Smart city alliance looks to establish open source LPWA interface and mesh network

The non-profit uCIFI Alliance wants to eliminate reliance on proprietary solutions in smart cities by establishing a standardised data model that can be used freely to unlock devices on low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks, including on LoRaWAN and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) networks. It will also seek to establish an open source wireless sub-GHz mesh network, providing long range and higher-bandwidth for machine communications with several devices at once.

Based in Oregon, in the US, the uCIFI Alliance comprises connectivity provider Kerlink, energy company EDMI, lighting company Schréder. They are joined by Engie and ST Engineering Electronics, and Belgia based utility Sibelga, New Zealand based Auckland Transport and France based Nantes Metropole.

Smart city and smart energy projects are being hobbled by a lack of technical interoperability, said the group. Project owners face a hurdle to integrate multiple proprietary systems and APIs, or else to overcome the limitations of single-source suppliers for network hardware or software layers.

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