IoT or Internet of Things are collection of connected objects, embedded electronics, sensors, software and wireless connectivity protocols that collect and exchange data & information over wide network.
Based on current projection, many of IoT applications are based on Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, Z-Wave etc. These technologies are well suited for short range applications where power consumption and battery life are not a major issue. Other technology is Cellular based connection from SIM / e-SIM using 2G/3G/4G which needs high power.
LPWAN (Low power wide area network) is well suited for applications and use cases where long range communication and devices need to operate in low power to run several years remotely. One of the popular LPWAN technology is Semtech’s LoRa and its LoRaWAN protocol. LoRaWAN based technology provides secure, bi-directional over long data transmission range. Semtech provides the silicon that embeds LoRa Wireless RF Technology and optimized exclusively for IoT communications.
Key Features of LoRa:
- LOW COST – Reduces costs three ways: infrastructural investment, operational expenses and end-node sensors
- GEOLOCATION – Enables GPS-free, low power tracking applications
- STANDARDIZED – LoRaWAN based networks and IoT applications for improved global interoperability speeds adoption and roll out.
- LOW POWER – Protocol designed specifically for low power consumption extending battery lifetime up to 20 years
- LONG RANGE – One 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
Some key uses cases of LoRa:
1. Smart Cities:
- Smart parking
- Smart waste management
- Noise & air pollution monitoring
- Street- lighting
- Intelligent traffic management
- Traffic lighting system
- Predictive maintenance
2. Supply chain management
3. Asset tracking
4. Condition monitoring
5. Smart grids – with electricity, water & gas metering
6. Smart agriculture – with land condition monitoring, animal tracking and geofencing
LoRa and LoRaWAN across the globe in public IoT networks:
- Europe: Netherland (nationwide), France, Italy, Germany, Sweden & Belgium are some countries which are adapting LoRa very fast.
- US: Senet has covered 100 cities with LoRa. Comcast is also expanding its LoRaWAN-based enterprise IoT service to 12 U.S. markets (in the name of machineQ).
- Asia-Pacific: Besides Australia and New Zealand (part of the APAC region), several initiatives are being deployed in Asia and Semtech and others are regularly present at events in the region. They are tying up local companies to spread their network in countries like India, Japan & South Korea.
The LoRa Alliance™ is an open, non-profit association of members who are collaborating together and sharing experience to drive the success of the LoRa protocol, LoRaWAN™, as the open global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWA connectivity.
As countries are growing and adapting smart, sustainable solutions, LoRa Technology is expected to be a critical component in the success of these initiatives.