IoT is Connecting Things on an International Scale
Erin Green posted on November 26, 2015 |
Internet-of-Things parking lots will be rolling out across two countries in early 2016.
The LoRa nation-wide IoT network is designed to guide cars and their drivers to nearby available parking spots.

The LoRa nation-wide IoT network is designed to guide cars and their drivers to nearby available parking spots.

We’ve all been there: circling the parking lot on Black Friday, hoping to find an open spot to squeeze your car into. It can be incredibly frustrating.

But what if your car could find its own open parking spot?

It may sound like the stuff of the future, but for Belgium and Luxembourg, it’s much closer than it appears.

In early 2016, these two countries will be outfitted with an international IoT network for parking. The integrated systems are also intended to set up the “building blocks,” for smart building and smart city functions.

An International IoT Network Stays Connected on Existing Infrastructure

Conveniently enough, the foundation for these large-scale IoT networks already exists. They’re being built on a pre-existing infrastructure developed by Proximus, a cellular and internet provider in the area.

The infrastructure is outfitted with IoT-enabling software, which then connects to a long-range, wide-area network (LoRaWAN). This system uses LoRa technology to build a secure bi-directional communication system.

LoRaWAN uses gateways to relay messages between its central back-end server and end-point devices. With the IoT, these devices are sensors that can be attached to just about anything. Gateways use standard IP connections and end-point devices use single-hop wireless communication.

The LoRa system, which was originally tested at an airport in Brussels, will soon connect Things across Belgium and Luxembourg.

The LoRa system, which was originally tested at an airport in Brussels, will soon connect Things across Belgium and Luxembourg.

These sensors are programmed to use a range of frequencies and data rates so that the system can support a vast number of the devices, as would be expected from a nation-wide network.

Why Do We Need an International IoT?

The LoRa system was initially set up back in July 2015 to help service providers and enterprises developing custom IoT setups.

The original range included Luxembourg City and ten major urban areas across Belgium. Its task was to track freight carts at Zaventem Airport in Brussels.

The next step for the system, when it arrives in early 2016, will include smart building and smart city applications. One of the intended uses will involve enabling cars to locate and guide drivers to nearby available parking spots.

While the LoRa system is limited to Belgium and Luxembourg right now, the long-term plan of project collaborators is that it could eventually be a global system for Thing connectivity. It‘s a bit too late for this year’s Black Friday shopping frenzy, but there’s always next year.

For more information, check out the LoRa website.

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