NFC Forum and LoRa Alliance enter partnership to explore technical cooperation for IoT applications

The NFC Forum, the standards and advocacy association for Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, and the LoRa Alliance, an association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN protocol for the Internet of Things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), jointly announced the signing of a liaison partnership agreement on Thursday. The agreement between the NFC Forum and The LoRa Alliance focuses on technical cooperation, use case exploration, and the potential to promote the use of NFC in combination with LoRaWAN for IoT applications.

There are more than 100 LoRaWAN network operators and coverage in more than 100 countries to date. LPWANs for the IoT are used where long range, thousands of connections per gateway and long battery life are required.

NFC technology complements LoRaWAN by potentially bringing the convenience and flexibility of using the two billion NFC-enabled devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to provide a variety of services in the field. Key application areas include intelligent building, supply chain, smart city and agriculture.

The LoRa Alliance is an open, nonprofit association that has become one of the largest and fastest-growing alliances in the technology sector since its inception in 2015. Its members closely collaborate and share expertise to develop and promote the LoRaWAN protocol as the leading open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity.

With the technical flexibility to address a range of IoT applications, both static and mobile, and the LoRaWAN Certified program to guarantee interoperability, the LoRaWAN protocol has been deployed by major mobile network operators globally, and connectivity is available in over 100 countries, with continual expansion.

The NFC Forum was launched as a non-profit industry association in 2004 by leading mobile communications, semiconductor, and consumer electronics companies. The Forum’s mission is to advance the use of Near Field Communication technology by developing specifications, ensuring interoperability among devices and services, and educating the market about NFC technology.

The Forum’s global member companies are currently developing specifications for a modular NFC device architecture, and protocols for interoperable data exchange and device-independent service delivery, device discovery and device capability. Only member companies can participate in the Forum’s certification program of NFC devices, readers and tags.

“The liaison with the LoRa Alliance advances the NFC Forum’s goal of expanding the use of NFC to help connect, commission and control the predicted 36 billion IoT devices in use by 2020,” said Paula Hunter, executive director, NFC Forum. “We welcome opportunities to partner with complementary technologies to better address emerging market needs.”

“It is clear that no one standard or technology can meet the needs of every IoT use case,” said Donna Moore, CEO and Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “We are strongly committed to working with other collaborative organizations to enhance the LoRaWAN protocol and ensure its interoperability with other industry standards.”

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