Post and parcel operator Swiss Post has announced that it will begin using long-range wide-area network (LoRaWAN) technology to help trial and develop applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) in logistics.
LoRaWAN is an open low-power radio standard that makes it possible to connect a diverse range of objects and devices, such as vehicles, parcels and letter boxes, to the internet at very low cost and with minimal energy consumption. Its development has led to a growing number of business opportunities concerned with the miniaturization of sensors and their cost-effective operation. LoRa antennas commonly have a range of 5-15km (3-9 miles) and a battery life of up to five years. They are typically the size of a small coin but will become smaller over time.
Swiss Post is exploring the potential of setting up its own nationwide LoRa network in order to support its logistics operations and customer services. With its numerous physical access points as well as logistics and office locations, Swiss Post is well placed to explore the technology’s capabilities.
Applications could include a LoRaWAN enabled sensor connected to a logistics customer’s stock supply, which automatically tells Swiss Post when a shipment needs to be made. Sensitive consignments can also be equipped with sensors that trigger an alarm as soon as an unauthorized party opens a consignment, or when the maximum temperature for a medicinal product is exceeded.
The post is planning to go live with its first test network between Berne and Biel in Switzerland at the end of March.
March 3, 2016