The Things Network to provide LoRaWAN® Satellite connectivity for evaluation in 2020

30 January 2020

The Things Industries, a global LoRaWAN® network service provider, in partnership with Lacuna Space will be the first LoRaWAN operator to be routing LoRaWAN messages received by their space gateways for end users. This announcement was made earlier today at The Things Conference with a live demonstration of messages being routed via the satellite transmission. With the help of this service, LoRaWAN operators will be able to extend their network by providing satellite connectivity to fill voids between the terrestrial gateways out of cellular reach and give continuous global coverage.

LoRaWAN is a long range IoT technology that is gaining global traction. The Things Industries provides a global network with a platform to setup base station (LoRaWAN gateways) infrastructure at low cost with carrier grade capabilities. Lacuna Space is set to launch a series of LoRaWAN gateways into orbit capable of receiving LoRaWAN messages from the ground. After an initial commissioning and experimental phase, the first 3 months of operation will be an evaluation service allowing the global LoRaWAN ecosystem to test the service which will be a paid service in the future.

This partnership brings all the features of the network server of The Things Industries, directly to the LoRaWAN space ecosystem. This includes features such as flexible deployment of the server, support for easy provisioning of devices via QR code app and a network agnostic Join Server which safely stores the root keys of devices. Getting telemetry data via satellites will be as easy as launching an account and activating through the Lacuna Space virtual network operator while keeping the license fees linked to your existing cloud account or use the pay per use option. Later this year, an evaluation program will open to IoT space customers looking to get started with their use case.

“This is putting the power of space in the hands of everybody. With exponential innovation as a result. Democratizing this common space, called space.”

Wienke Giezeman, CEO, The Things Industries

Lacuna Space is launching a constellation of low-orbit satellites which receive messages from LoRa based devices on the ground. At about 500km above the surface, these satellites will circle around the earth and pass over the poles every 100 minutes. These messages are sent using the LoRaWAN protocol, which is suitable for devices needing long battery life and telemetry data. The satellite stores the data for a short time after which it is relayed to an application on a terrestrial network. This makes the service it an ideal option for use cases such as asset tracking, smart agriculture, monitoring in remote areas.

Lacuna Space Technology

“We are driven by the vision of connecting billions of devices, even in the most remote places on the globe, using open standards. Network integration is the second hardest problem for the IoT after connectivity. The integration with The Things Industries allows easy transfer of messages from the Lacuna Space network to the end application. This announcement builds on a longstanding collaboration which allows the customers of The Things Industries to access the Lacuna Space network at a touch of a button!.”

Thomas Telkamp, Co-Founder & CTO, Lacuna Space