Actillity ThingPark and Digita to roll out a national LoRa network for Finland

Olivier Hersent, CTO of Actility

Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), and Digita, the Finnish broadcast network operator, are teaming up to take the next step towards a fully-connected Finland by rolling out a LoRa network.

Following the completion of a successful trial period of several months, the companies have seen that the market is ready for a full-scale commercial deployment. The service is available for local implementation everywhere in Finland from October 2016. Rollout for full area coverage starts from major cities.

This is the first commercial LoRa network for IoT to be deployed in Finland. The deployment also emphasises the opportunity that LoRa brings for companies like Digita, which is not a traditional cellular operator, to leverage the tall radio and television masts of their broadcast network to become key players in the internet of Things.

The LoRa network will enable services across a wide variety of domains, including smart cities, smart agriculture and logistics. Exploring the benefits for smart homes, during the trial period, Digita and partner VVO Group evaluated a solution using Actility’s platform, which monitored temperature and humidity in 200 of VVO Group’s properties in the city of Espoo.

“Maintaining healthy living conditions is easy when the factors that affect residents’ comfort can be recognised in real time,” explained Kimmo Rintala, head of VVO Group’s property development unit. “Continuous measuring also enables us to detect obvious apartment-specific faults even before the residents themselves have time to react. Digita’s solution eliminates the need for property-specific installations, as it is based on sensors within apartments that are able to communicate directly with Digita’s system.”

The LoRa core network service is delivered through Actility’s ThingPark Wireless solution, a fully integrated platform for the Internet of Things. Making use of Digita’s broadcast masts means that the technology can be deployed at very high points overlooking the city and be exploited to its full range. 15 of Digita’s 38 main masts are over 300 meters high.

“Finland is an innovative country, with a real hunger for new technologies. The IoT provides fantastic new opportunities to create compelling services for citizens and government. The increased area that can be reached quickly by implementing LoRa technology on broadcast masts, ensures even better coverage and reduces the required number of gateways. With our partners at Digita, we expect to be able to beat the current LoRa range record of 15km,” declared Olivier Hersent, CTO of Actility.

“We believe that IoT technology will revolutionise our daily lives. It can be used, for example, to monitor building conditions, save energy, prevent water damage, prevent theft, locate objects, locate pets, optimise farming and monitor health. In theory, there is no limit to the kinds of applications that are possible” explained Digita’s COO Markus Ala-Hautala.

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