Actility appoints new CEO to drive LoRa-based IoT offering to the next level

IoT startup Actility has announced the appointment of telecoms industry veteran Mike Mulica as its new CEO, replacing founder Olivier Hersent, who remains as CTO.

Scott Bicheno

May 31, 2016

3 Min Read
Actility appoints new CEO to drive LoRa-based IoT offering to the next level

IoT startup Actility has announced the appointment of telecoms industry veteran Mike Mulica as its new CEO, replacing founder Olivier Hersent, who remains as CTO.

Mulica most recently worked at Real Networks as President of its worldwide sales and has held a number of roles at telecoms-focused organizations including Openwave, CTIA and Synchronoss. Actility was formed with the backing of a number of major companies, including Orange, KPN and Foxconn, to use the LoRa IoT networking platform as a basis for its ThingPark IoT platform.

“The next transformational global technology wave is IoT and it will trigger an explosion of productivity by connecting and enabling smarter things in domains as varied as as cities, agriculture and factories,” said Mulica. “All of the most successful technology waves were driven by product innovation combined with a global industry architecture.

“To succeed, IoT needs to become, like the internet itself, an open global ecosystem in which the best people can innovate around products, business models and services. I believe that Actility, with our ThingPark platform and continuing commitment to the rapidly-growing LoRa ecosystem, and to emerging standards such as NB-IoT, is pioneering that open and collaborative approach to IoT.”

“We’re extremely pleased to have Mike on board, with his experience of driving technology innovation into some of the largest global markets,” said Hersent. “Mike understands service provider, enterprise and direct to consumer markets on a global scale, and his experience and worldwide network of connections will help us meet the demands of rapid growth while maintaining ThingPark as the leading solution platform for IoT.”

It’s worth noting the emphasis on supporting NB-IoT as well as LoRa. The IoT networking industry seemed to be setting itself for a predictable standards battle, taking years to play out before the eventual winner emerged. But at this early stage companies like Actility are indicating they favour openness and multiple platforms, which is good news for the rapid evolution of IoT in general.


UPDATE 16:00 31/5/16 – We asked Mike Mulica to comment on the different IoT radio technologies:

“We see the different underlying radio technologies for IoT as complementary, rather than competitive. LPWA is a great foundation for industrial IoT applications, offering long range, deeper indoor coverage, a very long battery life of over ten years, and low cost modules. One specific advantage of LPWA is that because it uses unlicensed spectrum, it’s possible to deploy private networks for our clients. Where higher bitrates are needed, that’s where cellular solutions come into play. Our ThingPark platform will support any radio technology that’s appropriate for the usage.

“Within LPWA, though, we are committed to open, standards-based innovation. As a founder member of the LoRa Alliance, we are now one of nearly 400 companies working within an open ecosystem with published technology standards. Alliance members have adopted a free intellectual property licensing model, which means anyone can use the LoRaWAN standard at no cost. Today Microchip and ST Micro have joined Semtech as makers of the silicon for the physical layer. We strongly believe that the open ecosystem model is the way to drive innovation, adoption and business growth – just look at the success of Bluetooth today, for example. Bluetooth is an open, industry-led standard that had around 400 participating companies after its first year and uses unlicenced spectrum – does that sound familiar?

“The momentum behind LoRa is obvious. There are several major LoRa networks already operational in Europe and open for business. Proximus covers most of Belgium; KPN has accelerated its deployment to cover the whole of Netherlands this summer, and Swisscom is deploying across Switzerland. In France Objenious, a Bouygues subsidiary has already deployed 1000 LoRa base stations covering major cities, and is aiming for 100% coverage by year end. And Orange is currently deploying in 17 major cities with a 100% coverage delivered in 2017. It’s clear that non-proprietary technology, open to companies playing anywhere in the ecosystem, is driving adoption, and we expect LPWA technology to account for between a quarter and a third of IoT connections by 2020.”

About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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