LoRa – Overview

LoRa Technology

LoRa is a proprietary, chirp spread spectrum (CSS) radio modulation technology for LPWAN used by LoRaWAN.

LoRa is a patented (EP2763321 from 2013 and US7791415 from 2008) technology developed by Cycleo (Grenoble, France) and acquired by Semtech in 2012. LoRa uses license-free sub gigahertz radio frequency bands like 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (North America).

A Semtech innovation, LoRa Technology offers a very compelling mix of long range, low power consumption and a very secure data transmission using end-to-end encryption. A variety of public and private networks using this technology can provide the necessary coverage that is far more greater in ranger compared to that of the current existing cellular networks.

It is easy to plug into the existing infrastructure and offers a solution to serve battery-operated IoT applications.

At Sensorstream we aim to use this LoRa technology to integrate our sensors into everyday life for the benefit of society.

What is LoRa?

This long range, low power wireless platform is the prevailing technology choice for building IoT networks worldwide.

Smart IoT applications have improved the way we interact and are addressing some of the biggest challenges facing cities and communities: climate change, pollution control, early warning of natural disasters, and saving lives. Sensorstream are helping businesses benefit too, through improvements in operations and efficiencies as well as reduction in costs.

This wireless RF technology is being integrated into cars, street lights, manufacturing equipment, home appliances, wearable devices – almost anything. LoRa Technology is making our planet a Smart World.

Cloud of things
LoRaWAN Protocol

LoRaWAN is a media access control layer protocol specification built on top of the LoRa technology. This is for managing communication between LPWAN gateways and end-node devices, maintained by the LoRa Alliance. It uses unlicensed radio spectrum in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) bands to enable low power, wide area communication between remote sensors and gateways connected to the network. This standards-based approach to building a LPWAN allows for quick set up of public or private IoT networks anywhere using hardware and software that is bi-directionally secure, interoperable and mobile, provides accurate localisation, and works the way you expect.

LoRaWAN Key Features

  • LOW COST – Reduces costs three ways: infrastructure investment, operating expenses and end-node sensors

  • STANDARDISED – Improved global interoperability speeds adoption and roll out of LoRaWAN-based networks and IoT applications

  • LOW POWER – Protocol designed specifically for low power consumption extending battery lifetime up to 20 years

  • LONG RANGE – Single base station provides deep penetration in dense urban/indoor regions, plus connects rural areas up to 30 miles away
  • SECURE – Embedded end-to-end AES128 encryption
  • HIGH CAPACITY – Supports millions of messages per base station, ideal for public network operators serving many customers

  • GEOLOCATION – Enables GPS-free, low power tracking applications

Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) or Low-Power Network (LPN) is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network. It is designed to allow long range communications at a low bit rate among things (connected objects), such as sensors operated on a battery. The low power, low bit rate and intended use distinguish this type of network from a wireless WAN that is designed to connect users or businesses, and carry more data, using more power.

An LPWAN may be used to create a private wireless sensor network, but may also be a service or infrastructure offered by a third party, allowing the owners of sensors to deploy them in the field without investing in gateway technology.

Key terms:

IoT – Internet of Things

RF – Radio Frequency

LoRa – Long range, low power wireless platform

LoRaWAN – Long Range Wide-Area Network

LPWAN – Low-Power Wide-Area Network

LPN – Low-powered network