LORAWAN ROAMING IN GERMANY: MINOL ZENNER CONNECT AND NETZE BW GET THE FIRST TEST UNDERWAYPublished:23. May 2023
In a one-year pilot project, Minol Zenner Connect GmbH and the services division of Netze BW GmbH will provide each other with their LoRaWAN® radio networks for roaming test operation. Both parties signed an agreement to this effect in Stuttgart on 12 May 2023.
Stuttgart/Leinfelden-Echterdingen. LoRaWAN® is considered the radio network of the future. LoRaWAN® enables sensor data to be easily transmitted for many applications in companies and municipalities. It is thus the basis for the Internet of Things (IoT), which is gradually entering administrations and creating new ways to automate workflows. Minol Zenner Connect and Netze BW have now launched a project that is unrivalled in Germany and may be pioneering when it comes to intelligently expanding radio coverage. “LoRaWAN® Roaming” is the keyword. “As with mobile radio, external networks should also be able to be used here,” explains Netze BW Project Manager Nick Lechner. “Our declared goal is to support municipalities in Baden-Württemberg and throughout Germany in their various duties. This partnership now enables us make better and faster progress in expanding our connectivity service,” explains Lechner.
LORAWAN ROAMING TEST OPERATION KICKING OFF SOON
The growing demand for IoT applications calls for rapid expansion of the LoRaWAN® network. However, in the interests of effectiveness and economic efficiency, duplicate gateway structures should be avoided. With this in mind, the two LoRaWAN® operators Minol Zenner Connect and Netze BW have now entered into a cooperation: For a one-year pilot project, which will be shortly commencing, they will share their networks with each other within Germany free of charge with the necessary services. Over the next twelve months, LoRaWAN® roaming test operations will be tested in a real world setting. Since there is still not a standardised procedure in place for this due to a lack of experience in Germany, the required process workflows are to be defined in the project.
“We should all be concerned about the efficient use of resources. As partners of municipalities, we therefore also make sure that unnecessary infrastructure is not constructed in towns, cities and municipalities. If Netze BW already operates a LoRaWAN® network in one location, it is obvious that it can also be used by other companies – and vice versa,” says Dr Christoph Müller, Chairman of the Executive Board of Netze BW GmbH. The project will show to what extent it can also be turned into a business model. However, it is also conceivable to subsequently enter into cooperation with other network operators.
“As part of the cooperation with Netze BW, we are pooling our expertise with the long-term aim of establishing roaming in the LoRaWAN® network across Germany and Europe with different partners. Digitalisation rises and falls with the development and expansion of communication networks and the availability of connectivity. Together with Netze BW, we are setting a milestone here,” explains Dr Hartmut Ritter, Managing Director of Minol ZENNER Connect GmbH.
ENERGY-EFFICIENT NETWORK BRIDGES LONG DISTANCES
The abbreviation LoRaWAN® stands for “Long Range Wide Area Network”. With low radiation and energy efficiency, the radio network can transmit measured values or the states of sensors and actuators over long distances. A few, usually stationary LoRaWAN® gateways and radio antennas form the backbone for this network. Sensors fitted with batteries at the devices to be monitored supply their information to a network server via these gateways. There, the data is available for further use by end customers, for example via IoT platforms. The principle also works in the opposite direction, i.e. for controlling smart objects in the Internet of Things.
About Netze BW
Netze BW GmbH is the largest electricity, gas and water network operator in Baden-Württemberg and a subsidiary of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG. Among other things, it operates the nearly 100,000 kilometres of high, medium and low-voltage networks for over 2.3 million network customers in the state as well as the gas distribution network with around 250,000 network customers. The company is the principal measuring point operator in numerous municipalities in Baden-Württemberg. Since 2017, private households, commercial enterprises and municipal properties of Netze BW have been equipped with state-of-the-art measuring devices and since 2019 with certified intelligent measuring systems (smart meters). Netze BW also offers and sells network-related and municipal services to municipalities and municipal utilities. Netze BW employs around 5,000 staff members and over 600 trainees and students. More information at www.netz-bw.de.
About Minol ZENNER Connect
Minol ZENNER Connect operates a secure LoRaWAN® network for the housing and real estate industry, municipalities, energy suppliers and industrial customers. ZENNER Connect is registered with the Federal Network Agency as a LoRaWAN® network operator, as such this registration is not required for managed network customers. Minol ZENNER Connect is also an active member of the LoRa Alliance™ as one of the largest LoRaWAN® network operators. LoRaWAN® is the innovative wireless standard for Internet of Things applications and is characterised by a long transmission range, exceptional building penetration and at the same time optimum energy efficiency.