Expert talk "How the LPWAN is driving digitalisation"

Embedded world 2022, Nuremberg

"The IoT market has not yet developed as strongly as Industry & Research had predicted at the time, but still shows huge potential for development due to the wide range of possible applications in practice.” This was the thesis with which the participants in the expert panel (Ralf Schoula - m2m GmbH, Prof. Michael Schlicht - IIS Fraunhofer; David Rahusen -Stackforce, Wolfgang Esch -WEPTECH elektronik GmbH) started the joint discussion, to which Heinz Arnold, Senior Editor & Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Markt & Technik had invited. Watch the complete video here.

Sigfox, LoRaWan, NB-IoT, LTE-M or mioty®, each LPWAN technology offers advantages and disadvantages, whether in asset tracking, smart bins, parking space monitoring, intralogistics, smart agriculture, predictive maintenance or smart city projects, to name just a few areas; the optimal technology mix always depends on the specific requirements of the respective "use case".

"The initial spark for the start of LPWAN technologies came from the first IoT solutions, when the need arose in industry in the course of digitalisation to network objects, e.g. sensors, with other devices and systems via the Internet. This development was then significantly accelerated by the topic of smart metering," says Wolfgang Esch - Head of Sales & Marketing at WEPTECH Elektronik. "The EU directives on energy efficiency have been successively transposed into national law; key words are the “Gesetz zu Energiedienstleistungen und Effizienzmaßnahmen”, “Gesetz zur Digitalisierung der Energiewende”, “Messstellenbetriebsgesetz”, etc.". The roll-out of the BSI-certified smart meter gateway started a great momentum, which has now gained equally dynamic momentum in the area of sub-metering due to the “Novellierung der Verordnung zur Heizkostenabrechnung” (UVI)."

For example, WEPTECH has been actively involved in the definition and development of the standards since 2008 through its involvement in the OMS Group Board and participation in the individual working groups. In terms of the required meter interoperability, it was important to transmit the wireless MBus data with a battery-saving LPWAN technology in a common language - namely OMS - for further processing by other applications in a cloud.

So in the near future we will see meters that speak w-Mbus, or LoraWan or mioty®, but above that there is a uniform OMS standard. In the end, it does not matter to the platform provider which LPWAN technology is used to get the data onto his platform, as long as it complies with the OMS standard. The platform provider only needs an OMS parser and can interpret and process the data from electricity, gas or water meters.

This is where WEPTECH can actively support the meter manufacturers. With our STARLING, we have developed a particularly investment-friendly radio module for precisely this application, which supports three radio protocols.

STARLING enables the use of three different radio protocols: mioty®, LoRaWAN and wireless M-Bus. For this purpose, WEPTECH offers an OMS application layer for each radio protocol, with which OMS over mioty®, OMS over LoRaWAN and OMS over wM-Bus can be used.

This enables us to provide the manufacturer of a meter or a sensor with the necessary technology so that he can decide for himself which protocol he ultimately wants to use. The favoured protocol can be selected software-supported and thus actually serve every requirement.

The decisive factor - and this is the uniform conclusion of the experts - is always communication and the successful interaction of the individual players; the role of the system integrator is dominant here, who must ensure that the optimal technology is selected for the respective application and that the relevant data for the downstream applications are aggregated - securely and reliably - on the respective cloud. With this core requirement, IoT will hold a huge potential of projects and interesting business models for all market participants in the future, according to the general tenor of the experts.

f.l.t.r.: Wolfgang Esch, Ralf Schoula, Heinz Arnold, Michael Schlicht, David Rahusen

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