A consignment is registered for collection at the touch of a button, sensitive parcels raise an alert when a temperature is exceeded, or you can find out where a consignment was opened without permission. Information like this in real time helps Swiss Post to continuously improve, speed up and secure its services. With the Low Power Network (LPN), transmitting such information battery powered and cost-effective, Swisscom has established just such a network throughout Switzerland. Swiss Post’s contribution to the new network will include additional locations for base stations and its experience from the use of its own pilot network. The collaboration allows both companies to strengthen their position in the development and realization of the Internet of things.
The digital networking of things offers countless possibilities. Swiss Post has developed and tested a wireless smart button used for reordering products that are running low in a hospital’s medicinal cabinet at the touch of the button. Swiss Post has also placed smart buttons around its headquarters in Berne in the building for Facility Management. At the touch of a button, employees can inform Facility Management if something needs to be cleaned or, for example, if a coffee machine is not working. Claudia Pletscher, Head of Development & Innovation at Swiss Post, also emphasizes: “Thanks to this partnership, we can focus on the development of specific applications and build more flexible and intelligent services based on the networking of things. Good coverage and network quality are key to this.”
The two partners are focusing on a common network on which they plan to develop applications jointly and which is also open to third parties. Christian Petit, Head of Swisscom Enterprise Customers, expects the partnership to bring an even greater dynamic to the process of digitization: “We are looking forward to working with Swiss Post. The partnership also has benefits for the Swiss economy – which can already use the network for new applications. The first commercial applications, such as parking spaces, status, customer feedback measurements and environmental data collection are now in operation.”
Swisscom was one of the first providers in the world to implement a network on a national scale: the nationwide Low Power Network is live since in autumn 2016. The partnership with Swiss Post will speed up further expansion of the network. 90% of the population in Switzerland will be covered by LPN by the end of 2017. Swisscom is open to further partnerships.
The Low Power Network is a complementary network used for the Internet of things. It offers a narrow bandwidth with a high range and is very energy-efficient. This reduces connectivity costs. Depending on the application, the battery-operated transmitters can transmit information independently of the electricity grid for years. LPN is based on the open LoRaWAN industry standard. Swisscom has been part of the LoRa Alliance since January 2015, and Swiss Post since June 2016 (www.lora-alliance.org). The alliance has over 400 members worldwide. Swisscom was one of the first providers in the world to announce and implement a network on a national scale. Since March 2016, Swiss Post has been testing its own network between Berne and Bienne and has successfully implemented several use cases.
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