LPWAN, LoRa, LoRaWAN and the Internet of Things
PART I — Understanding the LPWAN, LoRa and LoRaWAN technology
What is LPWAN ?
A low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) or low-power wide-area (LPWA) network or low-power network (LPN) 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 distances a few times per hour from varying environments.
LoRa and LoraWAN belong to the category of non-cellular LPWAN wireless communication network protocols and players, operating in the license-free spectrum. Other technologies that operate in the license-free frequency bands include Sigfox, Ingenu and several more.
A complete list of Wireless IoT protocols may be found here.
While LoRA, LoRaWAN operates on open licensed-free spectrums, others may operate on licensed frequencies. Accordingly, LPWANs may often be classified as licensed and licensed-free LPWAN ecosystems.
LoRa and Sigfox fall under non-cellular IoT technologies. NB-IoT (NarrowBand IoT) falls under cellular IoT category, and transmits over cellular frequency .
Note: It is possible for LoRa(or any LP WAN device) to transmit over large distances with low power, since the laws of physics dictate, that in order to transmit over a large distance; you either need to increase the power, or reduce the bandwidth. Since LoRa embedded sensors transmit over large distances, but use low power (batteries), its bandwidth is greatly limited.
What is LoRa and LoRaWAN (and Symphony Link) ?
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 transmits over license-free sub-gigahertz radio frequency bands like 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (North America). LoRa enables very-long-range transmissions (more than 10 km in rural areas) with low power consumption.
The technology is presented in two parts — LoRa, the physical layer, and; the communication protocol built upon the underlying LoRa physical layer. The communication layer may be LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network), an open source communication protocol defined by the LoRa Alliance consortium; or may be Symphony Link, another open source communication protocol defined by a company called Link Labs.
Thus, LoRaWAN™ defines the communication protocol and system architecture for the network, while the LoRa® physical layer enables the long-range communication link. LoRa WAN communication protocol ensures reliable communication, secure communication and adds additional headers to the data packets.
The LoRaWAN communication protocol is defined by the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit technology alliance of more than 500 member companies, committed to enabling large scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) IoT through the development, and promotion of the LoRaWAN open standard.
The first LoRaWAN standard was announced by the LoRa Alliance in June 2015. In 2017 LoRaWAN specification 1.1 was released.
LoRa and LoRaWAN permit inexpensive, long-range connectivity for IoT devices in rural, remote and offshore industries. They are typically used in mining, natural resource management, renewable energy, transcontinental logistics, and supply chain management.
LoRaWAN is the most adopted type of LPWAN, and promises ubiquitous connectivity in outdoor IoT applications, while keeping network structures, and management, simple.
LoRa and LoRaWAN Network Topology
LoRaWAN network architecture is deployed in a star-of-stars topology (vs. mesh topology eg. Zibgee).
The LoRaWAN networks laid out in a star-of-stars topology have base stations relaying the data between the sensor nodes and the network server.
Communication between the sensor nodes and the base stations goes over the wireless channel utilizing the LoRa physical layer, whilst the connection between the gateways and the central server are handled over a backbone IP-based network.
- End Nodes transmit directly to all gateways within range, using LoRa.
- Gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server using IP.
The End Nodes are LoRa embedded sensors. The nodes typically have,
- Sensors (used to detect the changing parameter eg. temperature, humidity, accelerometer, gps),
- LoRa transponder to transmit signals over LoRa patented radio transmission method, and
- optionally a micro-controller (with on board Memory).
The sensors may connect to the LoRa transponder chip, or the sensor may be an integrated unit with the LoRa transponder chip embedded.
The LoRaWAN end nodes(sensors) typically use Low Power and are battery powered (Class A and Class B). LoRa embedded sensors that run on batteries that can typically last from 2–5 years. The LoRa sensors can transmit signals over distances from 1km — 10km.
The LoRa sensors transmit data to the LoRa gateways. The LoRa gateways connect to the internet via the standard IP protocol and transmit the data received from the LoRa embedded sensors to the Internet i.e. a network, server or cloud.
The Gateways devices are always connected to a power source. The Gateways connect to the network server via standard IP connections and act as a transparent bridge, simply converting RF packets to IP packets and vice versa.
The Network servers can be cloud based platform solutions like The Things Network (TTN) or LoRIOT. The network servers connect to the gateways and de-dup data packets, and then routes it to the relevant application. The network servers can be used for both uplink (i.e. sensor to application) or downlink (i.e. application to sensor) communication.
The Things Network Network server has a Router, Broker and Handler, which processes the data packets from the LoRaWAN gateway. It also has an AWS Bridge that connects TTN to the AWS IOT platform.
The Application can typically be built over IoT platforms like AWS IoT using Lambda, DynamoDb or S3 services.
Part III has more on the end-to-end connectivity and TTN and Overall IoT Architecture.
Security is a primary concern for any mass IoT deployment and extremely important for any LPWAN.
LoRaWAN™ utilizes two layers of security: one for the network and one for the application. The network security ensures authenticity of the node in the network while the application layer of security ensures the network operator does not have access to the end user’s application data.
Accordingly, the LoRaWAN specification defines two layers of cryptography:
- A unique 128-bit Network Session Key shared between the end-device and network server
- A unique 128-bit Application Session Key (AppSKey) shared end-to-end at the application level
Data over LoRaWAN is encrypted twice; sensor data is encrypted by the node, and then it is encrypted again by the LoRaWAN protocol; only then is it sent to the LoRa Gateway. The Gateway sends data over normal IP network to the network server.
The Network server has the Network Session Keys (NwkSkey), and decrypts the LoRaWAN data. It then passes the data to the Application server which decrypts the sensor data, using the Application Session Key (AppSKey).
This is important since LoRa Gateway operate over open frequency so can receive data from any sensor in the vicinity. Thus, it become important that the LoRa Gateways not have ability to decrypt sensor data.
It is important to note that it is the LoRaWAN communication protocol that adds the encryption. LoRa transmissions by themselves are simple radio wave transmission and cannot be encrypted.
LoRaWAN™ devices have two ways to join the network. The first is OTAA, Over-the-Air-Activation. The device and the network exchange a 128-bit AppKey. When the device send the join request, the AppKey is used to create a Message Integrity Code (MIC), the server then check the MIC with the AppKey. If the check is valid, the server creates two new 128-bit keys, the App Session key (AppSkey) and the Network Session Key (NwkSkey). These keys are sent back to the device using the AppKey as an encryption key. When the keys are received the device decrypts and installs the two session keys.
The NwkSkey is used to guarantee the message integrity from the device to the LoRa Network Server. The AppSkey is used for the end-to-end AES-128 encryption from the device to the Application Server.
The second method for the network join is ABP, Activation by Personalization. In this case the device session keys are inserted by the user, thus is possible to have security issues.
Regulatory considerations for LoRa using license free Frequency
LoRa devices transmit in open frequency range which do not require a government license to transmit on. i.e. LoRa operates in license free frequency bands and one does not need license from government or state, to transmit on these frequencies.
- 415 Mhz
- 868 Mhz
- 915 Mhz
However it is important to note that the free or unlicensed frequencies vary from continent to continent.
It is extremely important to configure the LoRa transponder chip to transmit on the correct frequency depending on the location. Failure to comply can incur hefty fines and penalties from the local governments of the countries.
LoRaWAN Bandwidth considerations
LoRaWAN data is transmitted in digital format in the form of bytes.
The practical limit for reliable transmissions of data payloads in varying conditions is 100 bytes. While it is possible to go slightly above, 100 bytes maximum is a good working rule.
LoRaWAN networks have been tested with success, with 100 byte messages sent every 7 seconds over an extended period. However, in practice, anything more frequent than transmitting once a minute is not recommended.
It is possible for a single gateway to handle thousands of LoRa nodes simultaneously.
Advantages and Disadvantages of LoRaWAN
Advantages of LoRaWAN
- Low Powered sensors, and wide coverage area measured in kilometers
- Operates on free(unlicensed) frequencies, no upfront licensing cost to use the technology
- Low power means long battery life for devices. Sensor batteries can last for 2–5 years (Class A and Class B)
- Single LoRa Gateway device is designed to take care of thousands of end devices or nodes
- It is easy to deploy due to its simple architecture
- It is widely used for M2M/IoT applications
- Better payload size (100 bytes), compared to SigFox which is 12 bytes
- Open: an open alliance and an open standard. Open technology compared to competitor SigFox
- No restriction in maximum number of daily messages (compared to SigFox limitation of 140/day)
- LoRaWAN has the benefit of being an alliance with an Open approach instead of a proprietary one (SigFox).
- Long range enables solutions such as smart city applications.
- Low bandwith makes it ideal for practical IoT deployments with less data and/or with data transmissions which aren’t constant.
- Low(er) connectivity costs.
- Wireless, easy to set up and fast deployment.
- Security: a layer of security for the network and one for the application with AES encryption.
- Fully bi-directional communication.
- Backed by the likes of CISCO, IBM and 500 other member companies of the LoRa Alliance.
Disadvantages of LoRaWAN
- Not for large data payloads, payload limited to 100 bytes.
- Not for continuous monitoring (except Class C devices).
- Not ideal candidate for real time applications requiring lower latency and bounded jitter requirements.
- Densification of LoRaWAN networks: The proliferation of LPWAN technologies, and particularly LoRaWAN, poses co-existence challenges as the deployment of gateways populate urban areas.
- Disadvantage of open frequency is that you may get interference on that frequency and the data rate may be low. (For GSM or licensed frequency you can transmit on that frequency without any interference. GSM operators that use certain frequencies pay a large licensing fee to the government for the use of those frequencies. LoRa operates on frequencies that are open and do not need a state license. Keep in mind though that the open frequencies are different from country to country).
Comparison of LoRa and LoRaWAN with competitors
LoRaWAN vs. Sigfox
Both LoRaWAN and Sigfox provide wireless data connectivity for the long range, low power segment. However, LoRaWAN and Sigfox are very different technologies and business models. The table below highlights some of these.
Drawbacks of SigFox,
- It is not deployed everywhere, so it won’t work for a large number of use cases currently.
- Communication is better headed up from the endpoint to the base station. It has bidirectional functionality, but its capacity from the base station back to the endpoint is constrained, and you’ll have less link budget going down than going up.
- Mobility is difficult with Sigfox devices.
- Sigfox is uplink only. Though limited downlink is possible, it has a different link budget and is very restricted.
LoRaWAN vs. NBIoT
LoRa and Sigfox fall under non-cellular IoT technologies. NB-IoT falls under cellular IoT category. NB-IoT (NarrowBand IoT)
NB-IoT works on a cellular, licensed spectrum, the devices have to be synced with the network at regular (and relatively frequent) intervals. No such network synchronization is required in the ALOHA-based LoRa architecture.
The LoRa IoT technology works on license free radio frequency spectrum (Sigfox does the same). Accordingly, applications powered by LoRaWAN have minimal costs and battery performance receives a boost. NB-IoT services are synchronized and they are provided over licensed frequency bands, the costs for frequency band licensing is significant — with the per-MHz cost being >$500. Telecom operators have the option of deploying NB-IoT in guard bands, in 4G LTE spectrums, and of course, in a standalone network.
Both LoRa and NB-IoT provide coverage in the 10 km–15 km range. However, NB-IoT works best in sophisticated urban locations, and its performance is not up to the mark in suburban or rural areas (practically any place that does not have strong, glitch-free 4G coverage). Since LoRaWAN does not rely on cellular data or wifi for functioning, its coverage remains relatively steady across all types of locations.
Note: The LoRa base stations can be built at a fraction of the cost associated with the 4G-LTE base stations necessary for the deployment of NB-IoT. The lower investments required for LoRa works in its favour in a big way.
Because NB-IoT is a cellular-grade wireless technology the chips are more complex. That means users get the high performance level associated with cellular connections, but at the cost of more complexity and greater power consumption.
Advantages of NB-IoT are,
- The coverage would be very good. NB-IoT devices rely on 4G coverage, so they would work well indoors and in dense urban areas.
- It has faster response times than LoRa and can guarantee a better quality of service.
Drawbacks of NB-IoT are,
- LoRa devices have longer battery life than NB-IoT devices.
- LoRa devices work well when they are in motion, which makes them useful for tracking assets on the move, such as shipments.
- Network and tower handoffs will be a problem, so NB-IoT is best suited for primarily static assets, like meters and sensors in a fixed location, rather than roaming assets.
LoRaWAN vs. Zibgee
ZigBee is a wireless 2.4 GHz standard built on IEEE 802.15.4. There are many different application profile stacks you can run on top of it — and because it is governed by a standards body, it can interoperate across multiple manufacturers.
ZigBee is a mesh network, so each node in a ZigBee system can act as a wireless data endpoint or a repeater. Data travels from node to node until it reaches the router. It is designed for relatively low data-rate applications, and it is regularly used for home automation and smart lighting.
Comparison of Zigbee Mesh Network Architecture vs. LoRaWAN star-on-star network architecture?
LoRaWAN uses a star topology and Zigbee uses mesh topology.
In a mesh network, the individual end-nodes forward the information of other nodes to increase the communication range and cell size of the network. While this increases the range, it also adds complexity, reduces network capacity, and reduces battery lifetime as nodes receive and forward information from other nodes that is likely irrelevant for them. For long range, star architecture makes the most sense for preserving battery lifetime when long-range connectivity can be achieved.
The nodes in a LoRaWAN™ network are asynchronous and communicate when they have data ready to send whether event-driven or scheduled. This type of protocol is typically referred to as the Aloha method. In a mesh network or with a synchronous network, such as cellular, the nodes frequently have to ‘wake up’ to synchronize with the network and check for messages. This synchronization consumes significant energy and is the number one driver of battery lifetime reduction. In a recent study and comparison done by GSMA of the various technologies addressing the LPWAN space, LoRaWAN™ showed a 3 to 5 times advantage compared to all other technology options.
Is LoRa(WAN) better than its competitors?
Are LoRa and LoRaWAN better than other technologies (NB-IoT, Sigfox, etc.)?
- LoRaWAN has the benefit of being an alliance with an Open approach instead of a proprietary one.
- In a June 2016 blog post Cisco’s Tony Shakib announced several new Internet of Things solutions, including for the Cisco solution for LoRaWAN offering.
LoRaWAN is the most adopted type of LPWAN, and promises ubiquitous connectivity in outdoor IoT applications, while keeping network structures, and management, simple.
LoRa and LoRaWAN Credibility
Is LoRa and LoRaWAN backed by any consortium or major company?
LoRaWAN and LoRa is backed by LoRa Alliance, a non-profit and one of the fastest growing technology alliance of more than 500 member companies(as of 2018), committed to enabling large scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) IoT through the development and promotion of the LoRaWAN open standard.
LoRa Alliance founding companies include technology suppliers and telecom operators:
- Microchip Technology
- Bouygues Telecom
- FastNet (part of Telkom South Africa)
LoRa and LoRaWAN adoption trajectory in the IoT space?
- LoRaWAN networks, using the LoRaWAN protocol, are offered by over 70 network operators and there are LoRaWAN IoT deployments in more than 100 countries (private ones included).
- LoRa and LoRAWAN, has become the main non-cellular LPWAN ecosystems and solutions. It has a strong ecosystems of hardware vendors, developers, partners, IoT platforms, system integrators, IoT technology/solution vendors and telecommunication providers.
- LoRaWAN and LoRa are already widely available in several European countries, Asia-Pacific, Australia, and the US. On June 30th, 2016, The Netherlands became the first country in the world to have a nationwide LoRa network for Internet of Things applications.
- LORIOT.io, has developed a LoRaWan cloud, and is present in over 70 countries, including Rusia, China, a large part of South America and several African countries.
LoRaWAN suitability studies for Indoor IoT Applications
Following research papers were studied to understand the limits of LoRaWAN and study its suitability in an indoor high obstruction environment.
Study 1 — Evaluation of LoRa LPWAN Technology for Indoor Remote Health and Wellbeing Monitoring
This study investigates the indoor performance of LoRa, by the means of empirical measurements. The measurements were conducted using the commercially available devices in the main campus of the University of Oulu, Finland. The study effectively proves that the indoor (obstruction) communication links of over 300 meters are possible with LoRa and LoRaWAN.
Evaluation of LoRa LPWAN Technology for Indoor Remote Health and Wellbeing Monitoring
Study 2 — On the Use of LoRaWAN for Indoor Industrial IoT Applications
The results in the following study showed very good performance of LoRaWAN for indoor industrial monitoring systems, in terms of reliability, timeliness, and energy consumption.
On the Use of LoRaWAN for Indoor Industrial IoT Applications https://www.hindawi.com/journals/wcmc/2018/3982646/
Study 3 — Understanding the Limits of LoRaWAN
This article is aimed to clarify the scope of LoRaWAN by exploring the limits of the technology, matching them to application use cases and stating the open research challenges.
Understanding the Limits of LoRaWAN (Feb 2017)
Study 4 — A comparative study of LPWAN technologies for large-scale IoT deployment
This paper provides a comprehensive and comparative study of different LPWAN technologies, which serve as efficient solutions to connect smart, autonomous, and heterogeneous devices.
A comparative study of LPWAN technologies for large-scale IoT deployment
LoRaWAN Use Cases
LoRaWAN and LoRa have been successfully used in the following Use Cases,
- Fall Detection
- Predictive Maintenance
- Industrial Temperature Control
LoRaWAN should be used only when we do not want to detect rapid changes. eg. occupation of a parking space, or humidity changes in plants. If the transition is limited to tracking change every min, then LoRa devices are fine.
Other Use Case deployments of LoRaWAN include,
Real Time Monitoring Agriculture, leak detection or environment control with a reduced number of periodic/aperiodic messages and relaxed delay constraints.
Smart City Applications LoRaWAN has shown key success stories with smart lighting, smart parking and smart waste collection thanks to their scale and the nature of the data generated by those applications. These encompass periodic messaging with certain delay tolerance. For example, smart parking applications report the status of the parking spots upon a change is detected [. Parking events are slow and therefore network signaling is limited to few tens of messages per day. Analogously smart waste collection systems and smart lighting actuate or report information in response to a measure with large variation periods. Although latency and jitter are not major issues in these applications, in some of them the triggering factor is simultaneous for a huge number of end-devices. For instance, sunset and down trigger the lighting elements around the whole city, thereby causing an avalanche of messages. LoRaWAN is an appropriate technology for this use case since it handles the wide coverage area and the significant number of users at the expense of increasing number of collisions, latency and jitter.
Use Case Challenges
- Challenge in Fall Detection Use Case: Fall-Detection use case is difficult to detect since the fall detection algorithms are not well developed, and lead to several cases of false positives and also missed falls.
- Geolocation of end-devices: The location of end-devices is a mandatory requirement for specific use cases. However, GPS-based solutions are not feasible due to cost, and CPU and energy consumption. Currently, interesting works have been initiated to develop TDOA-based (Time Difference Of Arrival) triangulation techniques for LoRaWAN. It has been shown that this approach benefits from large SFs and dense gateway deployments.
- Continuous Monitoring: Industrial automation, critical infrastructure monitoring and actuation require some sort of real time operation. Real time is understood in general by low latency, and bounded jitter and depends on the specific application. LoRaWAN technology cannot claim to be a candidate solution for industrial automation.
LoRaWAN, deterministic operation cannot be guaranteed despite of application specific periodicity as ALOHA access is subject to contention which impacts network jitter. Despite that, small LoRaWAN networks can deliver proper service to applications that require, for instance, sampling data every second.
PART II — LoRa and LoRaWAN Hardware
LoRa(WAN) sensors, modules, gateways and building blocks — and where to get them
Semtech is the owner of the LoRa intellectual property. The company among other sells semiconductor solutions such as LoRa transceivers and gateways on top of several other solutions such as ICs and more.
Other manufacturers of LoRa and LoRaWAN equipment, from sensor boards and modules to gateways and more, licensing the LoRa IP, include STMicroelectronics, Microchip, mcf88, AllThingsTalk, Gumstix, Adeunis, Netvox Technology, Telit, Libelium, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Lite-On and others,
Is the LoRa Alliance really a true open standard if Semtech is the only supplier of the radio chips?
From an Alliance perspective the LoRaWAN communication protocol built on LoRa is open source. Micro controller suppliers Microchip, ST Microelectronics and Renesas have publicly announced intentions to adopt LoRa radio technology. There will also likely be other semiconductor companies offering solutions in the near future.
LoRa Embedded Sensor (End Node)
LoRa Node devices are end node devices to which the sensors connect. Nodes are slave devices that initiate communication with LoRa gateway.
LoRa does best effort transmission, but there is no acknowledgement. You can transmit whatever data over LoRa. A LoRa end node typically consists of LoRa Transponder(to transmit the data)+ Micro controller(to process the signals coming in from the sensor) + GPIO processing
- LoPy is the most popular and common LoRa Node. LoPy can connect to sensors, receive data store on flash if required and send via LoRa signal to the LoRa gateway. programmable in micro Python. Ensure that you use the correct frequency setting in the correct country. 868 Mhz in Europe and 915 Mhz in the US (this is an important legal consideration). Cost is $20–25.
- LoRa GPS Hat can be used as both Node/Gateway.
LoRaWAN Node Devices are defined into 3 Classes, in order to conserve battery life.
Class A: Sensors are battery powered and they sleep most of the time, i.e. device is not doing must most of the time. Class A devices transmit data and then wake up after a receive delay period to receive data. This means that the acknowledgement for the data transmitted by Class A devices must come immediately. Battery life for Class A devices is typically 2–5 years.
Class B: Battery powered sensors, the sleep is controlled by the network, and network can instruct the device when to sleep when to wake up. This is new and not many devices in this Class.
Class C: Always connected to the power source, always awake.
LoRa Gateway are connected to power source (not on battery), receive data from LoRa sensors, and sends over IP to the server.
LoRa Gateways cost around $1000 — $2000 for industrial strength Gateways. DIY gateways like IMST IC880-SPI.
LoRaWAN certified products
The following is an array of certified products available now to fulfill the wide ranging spectrum of IoT use cases served by LoRaWAN.
LoRa Starter Kits
MultiConnect® ConduitTMIoT Starter Kit for LoRa®Technology
- Temperature, light, pressure, and accelerometer sensors plus GPS included in the MultiConnect mDot Box
- 868 and 915 MHz for Europe and North America.
- Flexibility to conduct LoRa Site Survey and/or develop end-to-end LoRa proof of concepts from scratch support virtually unlimited IoT use case needs
Symphony Link Development Kit
- A Wifi-enabled Symphony Link Gateway (model LL-BST-8–915-SYM-W-I-US), including peripheral components to operate the gateway:
Dragino LoRa IoT Kit
- Designed to facilitate beginners and developers to quickly learn LoRa and IoT technology.
- LoRa IoT kit will show how to build LoRa network, and how to use the network to send data from a LoRa sensor node to various IoT servers. When used as a private LoRa network, the LoRa gateway will connect your other LoRa nodes up to 5km — 10km.
LoRa IoT Starter Kit — with Waspmote
- The LoRa IoT Starter Kit — 868 MHz allows the user to send data and reach extremely long ranges at low data-rates with Waspmote.
- This Kit includes 1x Waspmote SX1272 LoRa module SMA 4.5 dBi — 868 MHz 1x Waspmote Gateway SX1272 LoRa module SMA 4.5 dBi — 868 MHz 1x 6600mA/h Rechargeable Battery You can find 900Mhz America version too
Wise-DK1510 LoRa Starter Kit
- WISE-1510 is M2.COM standardized IoT Sensor Node integrated with ARM Cortex-M4 Processor and LoRa transceiver to support public LoRaWAN
- Advantech WISE-1510 also provide multi-interfaces for sensor and I/O control. With ARM mbed embedded microprocessor operating system and add-on software stacks,
MOST-Link Starter Kits Starter Kits for LoRa® Technology
- The development software kit includes LoRa® gateway utility, Arduino node library and sample code.
- The LoRa® Starter Kit offers makers/ developers a convenient platform to quicky demonstrate the long range and low power cunsumption capabilities with LoRa technology.
PART III — Reading the LoRaWAN Payload
In Part I we focused on the LoRa and LoRa technology. In Part II we focused on the LoRaWAN hardware. In Part III we will focus on the end-to-end ecosystem and how to setup a complete IoT ecosystem using LoRAWAN.
The LoRaWAN Ecosystem
The LoRaWAN ecosystem consists of four main components.
- The End Nodes, i.e the sensors connected to the LoRa transponsers. These are battery powered and can transmit over 5km — 10km range. Batteries can last from 2–5 years depending on usage.
- The Gateway, that receives data from the end node sensors. These are powered devices that are usually plugged into a power supply. The Gateway receives the LoRa data packets over LoRa and then forwards the data packets over Internet Protocol (IP) to the network server. A single Gateway can receive data from thousands of sensors.
- The Network Server, which receives the data packets (in bytes) from the Gateway and then processes it and forwards it to the Application Server. The Network server will be a the main focus of Part III. The Network server is typically a hosted solution on the Cloud eg. The Things Network (TTN), or the LoR-IOT Cloud. It may alternatively also be an on-premise deployment eg. https://www.resiot.io/en/.
- The Application Server, this is where the application which does “something” with the data received from the sensors is present. The Application server may be on a cloud infrastructure solution like the AWS IoT or Azure. The application may be built using AWS services like Lambda, and may use S3 or DynamoDB. This is where you build your IoT applications or dashboards etc.
LORIOT is a software provider and network operator of LoRaWAN Networks.
LORIOT is a Swiss start-up in the field of Internet of Things, founded in 2015.
Their core product is software for scalable, distributed, resilient operation of LoRaWAN networks and end-to-end applications, which they offer under a variety of business models.
Typical customers are small and medium enterprises in the Internet of Things business, cities, municipalities and wireless network operators.
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