Senet, the largest LoRa-based network provider in the United States, will be seeing more competition from the likes of Comcast, which is expanding its LoRaWAN-based network in the U.S., as well as from mobile operators deploying standards-based IoT technologies.
But the firm’s relatively new CEO isn’t showing any signs of worry, pointing to the size of the entire IoT market and the company’s “secret sauce” in its cloud-based marketplace ecosystem.
Comcast announced in July that it’s expanding its LoRaWAN-based enterprise IoT service to 12 U.S. markets. It’s marketed as the machineQ service.
“I think it validates both the technology and the marketplace,” Senet President and CEO Bruce Chatterley told FierceWirelessTech of Comcast's plans. “I think our advantage is in our back-office capabilities.”
People often ask, how do you stop people from doing what you’re going to do with LoRaWAN? And Chatterley's answer is: “Oftentimes in technology, things that sound simple are the most complicated,” he said. When you think about the marketplace, “we’ve got a settlements engine, asset tracking engine”—it’s basically a marketplace tracking the assets and settling all of it with the back office, something Senet has been busy building over the past three years.
Chatterley, who was named CEO in June, said there’s going to be a slice of the IoT market where the applications are more applicable to cellular technology and a larger slice where they will be applicable to Senet’s technology.
“We believe it’s not an either/or, it’s where do you match up the best from a technology, price, deployment model,” he said. Mobility is another issue, and when people say Senet is going to get "killed" by cellular and NarrowBand IoT, “that can’t be further from the truth because we have certain advantages in certain applications and they have certain advantages in other applications,” he said. “Customers are smart. Application providers will go with whoever meets their needs best.”
Senet was founded in 2009 to address a specific application in tank monitoring for home heating and fuel; it came up with a way to pay for the cost of the monitor by basically avoiding a truck roll a month.
In the process of building that business, the company developed a way to communicate with the monitors wirelessly and built what is now its LoRa network.