Proximus LoRa powers smart metering initiative in Belgium

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Proximus’s LoRa network is being used by a Belgian gas supplier for a smart metering project.

Antargaz is set to equip its propane gas meters with smart sensors that will use the technology to automatically transmit meter readings.

LoRa, which contrasts with NB-IoT and LTE-M by not using a cellular network, offers long-range and energy-efficient connectivity which will allow meters to send information for a long time while conserving battery power.

The company is beginning to install the LoRa components this month and has already contacted more than 1,000 of Antargaz's customers to inform them of the smart metering project. The roll-out is expected to take between six and 12 months.

A platform provided by software company SilentSoft will also allow Antargaz to consult the readings at any given time.

Proximus has been rolling out LoRa since 2015, achieving national coverage at the end of last year. It is also a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, a telco organisation that developed the technology. The Belgian operator has also been trialling NB-IoT.

BT and Orange are among the other operators that have installed LoRa networks, often in tandem with roll-outs of cellular IoT connectivity.

BT has deployed the connectivity in London and Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom, where it is being used in smart refuse collection, smart parking and pest control.

According to Orange, European operators are planning to start testing interconnection and roaming between LoRa networks this year.

The French company Sigfox offers a similar proprietary technology.