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  • 1.  A game changer ? Big news in the IoT World... Semtech to buy Sierra Wireless.

    Board Member
    Posted 8 days ago
    Edited by Eric Bourbeau 8 days ago
    Since the rise of IoT and unlicensed LPWAN technologies like LoRaWAN and Sigfox, manufacturers and solution providers have been having to pick a side: 

    1. Stay true to mature and proven cellular technologies, knowing that a licensed spectrum technology will always be more robust, yet more expensive than cheaper unlicensed alternatives. 

    2. Take advantage of the new Low Power Wide Area technologies running in the unlicensed ISM band globally to deploy less expensive, lower power IoT solutions that can scale and provide a more attainable ROI.

    Well it looks like this could change. Semtech, chip manufacturer and owner of the LoRa hardware IP is to acquire Sierra Wireless, leading provider of cellular technology communication components that are included in many cellular devices and modems today.  This will undoubtedly lead to a new generation of devices able to take advantage of both licensed and unlicensed communication networks.  In more critical applications (Critical IoT), or applications requiring a low latency communication, these devices will use existing cellular networks (LTE, CAT-M1, NB-IoT).  In less critical applications requiring scale (Massive IoT), the same devices will use LoRaWAN to communicate meter readings, parking availability or any other use case better served by an unlicensed LPWAN communication technology. 

    Thanks to the evolution of cellular towards an eSIM-driven model, it will be possible for Semtech to produce a single chip including a cellular radio and a LoRa radio which could power many if not most of tomorrow's IoT sensors.  Moreover, now that IPv6 can run over LoRaWAN, deploying applications that can seemlessly support both communication options should be very straightforward.  This comes at a time when LoRaWAN has gained global recognition as a true LPWAN standard of IoT, used hand-in-hand with other established communication technologies by private companies from Fortune500 to SME's, and governments on every continent.  There are now chips that combine LoRaWAN and Bluetooth so the Semtech's move is a natural evolution of this.

    There have never been a "one size fits all" communication technology for IoT, but when it comes to making it simple to always use the best technology in every situation, it looks like we will soon be able to have our cake and eat it too.


    Eric Bourbeau
    Co-founder and CEO
    Montréal (Québec) - Canada

  • 2.  RE: A game changer ? Big news in the IoT World... Semtech to buy Sierra Wireless.

    Posted 7 days ago
    This is promising news for the IoT Eric, merci de le partager!

    I'd argue that in "human-scale" IoT, we've had the global communication technology standards since 2014:
    • Bluetooth Low Energy (started shipping 1B+ devices that year)
    • RAIN RFID (alliance formed that year, 112B+ devices shipped to date)
    and if Semtech can unify the "long-range" IoT communication technologies in a single chip, the resulting interoperability will open up the long-promised potential and applications.  Even more so if Semtech maintain a Bluetooth radio in the chip, taking advantage of widespread in-building BLE infrastructure.

    Perhaps this is a seminal moment for the AIoT Canada members in the "long-range" and "human-scale" communities to come together to discuss how we achieve fluidity between the two?  In other words: "things" shouldn't care whether their information is propagated over long or short-range low power networks.

    Jeffrey Dungen
    Co-founder & CEO of reelyActive

  • 3.  RE: A game changer ? Big news in the IoT World... Semtech to buy Sierra Wireless.

    Board Member
    Posted 6 days ago
    Since this is more of a 'vertical integration' move, I wonder whether it makes Semtech compete with some of their customers? The ecosystem is nuanced enough so this is not a black or white issue, so time will tell. For certain, Sierra is ahead of Semtech on cloud services, so Semtech bets it will benefit from this aspect to secure recurring revenue and compensate for their model based on one-time component sale.

    Frank Rayal
    Xona Partners Inc.
    Ottawa ON
    +1 613-600-4400