Japanese operator may have gone abroad to make its massive bet on IoT but its first post-ARM move has been to launch a LoRa network at home.

Scott Bicheno

September 12, 2016

2 Min Read
SoftBank plans a LoRa LoRa IoT

Japanese operator may have gone abroad to make its massive bet on IoT but its first post-ARM move has been to launch a LoRa network at home.

As the two CEO’s were kind enough to blog last week, SoftBank dropped £24 billion on ARM with a view to kicking some IoT ass. Alongside some baffling if laudable talk of improving the lot of mankind in general, they painted an intriguing picture of ARM now being shielded from grubby day-to-day commercial obligations to enable it to focus on Cambridge cleverness on a full time basis.

The image of bubbling cauldrons, distant explosions and wild-haired, soot-covered boffins emerging from their steamy labs shouting “It’s alive!” is a seductive one. If SoftBank, which let’s not forget is a public company, can persuade its shareholders to be patient then this could well be the company that defines IoT. And god knows it needs one.

The first step, however, is slightly less ambitious. In a move that may indicate its broader support for the technology SoftBank has announced it will roll out an IoT network in Japan based on the LoRaWAN platform. LoRa is one of three main platforms vying to be the low-power network of choice for the IoT era, with proprietary Sigfox and GSMA-backed NB-IoT making up the rest of the field. SoftBank said it expects to also support the latter but made no mention of the former.

SoftBank isn’t making any outlandish claims about this roll-out, merely noting the usual stuff about how handy it is to have a low-power wireless technology when you want to connect small, embedded ‘things’. SoftBank also reminded us what a generally top idea IoT is in general and how it seems to see itself as the cloud platform managing the interaction between IoT devices and IoT users.

Among the other partners involved in this project is IoT platform specialist Actility. Both companies offered up exec comments on the matter that amounted to saying how pleased they are to be working with each other, so we’ll spare you the full treatment. Also involved is Hon Hai Precision Industry, which is pleased, and LoRa owner Semtech, which is excited. Telecoms.com is both pleased and excited.



About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com 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 Telecoms.com 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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