All posts by Mark Hall

Smart Cities Making Smart Decisions

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There is no absolute definition of a Smart City. According to the Smart Cities Council, it’s still in the “I’ll know it when I see it” phase. There are plenty of general descriptions, but nothing is concretely defined for what is known as a Smart City.

Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that cities will have different requirements for their individual smart city programs. Simply put, a generally accepted high-level description [notice we didn’t say definition] of a Smart City program is that it’s about collecting data from a city’s assets and using that data to improve resource sustainability, enhance public service delivery, reduce operational costs and enrich community experience.


With data at the heart of Smart City programs, thinking about data acquisition from the myriad of assets for a holistic Smart City program can be daunting and difficult to get buy-in and establish direction. It is at this point where some cities and municipalities can get stuck. What data do we need? Who get’s access to the data? What do we do with the data? And the list goes on…

When it comes to data, it’s about interpretation. Depending on context, data can lead down varying paths so having the right data used in the right context is crucial. The more sets of eyes you can have on data, the greater the ability to collaborate when it comes time to make data-driven decisions and this is why the Internet of Things holds so much promise.  Accessible data enables organizations to explore possibilities, and it’s this innovation that will deliver real results for Smart Cities.

Any data collection program should also carefully consider the security component. From encryption for safe transmission to secure data storage to the types of data being made accessible all need to be accounted for. Access to pertinent data and obeying privacy standards should also help shape any accessible data program.

To maximize collaborative efforts, data collected needs to be open and accessible to have the ability to truly explore and innovate. Accessible data doesn’t have to mean shared just within city programs. The benefits of an open data approach can move beyond city limits and the sharing can have a positive impact on neighboring regions and municipalities, as well as potentially having an influence on a national or global scale.

But accessible data is only one part of the equation. Smart City programs also need to be developed on open architecture platforms to ensure that the right IoT solutions are being developed for individual program needs.

The idea that open architecture breeds innovation is not new knowledge. It’s well documented that technologies and solutions supported by open architecture platforms enable greater innovation and wider usage. Traditional approaches and closed systems have brought mixed infrastructure results which is why Internet of Things technologies developed on open platforms offer so much potential.

An open approach to data and architecture also allows for the introduction of best practices and standards to be set. It will be difficult for the Internet of Things to scale if it’s forced to live within the constraints of a proprietary or closed system.

Smart City grpahic


So how does a city get started acquiring data to initiate these collaborative relationships? One step at a time. Bite size chunks to help with the learning as the transition to a new innovative data sharing approach unfolds.

While the possibilities of Smart City applications may seem abundant, don’t let the large number hold you back from getting things underway. Pick one asset or activity that holds the potential for real improvement. Select an area where data acquisition can make a difference – perhaps a data-driven event or process that can be automated. Review your solution options with an organization that can support the project with demonstrated application deployment experience.

Worried about cost? A pilot project won’t break the budget and can hold incredible potential. The investment is easily worth the knowledge gained from a single project where results can be measured by 20x in potential cost reductions or substantial service delivery improvements.

Smart city solutions – based on open architecture platforms – are available for pilot project implementation today. From Smart Parking and Smart Street Lighting applications to Smart Waste Management, Non-Revenue Water Monitoring and Smart Metering. All these Smart City projects can be implemented in a scalable format to suit a variety of project sizes and scope to get cities started.

Looking to start your Smart City program? Two areas to keep at the center of your decision- making – 1) start with one project to keep things simple and measurable, and 2) select an open architecture platform where non-proprietary data is easily accessible to ensure innovation and future application development opportunities.

Why LoRaWAN™ to Leverage IoT in Canada

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Internet of Things [IoT] means many different things to different organizations. The current state of the IoT landscape can best be described as early stage from a technology perspective. A wide array of technologies, costs, standards, interoperability and security are all accounted for to varying degrees.

Currently, there is a buzz around Big Data and Analytics, which leads to Artificial Intelligence at the top of the IoT pyramid. While those areas are forging ahead in terms of development, there are many more links in the IoT chain needed to get to comprehensive data and analytics.

There are layers of technology that need to come together to form this new way of communicating with things to get true Big Data. From sensors to devices to networks to servers, numerous points need to interact for “Things” to be truly connected. From a network communications perspective, one technology simply cannot serve IoT and all the expected applications as well as the volumes as noted by the billions of expected connections.

Low-Cost Connectivity

Cellular, while commonly known and understood, is a great fit for high data throughput, but power consumption and costs are simply too prohibitive for many use cases based on the number of connections that will be needed to be transmitted. Another technology in the network and communications space is Wi-Fi, which has its place in short range applications. However, on their own, neither of these can fully leverage the promise held by IoT.

LoRaWAN™ technology provides an open standard that is designed to optimize LPWAN’s for battery lifetime, network capacity, range and cost. This open platform ensures a strong ecosystem with the availability of a variety of devices for a wide variety of IoT applications.

In addition to the open platform, LoRaWAN™ networks aren’t based on a mesh network architecture. LoRa protocol does not operate in a node-to-node manner, which results in reduced complexity and increased network capacity. Additionally, because the nodes on a LoRaWAN network are asynchronous and only “wake up” or communicate when they have data to relay, the reduced number of synchronizations results in a dramatic increase in battery life.

Scalability is another area where LoRaWAN technology ideally lends itself to IoT applications. By utilizing gateways capable of receiving different data rates, shifts can be managed in the rates being transmitted, resulting in shorter “on air” time opening more potential space on the network for other data transmissions. Further, additional gateways can be added at any time to increase capacity or range.

Security also needs to be addressed in any IoT discussion. LoRaWAN utilizes two layers of security – one for the network and one for the application. These two layers safeguard the customer data from end-to-end via AES encryption with an IEEE EUI64 identifier.

Proven Technology

LoRaWAN is an open standard, secure network technology backed by 500+ organizations across the globe and is successfully deployed in over 50 countries. With hundreds of deployments already in place and more currently in the trial phase, it is the leading technology in the LPWAN space. A certification program guarantees interoperability and provides the assurance of technical flexibility to support multiple IoT applications, static or mobile, from a multitude of top global organizations.

For a successful IoT initiative of any size or scope, key considerations include cost, security, strength of ecosystem and flexibility in both business models and variety of applications. LoRaWAN networks lead the LPWAN space because of versatility, ease-of-use and the fact that it is the leader in all the major areas essential for short term IoT adoption and long-term end-user success.

eleven-x Expands Canada’s First Purpose-Built IoT Network Coast to Coast; Increases Role with LoRa Alliance™

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WATERLOO, ON – CANADA | June 14, 2017 – Responding to increasing demand from municipalities and industry across the country, eleven-x™ today announced a cross-Canada expansion of its next generation network, enabling low-cost IoT connectivity in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax, Toronto and Greater Toronto area cities including – Mississauga, Brampton, Oakville and Burlington in order to enable Smart City programs and IoT initiatives.

Initially launched in December 2016 with deployments focused in the Southern Ontario region, the eleven-x network has now been deployed in 22 markets representing over 60% of the country’s population. Further planned expansion throughout 2017 will see eleven-x network deployments grow to even more population centers, further enabling IoT connectivity for even more of Canada’s population.

The expansion of the carrier grade network coincides with the rise in pilot projects now underway in Canada. eleven-x is currently involved in Smart City initiatives and Enterprise IoT pilot projects including Smart Parking, IoT Water Monitoring, Health and Assisted Living applications, and Smart Metering.

Along with the Region of Waterloo, eleven-x recently announced Canada’s first IoT water monitoring pilot program utilizing LoRaWAN™ technology to test the automatic collection and communication of data collected from a sample of the Region’s 700+ production and monitoring wells.

“There is so much happening in terms of the development of IoT programs in Canada,” said Dan Mathers, Chairman and Co-Founder of eleven-x. “Our coast to coast network expansion supports Smart City programs, enabling application and device connectivity to take IoT to another level and reinforces our leadership position. The list of pilot projects we are involved in continues to grow along with numerous organizations looking to reduce costs, increase productivity and enhance their service offerings.”

“The timing of this expansion couldn’t be better, enabling the rapidly growing Canadian IoT market. In IDC’s 2017 IT Advisory Panel, almost 70% of medium and large Canadian respondents indicated that they have or will introduce IoT solutions. IDC predicts that LPWAN will see substantial growth as enterprises begin to recognize how the connectivity standard addresses key operational issues like low-power and low-bandwidth requirements.” said Nigel Wallis, Vice President of IoT and Industry Research at IDC. “This network expansion by eleven-x can serve as a catalyst for innovation across the country for both public and private sector organizations.”

The eleven-x Low Power Wide Area Network [LPWAN] is based on LoRaWAN technology and provides organizations with a purpose-built network for the Internet of Things where a majority of the applications require long range, low power consumption [which extends battery life up to 20 years] and low-cost connectivity.

The worldwide IoT market is expected to grow exponentially over the next three to five years and the LPWAN market itself is expected to end up comprising more than 50% of total IoT connections. According to Analysys Mason, connections are expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2020, with estimates pointing to 3.6 billion connections by 2023 and revenues from those connections reaching $10.7B US.

eleven-x Takes on Expanded Role Within LoRa Alliance™
eleven-x also announced today that it has expanded its role within the LoRa Alliance™, moving to the Contributor Member level. The LoRa Alliance™ is a global organization comprised of over 400 companies which provides an open standard for secure, carrier-grade low power IoT connectivity.

With LoRa® technology at the heart of LoRaWAN and IoT connectivity on a global scale, this expanded role allows the LoRa Alliance to leverage eleven-x’s wireless expertise with an eye towards innovation with new technology, the development of interoperability standards, as well as influencing the strategic direction of the organization as whole.

About IDC 
International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. IDC helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based decisions on technology purchases and business strategy. More than 1,100 IDC analysts provide global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. For more than 50 years, IDC has provided strategic insights to help our clients achieve their key business objectives. IDC is a subsidiary of IDG, the world’s leading technology media, research, and events company. You can learn more about IDC by visiting or .

Follow us on Twitter: @idccanada and on LinkedIn.

About eleven-x Inc.
eleven-x, a Contributing Member of the LoRa Alliance™, is a next generation network operator enabling the Internet of Things [IoT]. Our purpose-built Low Power Wide Area Network [LPWAN] is Canada’s first and only coast to coast LoRaWAN™ network providing connectivity for low-cost sensors and devices for a variety of IoT applications. Our carrier grade network enables customers in the Private and Public sectors to efficiently and cost effectively manage assets, create and maintain Smart Cities, and realize environmental sustainability. Visit for more information.

Follow us on Twitter: @eleven_x and on LinkedIn.

LoRaWAN™ mark is used under license from the LoRa Alliance™.

eleven-x Recognized by Branham300 As One of Canada’s Top 25 Up and Coming ICT Companies

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WATERLOO, ON – CANADA | June 07, 2017eleven-x™, operator of Canada’s first and only coast-to-coast LoRaWAN™ Low Power Wide Area Network built for Internet of Things [IoT] connectivity, announced today that the company has been recognized as one of Branham300’s Top 25 Canadian Up and Coming ICT [Information and Communication Technology] organizations.

“This is a great honour for eleven-x to be acknowledged as one of the top up and coming organizations,” said Dan Mathers, Chairman and Co-Founder of eleven-x. “For us to be recognized alongside some very innovative and exciting companies by the Branham300 is quite an accomplishment.”

The Branham300 offers a comprehensive listing of Canada’s leading information and communication technology [ICT] companies. Tracking both publicly traded and privately held tech companies based on revenues, innovation and long-term potential, the Branham300 also recognizes leaders within industry sectors.

“Our Top Up and Coming list provides a look into the not-too-distant future as to who will be part of the next wave of information and communication technology organizations that will help move Canada’s innovation economy forward,” said Wayne Gudbranson, CEO, Branham Group. “These organizations will play a key role as Canada continues to evolve its technology foundation.”

The eleven-x next generation network offers low cost connectivity and low power consumption combined with long range and high security for organizations in both the Private and Public Sectors to leverage the benefits of the Internet of Things. Smart city initiatives such as Smart Street Lighting, Smart Parking, Water Monitoring and Asset tracking provide public organizations with the opportunity to reduce costs and improve productivity.

Enterprise IoT applications such as Smart Metering for water, gas and electricity, as well as Predictive Maintenance and Smart Agriculture offers the potential for real return on investment with increased revenue opportunities, reduced costs as well as the potential for new business models.

“eleven-x is really in a great position to help stimulate innovation across Canada,” stated Ryan Hickey, CEO and Co-Founder of eleven-x. “Our network helps organizations who are ready for the Internet of Things right now by enabling secure, reliable, low power and low-cost connectivity.”

The eleven-x carrier grade network, based on industry leading LoRaWAN™ technology, was launched in Canada in December 2016. The company is currently working on IoT pilot projects across the country for Smart City initiatives and Enterprise IoT applications.

 About Branham Group Inc. and Branham300
Branham Group Inc. (, is a Canadian based, globally directed Industry Analyst and Strategic Advisory for the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. With its Branham300 database Branham has expansive data in the Canadian ICT industry.  The Branham300 is a unique community or ecosystem in the Canadian ICT sector that includes privately held and publicly traded tech companies in Canada.

Follow Us:
Twitter – @branhamgroup

 About eleven-x™
eleven-x is a network operator enabling the Internet of Things. Our purpose-built low power wide area network is the first of its kind in Canada, providing connectivity for a wide variety of sensors and applications. Our next generation network enables customers in the Private and Public sectors to efficiently and cost effectively manage assets, create and maintain Smart Cities, and realize environmental sustainability. Visit for more information.

Follow Us:
LoRaWAN™ mark is used under license from the LoRa Alliance™.

eleven-x and Region of Waterloo Partner for Canada’s First Smart City Water Monitoring Project Utilizing LoRaWAN™ Network

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WATERLOO, ON – CANADA | May 31, 2017eleven-x™, operator of Canada’s first and only coast-to-coast LoRaWAN™ Low Power Wide Area Network, is pleased to announce a new Smart City development project with the Region of Waterloo.

The first IoT application of its kind in Canada, the Region of Waterloo and eleven-x are teaming up to test the real-time automated data collection from the Region’s water supply production and monitoring wells. eleven-x’s next generation network enables connectivity with low cost devices that could provide the Region with real-time communication of the status of key parameters for managing the Region’s primary water supply sources.

About 75% of the water supply for the Region is derived from groundwater through a system of 132 large production wells extracting water from local sand, gravel and rock aquifers.  The Region automatically captures data from a network of 585 monitoring wells to assess any impacts and provide information to manage its water supply sources.  However, the data is only collected manually several times over the course of a year which results in delays in getting status information for each of the supply wells. These delays restrict the decision-making ability of the Region in terms of managing its water supply sources.

eleven-x is integrating their next generation network to connect with data logging devices to enable automated measuring and tracking of well water levels and temperature from select production and monitoring wells. Water data will be collected and communicated automatically on an hourly basis. Additionally, a newly added capability of event-driven real-time alerts based on pre-determined parameters, such as significant level fluctuations, will also be tested.

According to Eric Hodgins, Manager, Hydrogeology and Source Water at Region of Waterloo, “The value we gain in having well water data at our finger tips is tremendous for us in terms of decision-making. The technology may allow us to connect our wells directly with our water operations management system and give us the ability to advance the way we monitor and manage this crucial resource”.

“Real-time updates on our wells will give us a better understanding of what is happening with our water supply sources and could really improve this key service we provide to the residents of our Region. The opportunity to reduce our costs is a real bonus,” said Nancy Kodousek, Director, Water Services at Region of Waterloo.

Dan Mathers, Chairman and Co-Founder of eleven-x, said “IoT applications have the potential to help organizations with getting accurate and timely data while greatly improving the costs associated with capturing that data. For the Region of Waterloo, the connectivity our network enables for real-time well water data collection could have an immensely positive impact for them.”

Launched late last year, eleven-x provides a LoRaWAN™ based carrier grade network that enables low cost connectivity and data communications for IoT applications. In addition to the deployment with the Region of Waterloo, the company currently also has other pilots underway enables Smart City initiatives such as Smart Parking and Smart Street Lighting, as well as Industrial and Enterprise IoT applications such as Smart Metering, Asset Monitoring, Smart Buildings and Smart Agriculture.

About The Region of Waterloo
The Region of Waterloo provides more than 60 per cent of municipal services to a growing population of 570,000 people. We are committed to creating an inclusive, thriving and sustainable community through innovative leadership and a range of services such as public health, social services, planning, heritage, water supply, regional roads, waste management, ambulance service, rural libraries, public transit, community housing, emergency planning, Provincial Offences Courts and airport services.

About eleven-x™
eleven-x is a network operator enabling the Internet of Things. Our purpose-built low power wide area network is the first of its kind in Canada, providing connectivity for a wide variety of sensors and applications. Our next generation network enables customers in the Private and Public sectors to efficiently and cost effectively manage assets, create and maintain Smart Cities, and realize environmental sustainability. Visit for more information.

LoRaWAN™ mark is used under license from the LoRa Alliance™.

IoT Connects With LoRaWAN™ in Canada

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The announcement of the launch of our network – Canada’s first carrier-grade low power wide area network purpose built for the Internet of Things – has made cities and enterprises take notice of the innovative possibilities enabled by the eleven-x LoRaWAN™ based network.

With pilot programs already initiated, including Asset Tracking, Water Management, Gas|Water|Electrical Metering, Health Monitoring and Asset Monitoring, and many others in the planning stages, Private and Public Sector organizations will realize significant cost savings, improved efficiencies and offer more revenue-generating services.

Our Chairman and Co-Founder, Dan Mathers will be participating on a panel at the upcoming Wavefront IoT Summit where he will be discussing the vast potential of the eleven-x IoT network to help connect “things” now and in the future for Canada. As part of this participation, eleven-x provided a thought-provoking piece on the potential for LoRaWAN technology and its role within the IoT ecosystem. We invite you to read the article and let us know where you could see IoT having an impact on your organization.


The status of IoT, and LoRaWAN technology in particular, is on the brink of moving the promise of IoT capabilities forward and offers the possibility to go beyond traditional M2M communication by enabling meaningful interactions between people and their environments. Connectivity is a key part of this and technologies including LoRaWAN, WiFi and Cellular will co-exist to provide a network ecosystem where the right connectivity for the right application will be possible. LoRaWAN’s place in the that ecosystem is an important component of next generation network discussions.

Globally, LoRaWAN has been deployed in Europe, Middle East/Africa and Asia over the past couple of years. There are already approximately 50 operators offering LoRaWAN network services, with notable ones including Orange and Objenious in France, Proximus in Belgium, SK Telecom in Korea and Comcast in the US. With operators in Germany, China, Japan, UK and South Africa providing coverage for their regions, Canada is now poised to start reaping the benefits that Smart Cities and Enterprise IoT applications can offer because of the LoRaWAN network deployed by eleven-x.

The application sweet spot for LoRa® technology resides at the intersection between low power consumption, low cost and near real-time communication – these typically include metering, monitoring, tracking and control. Cities and municipalities can do more with less, improving service offerings while at the same time reducing waste and costs with applications including Smart Water Infrastructure, Asset Monitoring and municipal services like Smart Garbage collection, Smart Parking and Smart Street Lighting. Utilities can gain significant benefits from deploying Smart Metering solutions for Water, Gas and Hydro.

Finally, the use of LoRa technology provides private sector enterprises the opportunity to offer additional revenue-generating services while reducing their costs and improving operational efficiencies with applications such as Asset Tracking, Tank Monitoring and improved Supply & Logistics Optimization. For both private and public sector organizations, LoRaWAN technology connects things that previously couldn’t be connected, which will positively impact our world both now and the future.

Attending the Wavefront IoT Summit? We look forward to seeing you there. Stop by and see us in the Innovation Lab. The Summit runs May 1-2 and the panel discussion will be taking place on May 2 at 1pm.