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What is LoRaWAN?

First: 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. 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.

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.

Advantages of LoRaWAN

⭐ Long Range

LoRa devices can transmit signals over distances from 1km — 10km.

⭐ Low Power

LoRa end nodes wake up only at a fixed time, which can extend battery lifetime. End node batteries can last for 5-10 years (Class A and Class B devices).

⭐ Security

Data encryption using AES128 between end nodes and network servers/ Data encryption using AES128 at the application level.

⭐ 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.

⭐ Low Cost

Work in free frequencies and no upfront licensing cost to use the technology.

⭐ Easy Deployment

Simple network architecture and easy to deploy by yourself.

Last update: December 16, 2021

Author: carol