IoT Blog

Orange LTE-M Developer Challenge Demonstrates the Power of the mangOH Community

by Ashish Syal, Chief Engineer
The future holds tremendous potential for IoT growth, particularly for new applications that connect low-cost, battery-powered devices to the cloud using LTE-M and NB-IoT Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks. ABI Research says that “LPWA networks are set to unleash the next wave of growth for asset tracking solutions… [The] number of tracked things will reach 500 million by 2023.” However, just as open source platforms like Linux have enabled the dramatic growth of the mobile industry, open source platforms will also be needed to drive the growth of IoT applications. It is for this reason Sierra Wireless introduced mangOH, its open source, end-to-end IoT hardware platform. 

When many people think of Sierra Wireless’ open source initiatives, they think of its award-winning industrial-grade hardware platforms (such as mangOH Green, mangOH Red and the soon to be generally-released mangOH Yellow) or its Legato open source Linux software platform. With these hardware and software platforms, developers do not have to write their own drivers or otherwise spend time and money “reinventing the wheel” when developing IoT applications. However, the mangOH community is just as important an element of the initiative as the hardware and software platforms are. After all, as the success of Linux and the cloud demonstrates, an open source technology platform can only realize its potential if there is an active developer community learning about, contributing to and using the platform. And, just as the large, active Linux community drove the growth of the cloud, the rapidly expanding mangOH community is now driving the growth of the IoT. With the growth of this community, we are also helping expand the number of developers who will be needed to create the IoT applications that will drive the deployment of hundreds of millions of IoT devices in the years to come.

Sierra Wireless is fostering the mangOH community by:

• Developing documentation, videos, webinars and hangouts that allow Sierra Wireless to educate developers on mangOH, helping them secure the knowledge they need to build prototypes and more.
• Supporting forums and hubs where developers help one another to use mangOH, contribute to mangOH, find mangOH partners, review mangOH code, manage mangOH projects and even build mangOH software together, so they can make their IoT applications a reality. 
• Developing a broad ecosystem of mangOH design, manufacturing, mobile network, channel and other partners. In addition to participating in the community themselves, these partners work with developers to turn their prototypes into scalable IoT applications that can be brought to market and scaled globally.

One of the ways in which Sierra Wireless is expanding the mangOH community is working with other ecosystem partners on conferences, challenges and other events that bring the community together to provide feedback on how to further improve mangOH, as well as work together to use mangOH to develop IoT applications that solve critical business and social problems. One excellent example of such an event is the recent LTE-M Developer Challenge run by French network operator Orange, co-organized with Sierra Wireless. As this challenge reveals, the complete mangOH open source package – hardware platform, software platform and community – together with bundled connectivity and cloud connectors, simplifies the development of end-to-end IoT applications, resulting in more IoT applications being built and brought to market.

The Orange LTE-M Developer Challenge
Following on the heels of the launch of its LTE-M network in France on November 8, 2018, mobile network operator Orange held an LTE-M developer challenge over November and December 2018. The Orange LTE-M Developer Challenge kicked off at Orange Gardens, Orange’s innovation eco-center located in Chatillon, on the outskirts of Paris. In all, 42 companies and teams applied for the challenge, from which 14 were selected to participate.

The main sponsor of the challenge, French national rail operator SNCF, famous around the world for its groundbreaking TGV high-speed train, presented various daily business problems it was facing and challenged the teams to build IoT applications that could help it address these problems. These issues were categorized into the following main topics:

• How to improve SNCF worker safety and comfort, both in and around stations and on the rail network
• How to improve customer safety and comfort in the stations and on the trains
• How to better monitor and maintain rail infrastructure, including tracks, tunnels and bridges
• How to improve worker efficiency in train maintenance centers

Having been given details on these use cases, challenge participants were provided with an Orange IoT application starter kit (which included both a mangOH Red development kit and a Sierra Wireless LTE-M module), as well as with connectivity to Orange’s new LTE-M network. The challenge participants got to work and four weeks later they gathered again at Orange Gardens to present 11 prototype IoT applications to the judges.  

The winner of the challenge was NeoVigie, which developed an IoT application for the worker safety use case. Coming in second was Adeunis, which developed an application to detect the presence of human and wildlife intruders in tunnels. IncTec came in third with an application to monitor lighting in tunnels. These winners, along with several other participants with interesting applications, were rewarded with invitations to demonstrate their applications at Sierra Wireless, Orange and Ericsson booths at Mobile World Congress and other industry conferences. These invitations are valuable opportunities for IoT developers to build relationships with potential customers at the events. 

mangoh developer challenge   mangoh developer challenge

By participating in the challenge, these IoT developers also increased their knowledge of mangOH — strengthening their ability to quickly develop other IoT applications in the future. The award ceremony represented only the end of the beginning of this challenge for many of the participants. Currently SNCF, Orange and Sierra Wireless, as well as other companies in the mangOH ecosystem, are working with many of these challenge participants to take their IoT application prototypes, build them out further and work with them to determine if they can bring these IoT applications to market.  

As the Orange LTE-M Developer Challenge demonstrated, the unique combination of mangOH open-source industrial-grade hardware platform, software platform and active growing community is simplifying and accelerating IoT application development. 

If you are seeking open source hardware, software or a community that can help you develop innovative IoT applications that reimagine the future, Start With Sierra and join the mangOH community.