What is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a network in which devices, objects, animals, or people are connected with each other and have the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
A "thing" in the Internet of Things can be an animal with a tracking sensor, a person with a brain monitor implant, or a water meter to monitor the consumption of water usage. In short, any object that can be connected to the internet and have the ability to transfer data over a network.
The Internet of Things is rapidly becoming one of the most exciting topics in modern technology with the potential to help solve some of the biggest challenges and problems in the world. This opens the door to a whole new world of possibilities.
What Is LoRa®?
LoRa™ (Long Range) is a modulation technique based on spread-spectrum techniques and a variation of Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS), which provides significantly longer range than the competing technologies. The LoRa wireless technology was developed by Cycleo SAS, which was later acquired by Semtech.
What is LoRaWAN™?
LoRaWAN™ is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification intended for wireless battery operated Things in regional, national or global network. The LoRa modulation is the physical layer of LoRaWAN, which is a MAC protocol for a high capacity long range and Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN). LoRa Alliance which is an open-nonprofit association of members is working to standardize LoRa Wide Area Network protocol (a.k.a. LoRaWAN) for LPWAN. LoRaWAN targets the basic needs of IoT such as secure bi-directional communication, mobility and localization services.
This standard will provide seamless interoperability among smart Things without the need of complex local installations and gives back the freedom to the user, developer, businesses enabling the roll out of Internet of Things. LPWAN enables devices to connect over very long ranges while delivering very long battery power life with an extremely low power-device cost.
Key features of LoRa RF Technology:
Reduces both upfront infrastructure investments as well as operating costs and end-node sensor costs.
Deep penetration in dense urban environments and deep indoor coverage, connecting to sensors 15-30 miles away in rural areas.
The LoRaWAN protocol was made specifically for low power and enables multi-year battery lifetime.
Secure bidirectional communication between sensors and gateways.
Embedded end-to-end encryption of data ensuring optimal privacy and protection against unauthorized access.
LoRaWAN network architecture is typically laid out in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways is a transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections while end-devices use single-hop wireless communication to one or many gateways. All end-point communication is generally bi-directional, but also supports operation such as multicast enabling software upgrade over the air or other mass distribution messages to reduce the on air communication time.
Communication between end-devices and gateways is spread out on different frequency channels and data rates. The selection of the data rate is a trade-off between communication range and message duration. Due to the spread spectrum technology, communications with different data rates do not interfere with each other and create a set of "virtual" channels increasing the capacity of the gateway. LoRaWAN data rates range from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps. To maximize both battery life of the end-devices and overall network capacity, the LoRaWAN network server is managing the data rate and RF output for each end-device individually by means of an adaptive data rate (ADR) scheme.
National wide networks targeting internet of things such as critical infrastructure, confidential personal data or critical functions for the society has a special need for secure communication. This has been solved by several layer of encryption. LoRaWAN™ has several different classes of end-point devices to address the different needs reflected in the wide range of applications.