Stena Line rolls out the first dual-band (2.4 GHz and 868 MHz) LoRaWAN connectivity at sea

Remy de Jong

The Things Network User

Posted on 23-08-2022

Semtech, Stena Line, HeNet and SkyLab, have collaborated and launched the first smart ferry that provides the vessel, cargo and surrounding area with full LoRaWAN coverage during the journey to monitor all kinds of different vessels and clients' assets.

As of now, the Stena Line’s RoRo/Passenger vessel MV Stena Hollandica has the first LoRaWAN gateway installed. The installation and integration of the gateway were done by the professionals of SkyLab B.V. The gateway used for this innovative feature, is the newly released LongAP Pro by HeNet B.V. The LongAP Pro offers multi-band 868 MHz and 2.4 GHz (global maritime) LoRa® frequencies. This is made possible by the new Semtech LoRa® 2.4GHz transceivers. The LongAP Pro has a powerful processor and features a unique multiple multi-network packet forwarder to support multiple LoRaWAN® networks simultaneously (public, commercial and/or private). The gateway can operate multiple LoRa Network Services (LNS) like The Things Stack Community Edition, The Things Stack Cloud or private networks simultaneously. This feature reduces the total cost of maintenance, and ownership, and reduces environmental impact while increasing usability.

Gateways that can support multi-band applications and multi networks are perfect for companies such as Stena Line. Not only is this solution very suitable for ferries and other sea vessels transporting goods, but also for the approximately 28,000 departures Stena Line handle every year. Each of these departures is equally challenging, from ensuring client/customer satisfaction and safety to tracking and monitoring the millions of tons of cargo. With this combination, goods can be tracked using their frequency (e.g. 868 MHz) while at the same time giving coverage to global Maritime applications (2.4 GHz). This gateway can assist the Stena Line Team and their clients to increase their connectivity and make their “smart goals” possible, making this project beneficial for all parties involved, no matter the use case.

Semtech, the owner and driving force of LoRaWAN® technology has created 2.4 GHz LoRaWAN® chips which have enabled (among others) SkyLab and HeNet to create and place this dual-band gateway. This gateway, which provides additional mobile coverage to existing and proven LoRaWAN networks can lead to great innovation. Innovations such as monitoring Windfarms, tracking Vessels and Cargo, Track and Tracing equipment, monitoring operation activities, Buoy and marine fenders pressure monitoring, Asset tracking, and providing real-time data on climate and environmental trends and variability. With Semtech creating 2.4 GHz LoRaWAN® modems, solutions for maritime logistics know no boundaries. Solutions range from Smart condition monitoring(CM), occupancy monitoring, flowmeters, corrosion/leakage detection, asset tracking, cold chain, and personal wristband, to increased onboard safety. Implementing both maritime frequencies (2.4 GHz) and other LoRaWAN frequencies (e.g. 868 MHz and 915 MHz) into LoRa™ technology makes it possible to track and monitor every step of the logistics. From the export haulage to ocean freight and finally to the import haulage. Which is beneficial to every step of the logistics chain.