TrackNet delivers large-scale firmware updates over-the-air; open source initiative for scalability, economics for IoT networks

TrackNet Inc., a LoRaWAN Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider of smart connectivity for IoT and Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LPWAN), announced on Monday that it will open source the firmware updates over-the-air (FUOTA) portion of its end-device LoRaWAN stack to the LoRaWAN ecosystem.

The initiative is undertaken per the LoRaWAN standard and in conjunction with the LoRa Alliance technical committee. Firmware updates over-the-air are critical for ensuring return-on-investment (ROI) in IoT deployments. If a sensor needs to be tuned, reconfigured, or serviced by humans even just once after it has been deployed, all ROI is lost for most applications.

The FUOTA implementation uses compression, true delta encoding, forward error recovery, and cryptography with digital signatures so that arbitrary large payloads can be delivered efficiently over the network with minimum impact on normal operation.

With offices in Switzerland and California, TrackNet provides highly scalable LoRaWAN IoT solutions for consumers and industry, focusing on ease of use and scalability to enable a new era of exponentially growing LPWAN deployments for a sustainable world. TrackNet is developing end-to-end solutions including sensors, gateways, and apps with optimized user experience for targeted LPWAN and IoT applications.

The company is a contributing member of the LoRa Alliance and the TrackNet team has been instrumental in specifying, building, and establishing LoRaWAN and the LoRa Alliance for more than five years. It has been brought to life by former Semtech and IBM employees with cumulated decades of real-world experience in embedded and RF systems, wireless networks, network management, end-to-end security, and solutions development for spectrum from small-scale private networks to carrier-grade deployments.

TrackNet is open sourcing the FUOTA portion of its end-device LoRaWAN stack which thereby enables sensor manufacturers to integrate the capability of large-scale FUOTA in LoRaWAN networks into their devices. The LoRa Alliance technical committee is standardizing how FUOTA will be done so sensors can connect into any LoRaWAN network with the option of FUOTA.

“We are excited to see TrackNet support the ecosystem by providing the components needed to enable FUOTA across all LoRaWAN networks,” says Nicolas Sornin, inventor of LoRa and co-chairman of the LoRa Alliance Technical Committee. “The TrackNet team has been instrumental in the definition of LoRaWAN from its infancy and continues with technical leadership in the market.”

TrackNet already has demonstrated the largest scale FUOTA to date by updating over 3,500 asset tracking devices at a single commercial deployment site more than twenty times. TrackNet further has already integrated all the capabilities for FUOTA into TrackCentral, its core network server, per the definition by the LoRa Alliance.

“We view FUOTA as a critical feature for all LPWAN network deployments,” says Thorsten Kramp, CTO of TrackNet and co-author of the LoRaWAN specification. “Without FUOTA it quickly becomes challenging to scale network deployments and ensure ROI.”

The open source code will be distributed and maintained by the middle of next month.

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