LoRaWAN networks in Romania
LoRa Alliance had been founded in 2015 and presently has more than 500 members (including 2 Romanian companies: Flashnet from Brasov and ETA2U from Timisoara) and it has deployments in more than 100 countries, according to the info from their website (https://www.lora-alliance.org/).
Looking to Romania, LoRaWAN networks have been started by Flashnet in Brasov in 2015 and it grows to have presently 2 cities 100% covered: Brasov with 5 gateways by Flashnet and Alba Iulia with 6 gateways by Orange and Timisoara who has 80% coverage provided by ETA2U.
ORANGE was the first Operator to speak about launching LoRa networks in Romania in March, 2016 at Show Hello 4, where they launched their Smart Home products also. Orange has installed 3 out of their 14 Smart City solutions/projects in Alba Iulia based on LoRaWAN: LoRaWAN infrastructure for IoT applications and devices, street lighting based on LoRa and water meters based on LoRa).
COMBRIDGE, part of Deutsche Telekom Group, announced on May, 19th, 2016 at Communications Day event in Bucharest, the first public LoRaWAN provider in CEE. Combridge had 4 gateways installed, 2 of them in Bucharest and in Sf. Gheorghe and Covasna. Combridge was the first operator which launched commercial services for LoRa connectivity in Romania.
Simfony Mobile announced on 25th of July 2017 the launching in Bucharest of its pilot project of LoRaWAN (http://www.itnewz.ro/prima-retea-publica-lorawan-destinata-proiectelor-iot-din-romania/) located in the North-West of Bucharest area as they have developed an IoT platform for integrating various type of IoT sensors independent of communication technology (either GSM or LoRa or others).
The Things Network Romania (www.thethingsnetwork.org/country/romania) is a LoRa specialists community which provides free of charge LoRa connectivity starting with 2016. Now the community is present in 5 big cities for the moment:
- Bucharest – 4 gateways and 22 contributors
- Cluj – Napoca – 6 contributors
- Deva – 5 contributors
- Iasi – 9 contributors
- Timisoara – 17 contributors
Among the companies with one or more LoRa gateways in Bucharest are: Orange, IOTIFY Solutions, Simfony Mobile, Direct One and Datanet Systems.
There are several types of LoRaWAN gateways used presently among them being CISCO, Kerlink, Multitech and IMST.
For sure there are more companies testing LoRaWAN network and sensors in Romania and the LoRa network will grow very fast also in Romania within the next years.
Regarding the LoRaWAN sensors installed in Romania till now it’s very difficult to say which type and how many. For the moment Flashnet Brasov is leading the top of installed LoRa sensors in Romania with street lighting sensors in Brasov, followed by ORANGE in Alba Iulia with more than 100 sensors installed and working (for street lighting and water meters in Smart City Project of the city) and Direct One with 50 parking sensors installed also in Alba Iulia. IOTIFY Solutions has also parking sensors installed and smart metering sensors in function (for electricity, gas and water) and there are several types of LoRa sensors in trials: for waste management, Air Quality and others.
The types and the number of LoRaWAN sensors is expected to fast grow also in Romania within the next 2-3 years.
The LoRaWAN networks are present in Romania also in some Researches of technical universities. For example Stefan cel Mare University of Suceava presented at ECAI 2017 International Conference, 9th edition, in Targoviste, 29th of June – 1st of July, the presentation with the tiltle “LoRa Wide Area Networks from an Internet of Things perspective” by Alexandru Lvaric and Valentin Popa.
For those who want to learn more about LoRaWAN networks there are several options on internet. One of the available options is the LoRaWAN Academy run by Kerlink: https://www.kerlink.com/customers-usecases/lorawan-academy/
IOTIFY Solutions, a Vegacomp Consulting partner for IoT solutions, http://iotify.eu/, is a Kerlink dealer for Romania for LoRaWAN gateways and Adeunis dealer for LoRaWAN devices. IOTIFY Solutions is producing outdoor wireless parking sensors based on LoRaWAN (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yd4oZI9UeKQ ) and Smart Metering solution which include their own smart metering devices based on LoRa for electric meters and other devices for water, gas and steam meters reading in the same application IOTIFY Smart Metering. The LoRa parking sensors are functional presently in 5 cities of Romania (Bucharest, Voluntari, Brasov, Alba Iulia and Cluj) and in 3 of them IOTIFY installed its own LoRa gateways (from Kerlink).