National postal operator Swiss Post has partnered with communications specialist Swisscom to develop new applications for the postal sector using the Internet of Things (IoT). This includes a common low power network (LPN) available to both companies and eventually third parties.
Swisscom already operates its own LPN throughout Switzerland and will utilize the Swiss Post locations to increase the network’s coverage to 90% of the country by the end of 2017. In return, Swiss Post will benefit from IoT applications and sensors that will be able to indicate when a parcel is registered for collection and if a consignment is opened en route without permission. Swiss Post will even be able to tell if the parameters are exceeded for a temperature-controlled consignment.
Claudia Pletscher, head of development and innovation at Swiss Post, said, “Thanks to this partnership, we can focus on the development of specific applications and build more flexible and intelligent services based on the networking of things. Good coverage and network quality will be critical.”
Christian Petit, head of enterprise customers, Swisscom, said, “We are looking forward to working with Swiss Post. The partnership also has benefits for the Swiss economy which can already use the network for new applications. The first commercial applications, such as parking spaces, status, customer feedback measurements and environmental data collection are now in operation.”
Swiss Post has previously trialled IoT applications at its head office in Bern where employees were able to use a smart button to inform facility management if something needed to be cleaned or if a coffee machine had stopped working.
The LPN is a complementary network used for IoT. It offers a narrow bandwidth with a high range and is very energy-efficient in the transfer of data, reducing networking costs. Depending on the application, the battery-operated transmitters can transfer information independently of the electricity grid for years. LPN is based on the open LoRaWAN industry standard.
March 22, 2017