Think of a wireless network that consumes low power, operates over large distances, and has a low data rate. Is such a network even possible? Yes, it is and the technology is layered in two parts, namely, LoRaWAN and LoRa. LoRaWAN defines the network's communication protocol and system architecture, while the LoRa, physical layer enables the long-range communication link.
The LoRa Alliance was founded in 2015 by more than 500 member companies, and the networking protocol was named "LoRaWAN." The LoRa Alliance develops and manages the LoRaWAN protocol. The LoRaWAN uses sub-Giga Hertz frequency and acts in the unlicensed ISM band; This means transmitting data via the LoRa technology no license is needed. And the actual frequency of this sub-Giga Hertz ISM band for LoRa varies from country to country.
There are four critical components of the LoRaWAN network architecture:
End Nodes : Represents edge devices or sensors
Gateway : Collects or concentrates data from several end nodes
Network Server : Consolidates data from gateways for upload to the application server
Application Server : Processes or displays consolidated data
LoRaWAN was explicitly developed for large-scale IoT communication, such as covering vast distances to transmit signals through physical barriers to run on low power and ensure long battery life and massively scale at low deployment and operating costs.
LoRaWAN is an open global standard for long-range wireless communications used to get real-time data from objects out in the world and track asset locations in ways never thought possible. Using LoRaWAN connected sensors, a company can quickly obtain the insights they need to automate processes and improve efficiencies increasing the bottom line and even new revenue streams and business opportunities.
In urban and rural areas, the range of communication is 2-5 km and 10-15 km, respectively. Indoor coverage depends largely on the material type of obstacles, and if there is a direct line of sight between the LoRa end nodes and the Gateway, it can be more than 15kms.
Some of the critical features of LoRaWAN Technology are :
Low Power : Requires minimal energy, with a prolonged battery lifetime of up to 10 years, minimizing battery replacement costs.
Secure : Features end-to-end encryption, mutual authentication, integrity protection, and confidentiality.
Standardized : Offers device interoperability and global availability of LoRaWAN networks for speed deployment of IoT applications anywhere.
Geolocation : Enables GPS-free tracking applications, offering unique low-power benefits untouched by other technologies.
Mobile : Maintains communication with devices in motion without strain on power consumption.
High Capacity : Supports millions of messages per base station, meeting the needs of public network operators serving large markets.
Low Cost : Reduces infrastructure investment, battery replacement expense, and ultimately operating expenses.
These features make LoRaWAN technology an asset for IoT Devices. When connected to a LoRaWAN network, LoRa devices accommodate many IoT applications by transmitting packets with important information. LoRaWAN networks exploit the technological gap of Cellular and Wi-Fi/BLE-based networks, which are either limited to short-range vicinity or high maintenance and power cost. With these aspects, the LoRaWAN technology is opening a new hemisphere of intelligent operations from the sustainable environment, monitoring healthcare devices, to smart buildings.
Cheers, Regami Solutions