Japan's SoftBank has revealed plans to roll out a LoRaWAN low power wide area (LPWA) network in the current financial year.
The operator plans to use the network to provide end-to-end IoT services, ranging from device and application support to consulting.
SoftBank will target the service at industry sectors that require low cost, low power network construction, including equipment monitoring and control for commercial buildings, automated gas and water meter reading, senior and child monitoring, infrastructure monitoring and logistics.
In collaboration with LPWA specialist Actility, Hon Hai Precision Industry and LoRa technology developer Semtech Corporation, Softbank will aim to build a LoRaWAN ecosystem in Japan.
Softbank said the LoRaWAN deployment represents the first stage of the company's plans to usher in the IoT era.
The company eventually aims to deploy the full set of LPWA networks, including Cat-M1 and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), to ensure its IoT network can operate in different environments.
LoRaWAN uses the unlicensed 920-MHz band in Japan and was designed to meet the low cost and efficiency requirements for the IoT. Main features include devices with battery life of at least 10 years, support for numerous simultaneous connections and a communication range of multiple kilometers.
Specifications for LoRaWAN are developed by the LoRa Alliance, a collaboration between 391 IoT-related companies worldwide.