What is LPWAN?
A low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) is a type of wireless protocol that enables long range communications between connected devices with minimal energy requirements. LPWANs operate at a low bit rate, and are used for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to connect sensors to a central system through wireless gateways.
What is LoRa and LoRaWAN?
LoRaWAN is an LPWAN protocol that connects IoT devices using LoRa® wireless technology, created and open-sourced by Semtech. LoRa runs on unlicensed frequencies worldwide and can be used for both public and private deployments. LoRa and LoRaWAN, like other LPWAN technologies, cover vast ranges and enable long battery life for devices in the field, while also providing bi-directional communication and great indoor penetration for Internet of Things (IoT) solutions.
Key features of LoRa
- Long Range – LoRa and LoRaWAN can reach up to 30 kilometers in flat areas with uninterrupted lines of sight, and 3 kilometers in urban environments, depending on gateway performance.
- Battery Life – LoRa transmissions are compact, and the protocol is built to use minimal amounts of energy. This means sensors have the potential to last years—even more than a decade, depending on the use-case.
- Security – LoRa implements 128-bit encryption on all transmissions, similar to cellular and VPN networks.
- Communications Methods – LoRaWAN has three modes of bi-directional communication between sensors and gateways: Class A which has chirp send and random receive slots, Class B which has limited scheduled receive slots and Class C which has full receive slots. Class A is used for most basic sensors, Class B for advanced sensors that need deeper two-way communications, and Class C for actuators that will be powered continuously (not on a battery).
- Unlicensed Radio Network: LoRa runs on unlicensed radio networks throughout the world. This means there is no need to pay an operator to use the network.
- In-building Penetration: The frequency LoRa runs at enables it to penetrate walls better than higher frequency signals.
The LoRa Alliance is an open, nonprofit association of over 500 plus members and one of the largest and fastest-growing alliances in the technology sector. Longview is a contributing member of the LoRa Alliance through our parent company, Carnegie Technologies.