Tencent Joins LoRa Alliance to Bring LPWAN in IoT Development


Tencent headquarters in Shenzen, China. / Photo by: Diamonds via Wikimedia Commons


Tencent, a Chinese technology conglomerate, joined the LoRa Alliance to accelerate comprehensive IoT solutions in China. The move will enable the company to create a local LoRaWAN network.

The LoRa Alliance is a non-profit group composed of more than 500 companies, dedicating efforts to enable the large-scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Network IoT via LoRaWAN open standard. LPWANs are a type of wireless telecommunication designed to support long-range communications at a low bit rate of connected devices -- usually sensors powered by batteries.

With the growth in LPWAN technology, Tencent joined the alliance to develop and deploy a LoRaWAN network in Shenzhen, China. Once successful, the specification of LoRaWAN will enable wireless connection of battery-operated Internet of Things used in different settings, such as bi-directional communication and end-to-end security.

The topology of the open standard network involves a star-of-stars arrangement, wherein gateways communicate between end-devices and a central network server. Each gateway connected to the server uses a standard IP connection. The arrangement also enables support for mass distribution of messages and Firmware Over-the-Air or FOTA updates.

As of now, there are three classes of end-point devices in a LoRaWAN network. These classes have been developed to address the specific needs of certain applications. Class A features a low-power sleep mode to sustain low power operating requirements. Class B features average power consumption as the operation is synchronized under a definite latency. Class C features the lowest latency possible in exchange for heavy power consumption, compared to the other classes.

“It is clear that LPWANs are essential for the IoT technology and applications, and the market is quickly growing in China, especially in areas like government public services, industry manufacturing, personal IoT devices, etc.,” said Hongtao Bie, vice president at Tencent Technologies.