Canada is getting a new nationwide wireless network, and this one is specially suited for the Internet of Things (IoT). eleven-x, a member of the LoRa Alliance, is rolling out a cross-Canada expansion of its Low Power Wide Area Network [LPWAN] to include densely populated areas across Canada.
Cities that will be covered by the expanded network include: Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, and Toronto. In fact, the Greater Toronto area cities, including Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville and Burlington are also set to be covered in order to make way for the Smart City programs in the region.
What it means to Canada’s IoT infrastructure
Reliable connectivity is essential to for IoT devices that governments, corporations, and individuals depend on. Where many consumer-grade IoT devices exist just fine in the home on the owner’s Wi-Fi signal, having a constant connection outside of the home, or indeed throughout a region, is another story.
Existing wireless carrier signals make a lot of bandwidth available, but also require a lot of energy to maintain a connection to. IoT devices don’t need a lot of bandwidth. They just need enough to send data and receive commands.
eleven-x‘s LPWAN offers a low-powered solution that, while having far less bandwidth than a conventional carrier signal, can be constantly connected to by battery-powered sensors with minimal energy overhead.
This makes it a compelling choice for IoT developers working on smart city projects where sensors are spread throughout a city, many of them operating on battery power. LPWAN makes it possible for these IoT devices to extend their battery life as much as 20 years over those operating on conventional carrier signals.
Expanding on existing footprint
This won’t be eleven-x’s first presence in Canada. The company’s LPWAN network currently exists in 22 markets representing over 60% of the country’s population. Initial deployments were launched in December 2016, with a central focus on the Southern Ontario region.
This expansion makes way for more smart city programs and less-expensive carrier-grade connectivity throughout the coverage area. eleven-x’s network is already being used to host several Smart City initiatives and enterprise IoT pilot programs. These include projects like smart parking, water monitoring, health and assisted living, and smart metering for utilities like electricity.
Canada’s first smart metering program for water was a combined effort between the region of Waterloo and eleven-x.
“The timing of this expansion couldn’t be better, enabling the rapidly growing Canadian IoT market.” said Nigel Wallis, Vice President of IoT and Industry Research at IDC.
The LoRa Alliance is a global organization that is bringing forward what it hopes will be a consistent, open standard for secure, carrier-grade low-power IoT connectivity. It is comprised of 400 companies globally.
Along with this project to expand its LPWAN network, eleven-x has upgraded its membership with the LoRa Alliance to the Contributor level. This upgrade gives eleven-x the ability to initiate, chair, and vote in work groups. These work groups enable members to come up with new draft specifications and other ways to take the technology further.
This upgraded role allows eleven-x to take a more active role in the open standard the LoRa Alliance is creating.