According to a Global Market Insights, Inc. report, the Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN), with its size estimated at 1.5 billion US dollars in 2018, is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 60% from 2019 to 2025. This has been driven by the increased adoption of long-range machine-to-machine (M2M) communication devices using Internet of Things (IoT) technology in various applications for a vast array of enterprises and within many vertical industries, from healthcare and utilities to agriculture and logistics.
With many wireless technologies incapable of long-range transference of data required by most enterprise and industrial IoT applications, funding of IoT and LPWAN companies has also increased, particularly in the last year, signaling the sustained interest for the development of low power wide area network standards and in building the ecosystem. The months and years ahead could prove to be a formative time for network operators globally as they introduce licensed and unlicensed LPWA alternatives, i.e., NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, LTE-M, SigFox, ZigBee in order to support devices that are required to send small amounts of data over a large area while preserving battery life.
One such company, New Hampshire-based Senet, a global IoT connectivity, cloud software, and service leader and a founding and sponsor member of the LoRa Alliance, this week announced that it has secured a $16 million funding round. The round is led by the investment firm, Fisk Ventures, and will enable Senet to meet the growing international demand for LoRaWAN and carrier-grade connectivity as businesses continue to embrace digitized solutions for mission-critical infrastructure improvements, automation, safety and security, and contactless data collection.
Senet's network has been constructed to scale easily, connect and manage billions of low-power, low-cost IoT sensors and is available in public, private, and hybrid configurations, enabling flexibility and innovative deployment and business engagement models to make it possible for a broader range of companies to engage in the IoT services economy. The company currently operates the largest public carrier-grade LoRaWAN network in the United States and supports global IoT solution deployment by providing coverage and connectivity readiness in more than eighty countries.
In part, these new funds will allow Senet to accelerate the deployment of its LoRaWAN network across the United States to support the recent increase in demand from the energy and utility sector and their focus on automation, service delivery, and sustainability.
"Through a combination of advanced metering technology and cloud-based network management solutions offered by Senet and our metering partners, utilities can focus on their core business and recognize the full value of AMI without the operational burden of building and maintaining the system infrastructure," said Bruce Chatterley, CEO at Senet. "In addition to supporting water AMI initiatives, Senet's LoRaWAN networks are serving as platforms for creating new opportunities for multi-utility service providers and municipalities as they explore a variety of water and gas metering, safety, energy management, and sustainability use cases."
Senet's IoT network platforms are also being utilized to connect many commercial, municipal, and enterprise applications across the world. A prime example is their partnership with SenRa, an LPWAN provider deploying LoRaWAN connectivity throughout India. Using Senet's Managed Network Services for IoT (MNSi™), SenRa has deployed 60 LoRaWAN networks in a growing number of cities across the country.
Senet plans to use their funding to:
- Accelerate the deployment and densification of its network to support utility and municipal IoT applications, to meet significant demand increase from the energy, utility, and "smart city" sectors.
- Expand global business development and co-marketing with network operators, tower companies, radio access network providers, and launch incentive-based partner programs for engagement between network infrastructure and IoT solution providers to support its Managed Network Services for IoT (MNSi) and RAN Provider Services offerings.
- Invest in awareness programs and business development resources designed to scale the commercial Internet of Things by transitioning users from developer networks, crowd-sourced hotspot networks, and gateway-based Network Servers that are not architected to mission-critical applications.
"Over the past six years, we've seen a wide range of businesses embrace IoT and have learned that creating a bridge between the physical and digital worlds is far more complex than most people realize," said Bruce Chatterley, CEO at Senet. "Building on our experience and with the support of our investors, we will continue to strive toward delivering ubiquitous low-cost network connectivity, zero-touch device configuration, and device monitoring and management at massive scale in support of our customers' needs. With a multi-year head start over competing LPWAN technologies and a strong partner ecosystem, we are in a great position to execute the next steps of our long-term strategic vision of helping organizations transform business outcomes, markets, and economies."
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Ken Briodagh