What Is LoRa?
LoRa (Long Range) is a patented digital wireless data communication IoT technology developed by Cycleo of Grenoble, France. It was acquired by Semtech in 2012, which holds the IP for LoRa transmission methodology.
LoRa is based on chirp spread spectrum modulation, which maintains the same low power characteristics as FSK modulation but significantly increases the communication range.
What Is LoRaWAN?
LoRaWAN is a media access control (MAC) layer protocol maintained by the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit technology alliance. It is designed to allow low-powered devices to communicate with Internet-connected applications over long range wireless connections. The first LoRaWAN standard was announced by the LoRa Alliance in June 2015. In 2017 LoRaWAN specification 1.1 was released.
What Is LPWAN?
A low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery.
LPWAN offers multi-year battery lifetime and is designed for sensors and applications that need to send small amounts of data over long distance a few times per hour from varying environments.
LPWAN has no uniform technical standards. LoRa, SigFox, NB-IoT, Weightless are all typical technologies.
Where does LPWAN fit?
One technology cannot serve all of the projected applications and volumes for IoT.
WiFi and BTLE are widely adopted standards and serve the applications related to communicating personal devices quite well.
Cellular technology is a great fit for applications that need high data throughput and have a power source.
LPWAN offers multi-year battery lifetime and is designed for sensors and applications that need to send small amounts of data over long distances a few times per hour from varying environments.
Advantages of LoRa?
The advantage of LoRa is in the technology’s long range capability. A single gateway or base station can cover entire cities or hundreds of square kilometers. Range highly depends on the environment or obstructions in a given location, but LoRa and LoRaWAN have a link budget greater than any other standardized communication technology. The link budget, typically given in decibels (dB), is the primary factor in determining the range in a given environment.
Advantages of LoRaWAN?
1) Long Range: LoRa devices can transmit signals over distances from 1km — 10km.
2) Low Power:LoRa end nodes wake up only at a fixed time, which can extend battery life. End node batteries can last for 5-10 years (Class A and Class B devices).
3) Security: data encryption using AES128 between end nodes and network servers/ Data encryption using AES128 at the application level.
4) Network Capability:single LoRa gateway device is designed to take care of thousands of end devices or nodes and easy to extend network capability by increasing gateways.
A LoRaWAN gateway capability is influenced by these factors:
• Tunnels: different tunnels can receive data from end nodes simultaneously; the greater quantity of tunnels, the more end nodes a gateway can connect to;
• Data size and reporting interval: large data size and reporting interval will reduce the end nodes that a gateway can connect to.
• ADR (Adaptive Data Rate):the distance between end nodes and gateways is closer, the data rate is higher, which can save the bandwidth of gateways.
5) Low Cost:work in free frequencies and no upfront licensing cost to use the technology.
6) Easy Deployment: simple network architecture and easy to deploy by yourself.