LoRa and LoRaWAN are two closely intertwined terms that play pivotal roles in shaping the landscape of the Internet of Things (IoT). LoRa and LoRaWAN often appear together, contributing collectively to the evolution of IoT technology. While they are frequently discussed together, it’s important to recognize that LoRa and LoRaWAN hold separate and specific meanings.
Within the IoT Stadium, where connectivity is vital, we also implement LoRaWAN as one of the primary communication protocols that allow users to seamlessly interact with their devices. Now, let’s delve into a deeper understanding of LoRa and LoRaWAN and their significance in the world of IoT.
So, what is LoRa and LoRaWAN?
Imagine a wireless communication technology that spans vast distances while consuming minimal power. Enter LoRa, which is short for ‘Long Range.’ It’s a technology made for extended-range communication, making it ideal for scenarios where devices must transmit small data packets across substantial distances while prioritizing energy efficiency.
This technology finds its prime application in the realm of the Internet of Things (IoT), where connected devices operate in harmony to create smart environments. Imagine sensors in remote fields transmitting critical information or urban infrastructure optimizing itself based on real-time data. In these scenarios, LoRa stands as the physical solution that bridges the distance gap.
But how do these devices communicate effectively over such long ranges? This is where LoRaWAN, the acronym for Long Range Wide Area Network, comes into play. LoRaWAN is not just a protocol; it’s a strategic layer built atop the LoRa modulation technology. Serving as a sophisticated software bridge, LoRaWAN organizes how devices interact with LoRa hardware. It manages when messages are sent, what format they take, and how they navigate the intricacies of long-range transmission.
How do they work?
Within our platform, we have implemented LoRaWAN as one of the communication protocols. This choice enables users to enjoy the benefits of long-range communication while maintaining low power consumption. This can be particularly advantageous in scenarios where you need to detect variables over extended distances, especially in areas with limited access to electricity.
Let’s discuss how LoRa work first!
Imagine scenarios where monitoring and data collection are essential, especially in areas with limited access to electricity. In such situations, our platform becomes the solution, enabling users to detect variables over extended distances and transmit critical information without draining precious power resources.
Imagine again that you are a small business owner, and you want to track the location of assets in your supply chain. Attaching sensors to your goods will help gather the necessary data, but transmitting that data requires a network connection.
Wi-Fi won’t work because of its short range; even cell phones, which provide a slightly wider range, require large amounts of power to communicate. And both Wi-Fi and cellular networks are dependent on providers, creating cost and coverage limitations.
With LoRa technology’s long range, low power consumption, and GPS-free geolocation capabilities, you’ll have full control and traceability of your assets, no matter the conditions. The massive ecosystem of compatible hardware, applications, and solutions that use LoRa creates endless possibilities.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that the specific frequency bands used may vary by country, as each nation can implement its own regulations within the internationally reserved ISM bands, such as 915MHz, 868MHz, and 433MHz for sub-gigahertz ranges.
To address these regional variations, we offer various frequency plans tailored to specific countries. This ensures that users from different regions can easily implement the protocol within their respective homelands:
- EU863-870: European frequency band, covering 863 MHz to 870 MHz.
- EU433: A sub-band within Europe operating around 433 MHz.
- AS923-925: Asia-Pacific frequency band, ranging from 923 MHz to 925 MHz.
- AS920-923: Another Asia-Pacific band covering 920 MHz to 923 MHz.
- US902-928: United States frequency band, spanning from 902 MHz to 928 MHz.
- AU915-928: Australia’s frequency band, operating between 915 MHz and 928 MHz.
- KR920-923: South Korea’s LoRaWAN band, ranging from 920 MHz to 923 MHz.
- IN865-867: India’s frequency band for LoRaWAN, covering 865 MHz to 867 MHz.
- RU864-870: Russia’s LoRaWAN frequency band, spanning from 864 MHz to 870 MHz.
Meanwhile with LoRaWAN
This thing is also responsible for managing the communication frequencies, data rate, and power for all devices. Devices in the network are asynchronous and transmit when they have data available to send. Data transmitted by an end-node device is received by multiple gateways, which forward the data packets to a centralized network server. Data is then forwarded to application servers.
All of these components collectively constitute what is known as the LoRaWAN Network Architecture.
The LoRaWAN Network Architecture?
The LoRaWAN Network Architecure consists of four major parts:
1. End Devices
These are the sensor devices, and actuators which equipped with LoRa transceivers. They collect data from the environment and transmit it wirelessly to the network.
To accommodate different end-application needs, LoRaWAN offers three device classes. These classes involve balancing the differences between how quickly the device receives data and the device’s battery life.
The three main classes are:
Gateways act as intermediate devices that receive transmissions from end devices within their coverage area. They can communicate with multiple end devices simultaneously.
LoRa enables communication between endpoints and gateways over a range of frequency channels and data rates. To prevent communications from interfering with one another, spread spectrum technology uses data rates ranging from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps. It also creates a number of “virtual” channels that boost the gateway’s capacity.
3. Network Server
The network server serves as the central coordinator of the LoRaWAN network. It manages gateways, network communication, and data routing. Network servers are responsible for handling security, network management, and data encapsulation.
4. Application Server
Application servers are dedicated to specific use cases or applications. They receive data from the network server, process it, and provide valuable insights or trigger actions based on the data. Application servers can communicate with multiple network servers.
IoT Stadium itself serves as an application server, offering insights and enabling users to define automation processes based on their rules. Within the platform, users can easily add various types of end device classes and gateways.
In conclusion, while LoRa empowers the physical aspects of long-range communication, LoRaWAN assumes the role of a network protocol, managing the intricate dance between devices and LoRa hardware.
Visit our blog to get more information about technology. On the other hand, you can visit our knowledge base page for tutorials on how to use the features in IoT Stadium.