New data network for technical monitoring

Published Monday, 31 January 2022, 16:38 by Björn Smitterberg

Later this week, the Technical Service Board will decide whether Lidköping Broadband will have a new radio-borne internet installed that can be used for monitoring – but not as a regular internet.

David Hamrén at Lidköpings Bredband answers Lidköpingsnytt’s question:

– It is true that it will be up to the decision if Lidköping’s Broadband is allowed to expand a LoRaWan network in the municipality. LoRaWan is an abbreviation for “long range wide area network” and is a radio network with low frequency waves.

– These low-frequency waves are good because you reach very far, it has less problems with obstacles on the road and that it is energy efficient.

The idea is that the municipality will have the opportunity to place a number of sensors that can measure data that we then process to achieve a higher efficiency and quality than today. However, LoRaWan is a technology that has limited ability in how much data can be sent per transmission, it is not possible to send video over LoRaWan, for example.

In some other municipalities / organizations, a LoRaWan network is used to measure and display:

Temperature in air / water
Risk of slippery roads (to be able to plan anti-skid)
Humidity
Moisture in soil to make irrigation more efficient
Detect moisture damage
Elevation level on watercourses
Water table
Streamlining waste collection
Measurement water quality
Available parking spaces
Available charging posts for electric cars
Opening of doors / electrical cabinets etc.

– If it is decided that we may expand a LoRaWan network, the decision will clarify that it is for the efficiency of the municipality and its companies’ operations, ie not for commercial purposes to the public. The technology is relatively cheap both to expand and to place sensors in, as these rarely need electrical connection.

The traffic is also completely encrypted. It is thus difficult for outsiders to read.

The price is estimated at SEK 50,000 and includes 7 stations that collect data from different sensors. These 7 are judged to cover the entire municipality of Lidköping.

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