LoRa looks good to go

Bob Emmerson

A spread-spectrum, bi-directional technology that transmits sensor data over several miles and through buildings has to be a winner. Bob Emmerson went to a recent LoRa® Alliance event in Rotterdam to assess the current state-of-play.

It was a busy event: 500 attendees and 35 tabletop exhibitors. It’s early days, but it was clear that that momentum is building behind the technology and this slice of the IoT action is gearing up for the creation of a set of next-gen applications. They’re next-gen because LoRa isn’t a substitute for long range, high capacity cellular systems. Instead it has been specified for battery-operated devices as well as IoT apps that only transmit data intermittently at very low rates. In a nutshell it’s fit for purpose, says the independent M2M writer and analyst, Bob Emmerson.

Two vendors were showing ways of minimising time to market and avoiding the risks associated with the development of new hardware and firmware. 1M2M showed a tracker module, an off-the-shelf device employing a 52 mm x 53 mm PCB that is packed with on-board sensors and interfaces. Too many to list, but it includes a mesh capable radio, a radio for short range wireless sensors, a combined LoRa and SigFox LP radio as well as a 3D magnetometer, a 3D accelerometer and a barometer. In addition, 1M2M have an application service, which means that anyone who has a good tracker idea can get it turned into software and into a device in a matter of weeks.

The other vendor is AMIHO Technology. Their LoRa® offer takes customers from proof of concept through to mass production. Initially they use an evaluation kit that provides hardware and software tools to help evaluate, develop, test and debug applications. In order to enable fast application development the kit employs a proof of concept dual band (169 / 868 MHz) module, for both Wireless M-Bus and LoRa. The module employs their fully-featured software stack and has integrated radio drivers. When the application has been evaluated, production-ready radio modules are available for trials and lower volumes and for high volumes the reference design and software stack can be integrated into the user’s device.

As illustrated, LoRa’s architecture is very simple. Sensor nodes, which can be 2-5 km away in dense urban environments, 15km in suburban, transmit data to a LoRa gateway, which can be an off-the-shelf product. The use of spread spectrum technology prevents communications with different data rates interfering with each other and that enables the creation of “virtual” channels, thereby increasing the capacity of the gateway. Semtech’s SX1301 gateway, for example, can accommodate tens of thousands of nodes.



KPN will roll out a nation-wide LoRa network next year and there was a proof-of-concept demo at the event. This development should make deployment a no brainer and it underlines the fact that this LoRa is set to become mainstream technology. The network, which has gone live in Rotterdam and The Hague, employs redundancy and uses multiple KPN data centers. In addition data are encrypted from start to finish.

The author of this blog is the independent M2M writer and analyst, Bob Emmerson.
He can be contacted at: bob.emmerson@melisgs.nl

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @M2MNow OR @jcm2m


Aeris to acquire IoT business from Ericsson

Posted on: December 8, 2022

Ericsson and Aeris Communications, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) solutions based in San Jose, California, have signed an agreement for the transfer of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator and Connected Vehicle Cloud businesses.

Read more

Telenor IoT passes milestone of 20mn SIM cards

Posted on: December 8, 2022

Telenor, the global IoT provider and telecom operator, has experienced rapid growth over the last years and ranks among the top 3 IoT operators in Europe and among the top IoT operators in the world. The positive development is due to an accelerated pace of new customers combined with a successful growth of existing customers’

Read more

The IoT Adoption Boom – Everything You Need to Know

Posted on: September 28, 2022

In an age when we seem to go through technology boom after technology boom, it’s hard to imagine one sticking out. However, IoT adoption, or the Internet of Things adoption, is leading the charge to dominate the next decade’s discussion around business IT. Below, we’ll discuss the current boom, what’s driving it, where it’s going,

Read more

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more