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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Kerlink and Semtech test out non-GPS location technology in Mexico

By Nick Flaherty

IoT network provider Kerlink is working with LoRa chip supplier Semtech to test out urban non-GPS location technology in  Aguascalientes City, Mexico.

Live tests in the demonstration show promising results with CEP 95 (circular error probable with 95 percent probability) around 80m for moving objects, such as vehicles, in class A type of communication while in urban environments that can create communication multipath challenges, resulting from radio reflection generated by buildings.

Land-based geolocation using the LoRaWAN open protocol uses a different technology than GPS, eliminating the requirement for costly and power-hungry data processing. Gartner forecasts that a third of the world’s 15 billion connected devices will be critically dependent on geodata by the end of 2020.

The Mexican project is the first demonstration of Kerlink’s end-to-end network environment, which combines the Wirnet iBTS 915 MHz gateways, the Wanesy Management Center, which is the company’s core network management suite, and the Wanesy Geolocation, its new geolocation solver. The experiment with Semtech provides large-scale field-testing opportunities to demonstrate the benefits of geolocation and to show the impact of the quality of coverage on accuracy, when the number of gateways and location of installation points is varied in a dense urban setting.

“Geolocation is simple to deploy and operate because each end-device can be natively located without the need to add a costly GPS module inside it,” said Yannick Delibie, Kerlink CTIO. “This dramatically optimizes power consumption and reduces device hardware costs. No additional hardware is required, assuming that gateways are geolocation-ready."

Semtech, whose LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology transceivers are central to the implementation of LoRaWAN networks around the world, actively collaborated with Kerlink on equipment installation in Aguascalientes City, a metropolitan area of about 1 million population.

“Optimal location of the gateways is crucial for delivering an optimized, fine time stamp for real-time tracking,” said Marc Pegulu, vice president and general manager of Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Product Group. “Kerlink’s Wirnet iBTS Compact, based on Semtech’s industrial-grade reference design, offers improved gateway clock synchronization for its embedded GPS to further improve geolocation accuracy, especially in a dense urban area.”

The urban environment will also help the teams to further evaluate network and gateway-deployment geometry, which plays a significant role in geolocation performance. All of these findings will help Kerlink continuously optimize the network design and deployment it offers customers through its professional services, including geolocation services.

”The global performance of the accuracy is continuously progressing by leveraging environment learning and intelligent algorithms,” Delibie said. “The infrastructure set-up is an alive technical ecosystem of partners delivering the entire value chain with a tremendous improvement in the quality of service able to support an increasing number of concrete use cases.”
Semtech and Kerlink are among the founding members of the LoRa AllianceTM, which recently published a white paper on geolocation using Semtech’s LoRa technology.

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