LoRaWAN® is a Low Power Wide Area network protocol designed to securely connect battery powered sensors across the street or across the country.
Long Range (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 miles. 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. Something that cellular companies can’t compete with.
What is LoRaWAN™?
In a LoRaWAN™ network nodes are not associated with a specific gateway. Instead, data transmitted by a node is typically received by multiple gateways. Each gateway will forward the received packet from the end-node to the cloud-based network server via some backhaul (either cellular, Ethernet, satellite, or Wi-Fi). The intelligence and complexity is pushed to the network server, which manages the network and will filter redundant received packets, perform security checks, schedule acknowledgments through the optimal gateway, and perform adaptive data rate, etc
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.