LoRaWAN Networks

LoRa (Long Range) and LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) are relatively new technologies that have revolutionised the deployment of smart devices over very large areas.

Finally, everyday objects and industrial machines can connect and communicate over long distances with minimal power consumption.

The establishment of LoRaWAN as an international standard has led hundreds of companies to develop compliant devices with common communications. No longer are project managers and system integrators tied to proprietary networking technologies.

What are LoRa and LoRaWAN?

LoRa is a wireless data communication technology designed for long-range communication with low power consumption. This makes it ideal for IoT devices that need to send small amounts of data over long distances while preserving battery life.

LoRaWAN, on the other hand, is a media access control (MAC) layer protocol designed for large-scale public networks with a single operator. It’s built on top of LoRa technology, providing the framework for how devices communicate across the network. LoRaWAN is designed to allow low-powered devices to communicate with Internet-connected applications over long-range wireless connections.

LoRaWAN Key Advantages

Long Range Connectivity – LoRaWAN can provide connectivity over 9 miles or more in rural areas and 1-3 miles in urban settings. This makes it ideal for applications that require wide area coverage, such as utility meter reading, smart city applications, or asset tracking across large geographical areas.

Low Power Consumption – LoRaWAN is designed for low power operation. Devices using LoRaWAN can function for over 10 years on a single small battery, which is a crucial advantage for IoT devices like water and gas meters that have to be deployed on battery power for safety reasons.

High Capacity – LoRaWAN networks support a large number of connected devices, with a single gateway able to handle thousands of nodes. This dramatically reduces network infrastructure costs where connectivity to hundreds of thousands of devices is required.

Cost-Effective – The cost of deploying and running a LoRaWAN network is low compared to alternatives like cellular IoT. The hardware costs are generally lower, and, with no ongoing data costs, you escape the tyranny of mobile operator data fees.

Security – LoRaWAN has built-in security features at the network level, including unique network session keys for each device and end-to-end encryption, ensuring data privacy and security.

Multiple Application Support – A single LoRaWAN deployment can support multiple IoT applications. AMI for electricity, water and gas, for example, can run on the same network (each with their own usage monitoring and billing systems), alongside streetlight control, air quality sensors and other Smart City applications.

Flexibility and Scalability – LoRaWAN supports both public and private network deployments, offering customers the flexibility to meet commercial needs or legal requirements. It is also highly scalable, allowing for the addition of more devices, applications, and sub-tenants as necessary.