. The cloud-based geolocation service was designed from the outset to support flexibility in deployment options providing geolocation service availability to any IoT devices.

“We were impressed with the ease of integration, the response times and the accuracy of the trial service,” said Domenico Arpaia, CEO at Orbiwise. “It took us less than a day to migrate to the new service and it was great to see that Semtech had made it faster and more accurate, delivering a true enterprise-grade experience, in line with our customers’ expectation. The flexibility to deploy the service to match the security and privacy requirements of our customers in different regions will allow us to include this service as part of our standard offering.”

“Our LoRaWAN-based network servers were the first to integrate Semtech’s trial geolocation service and our community of over 64,000 users have really appreciated it,” said Wienke Giezeman, founder & CEO of The Things Industries and The Things Network Foundation. “We were delighted to see Semtech commercialize the service, enabling us to include it in our offering as a simple bolt-on option. Semtech’s vision in providing critical services to support the silicon is really going to meet the needs of the market and since the service can be trialed for free, indefinitely, it is 100% aligned with our vision of open, free community services complemented by a seamless transition route to a full commercial solution.”

Semtech is currently onboarding early customers and general availability with sign-up via a new LoRa Cloud services portal is expected later this year. Different pricing tiers will be available for selection.


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