The Internet of Mail: How Technology is Enabling Postal Services in Rural Communities

Semtech
Mail IoT
Illustration: © IoT For All

Checking for mail is a daily ritual for many people, and also a service that is often taken for granted. And as recently as 2019, 2.4% of the global population didn’t have access to any form of postal service.

Many of those customers are located in rural areas, which are often much more difficult to serve due to inaccessibility and the lack of infrastructure capable of handling the communication demands. Surprisingly, one such area is Switzerland; despite being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, many of its remote mountain communities lacked direct access to regular postal service. Switzerland’s Postal Services Act requires the country’s national postal service, Swiss Post, to ensure postal service access to all communities regardless of the challenging terrain. To achieve this, the Swiss Post turned to the Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The Swiss Post addressed connectivity challenges head-on by creating a battery-operated optical identification (OID) device, the SmartButton that delivers consumers and businesses postal services on demand with a simple click of a button. The devices leverage the LoRaWAN® protocol, provided by the Swisscom Network, to cover the vast physical distances of rural customers.

With 100,000 SmartButtons utilized across households and businesses in Switzerland, the results have been awe-inspiring:

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Semtech
Semtech
Semtech is a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms. Our highly differentiated technology platforms enable today’s innovative electronics, pushing the boundaries of intelligence, bandwid...
Semtech is a leading supplier of high performance analog and mixed-signal semiconductors and advanced algorithms. Our highly differentiated technology platforms enable today’s innovative electronics, pushing the boundaries of intelligence, bandwid...