LoRaWAN™ looks good to go: Part 2

Bob Emmerson

Bob Emmerson went to a recent LoRa Alliance event in Rotterdam, The Netherlands to assess the current state-of-play. Part 1 looked at application development, the architecture and KPN’s network. This article focuses on LoRaWAN™ gateways and network management.

LoRaWAN™ Gateways enable the creation of low power wide area networks (LPWANs) that are ideal for connecting devices that need to send small amounts of data over a long range, while maintaining a long battery life. Some IoT applications only need to transmit tiny amounts of information, e.g. a parking garage sensor.

Data rates range from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps. To maximise both battery life of the end-devices and overall network capacity, the network server manages the data rate and RF output for each end-device individually. Communication between end-devices and gateways is spread out on different frequency channels and data rates.

LoRaWAN™ solutions are also cost effective.  The use of chirp 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. For example, Link Labs’ gateway has eight simultaneous receive channels, with up to six orthogonal “spreading factors” each, which provide support for thousands of endpoints.

But it gets better.  MultiTech’s Conduit Gateway employs programmable LoRaWAN™ modules to provide intelligence at the edge in order to enable efficient data transmission, e.g. only send exception data. A sensor might measure its parameter at short intervals, but there is no need to transmit the result if it is within the pre-defined performance limits. In addition this gateway employs duplex connectivity, which is needed to ensure that a critical operation such as close or open a valve has been performed.

Networks of LoRaWAN™ modules need to be managed, a process that is very similar to the management of regular cellular modules. Stream Technologies’ states that its IoT-X platform allows customers to monitor, manage and monetise connected device solutions regardless of the technology; therefore adding support for LoRaWAN™ compliant gateways was a no brainer. According to Kevin McDowall, the company’s COO, “LoRaWAN™ will form a major part of the IoT and now, with the IoT-X network, operators can provide a solution which meets all the connectivity needs of their clients.”

Stream Technologies has integrated gateways from Kerlink, Link Labs, MultiTech, Senet and Semtech into their network environment. It enables network operators to commercialise LPWAN’s, as customer segmentation is realised using in-built data routing algorithms. The billing capability can either be the traditional data tariff model for cellular devices, or for LPWAN it can be based on data usage or number of connections, thereby ensuring very low operating cost for LoRa devices.

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


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, iot home automation 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

Global industry accelerating IoT adoption in response to Covid-19, new Inmarsat research reveals

Posted on: September 22, 2021

New research by Inmarsat, the provider of global mobile satellite communications, reveals a rapid increase in the maturity level of organisations adopting the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Respondents drawn from multiple industries also reported that Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of IoT to their businesses, with many accelerating

Read more

Nutanix cloud platform breaks down silos in hybrid multicloud operations

Posted on: September 22, 2021

Nutanix, a provider of hybrid multicloud computing, announced new features in the Nutanix Cloud Platform, including the launch of AOS version 6 software, to help enterprises build modern, software-defined data centres and speed their hybrid multicloud deployments.

Read more