LoRa and LoRaWAN are gaining popularity as a low-power vast area network (LPWAN) alternative to technologies such as LoRa gateways that are popping up worldwide. LoRa’s capabilities and possibilities are either a mystery or unbelievable to the uninformed. It’s time to address some myths and misconceptions around LoRa and LoRaWAN. This article seeks to dispel some myths and riddles surrounding the LoRaWAN and LoRa.
LoRa is LoRaWAN.
LoRaWAN is the network’s communication protocol and system architecture, whereas LoRa is the physical radio layer that enables the long-distance communication link. The LoRaWAN protocol and network architecture directly impact a node’s battery life, network capacity, quality of service, security, and the number of applications supplied by the network.
The LoRa technology transforms data into electromagnetic waves. It employs the “Chirp Spread Spectrum” transmission technology, which encodes data in frequency-modulated “chirps.” This transmission technology has been employed in military and space communication for decades.
LoRa signals can’t transmit over 10 km.
Range in a typical LoRaWAN network is determined by various elements, including indoor/outdoor gateways, message payload, antenna type, and so on. In an urban context with an exterior doorway, coverage can extend up to 2- to 3 km, whereas rural areas can extend beyond 5 to 7 km.
The range of LoRa is determined by “radio line-of-sight.” It indicates that the signal can go to the horizon if no physical barriers stand in its path. Radio waves in the 400 to 900-MHz frequency range may travel through obstacles depending on their composition but will otherwise be absorbed or reflected. Elevating LoRa gateway devices, such as placing them on rooftops or mountaintops, will increase their range.
Okay, but there’s no way your device could last up to 10 years!
Long battery life is one of LoRaWAN’s distinguishing features. Devices often fall into deep sleep mode when not transmitting messages, increasing battery life. The capacity of any node’s battery still determines its longevity; however, sleeping for more prolonged durations significantly extends charge cycles. Furthermore, the LoRa gateway’s signal does not require much power to generate and transmit. Even when the system is active and transmitting, power consumption is kept to a minimum.
Can you share images/files on LoRaWAN?
The data transmission speed using LoRaWAN is exceedingly slow. Extensive data, such as music, video, or photos, should not be sent over this network. It is appropriate for extremely short sensor data packets for alerts, triggering, and monitoring. It has a significant impact on optimizing battery life.
LoRa nodes can only send data.
LoRaWAN’s capacity to provide bidirectional communication is another essential characteristic. An end device (sensor) can send and receive messages from the network (for example, sensor data, occupancy, and position). LoRa gateways can thus be programmed or customized to send status indicators to remote places.
LoRa isn’t secure.
Any wireless technology has always placed a premium on security. LoRaWAN employs two security layers: one for the network and one for the application. The network layer of security assures that nodes in the network are authentic. In contrast, the application layer of security ensures that the network operator does not have access to the end user’s application data. With the key exchange, AES encryption is employed. Low-power Chirp Spread Spectrum signals are also complicated to detect and intercept.
You have to pay to use LoRaWAN.
For anyone interested in learning more about LoRaWAN, there is a global community of over 24,000 people in over 500 cities using the open free network “The Things Network.” You only need a few end devices to get started, and you’ll be delving into LoRaWAN in no time. If you find yourself in a region with no coverage, you may always set up a base station to provide coverage not only to yourself but also to nearby members of your network.
Furthermore, premium networks can provide specialized network or application servers with increased bandwidth, storage, and device count; enhanced privacy and security; and software licensing options.
In a nutshell,
In today’s highly volatile technology environment, solutions that enable an agile approach to development and innovation are required. LoRa delivers secure, bidirectional, low-power, long-range communication through free and paid network services. Its wireless signals can travel long distances, carrying tiny data packets to and from multiple low-power node devices.
The possibilities for connecting the world around us are limitless. It is a matter of awareness, expense, and complexity. Akenza’s experts are confident that by significantly lowering the work and complexity businesses face when developing IoT solutions, most entrepreneurs will be able to steer the Internet of Things movement toward broad market application.