Orange doubles down on LoRa by becoming Alliance board member

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Orange has increased its backing for LoRa technology by becoming a board member of the industry alliance trying to foster its adoption.

The LoRa Alliance was formed at the beginning of last year and includes the likes of Cisco, Bouygues Telecom, KPN and Proximus as board members.

While Orange has been involved in the technology from the start, part funding LoRa player and Alliance board member Actility last year, it has only been as a member of the alliance.

The technology has been seen as a means for operators to develop wide area networks across the likes of smart cities.

Orange is in the middle of rolling out the technology across metropolitan France, a project that should be completed by the end of next month. Once this rollout is completed, Orange will be the largest operator adopter of LoRa.

Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Senior Executive Vice President for Innovation, Marketing and Technologies at Orange, said: "The development of the Internet of Things is expected to surge in the coming years. As a part of our new Essentials2020 strategic plan and the announcement of our France-wide LoRaWAN network, we have decided to take an active role in driving the success of the LoRa Alliance.

"LoRaWAN is complementary to our overall strategy for Internet of Things. LoRa Alliance and LoRaWAN meet customers feature expectations, our business model and has the largest LPWAN eco-system.”

Geoff Mulligan, Chairman of the Alliance, said: “Having Orange join the Alliance is a testament to the strong global ecosystem, with over 300 member companies, the Alliance has built in just the past year. We are excited that a leading global telecommunication operator like Orange, with a strong focus on open standardisation bodies, is joining the LoRa Alliance to contribute their knowledge and drive the further adoption and evolution of this open standard.”

However, Orange is keeping its options open, with plans to introduce the cellular-based NB-IoT in France in 2018.