LoRaWAN and the advantages of its use in IoT

IoT devices (Internet of things, in Spanish) and their connection protocol LoRaWAN they continue to expand to all corners of the world. So far, we are talking about more than 7,000 million connected IoT devices. Likewise, there are expected to be 25.4 billion more devices in 2030.

However, many of these are located in rural or remote locations that lack connectivity networks traditional. We explain what LoRaWAN is and how to implement it allows all kinds of devices to connect to the Internet over great distances.

What is LoRaWAN and what is it for?

LoRa comes from the term Long Range or long range. In this way, LoRaWAN is a radio frequency protocol long range, low power technology that allows devices to connect to the Internet over great distances. Something remarkable in LPWAN type networks like this one.

Introducing dozens of new use cases and thanks to its long battery life (up to 5 years), the low maintenance costs of this network have come to effectively solve various problems in the network ecosystem. internet of things networks.

One aspect to highlight is its open standard, since it operates in an ISM radio band without a license. This makes it easy for anyone to set up and manage their own network. Consequently, numerous telecommunications operators they are adopting this protocol as a technology and providing connectivity along with the service.

What is the difference between LoRa and LoRaWAN?

Basically they are two complementary technologies. LoRa is a wireless technology similar to WiFi, Bluetooth, or LTE, which is commonly used. However, he has a big Achilles heel: his failure to deliver data with a large bandwidth. Despite this, we can use LoRa to connect sensors and monitoring devices wirelessly to the cloud.

For its part, LoRaWAN is a point to multipoint network protocol. That is, it is a medium access control (MAC) layer protocol with some network layer components. This is completely bidirectional and take advantage of LoRa features to improve battery life and quality of service for LoRa nodes.

In essence, LoRa is considered a part of LoRaWAN. However, there is the possibility of using the former without it.

How does LoRaWAN work?

At the most fundamental level, radio protocols like LoRaWAN are simple. The way star webs converse works just like a teacher and his students in class.

In effect, the gateway or “teacher” talks to the end nodes, called “the class” and vice versa. This communication is an asymmetric relationship in terms of communication. Students in class could try to communicate with the teacher simultaneously. But the teacher could not hear or understand them at the same time.

It’s like this long range protocol uses an architecture where the different nodes communicate with the Gateway. In turn, this translates the encrypted data into a conventional format or sends it to the network manager allowing interconnection.

Main benefits

These are some advantages under the development of managed IoT technologies under this protocol:

  • Long range and coverage: It can reach up to 15 kilometers like no other communication protocol.
  • Low consumption Offers ultra low power radios, making it ideal for devices that need to survive ten years or more on a single charge.
  • low cost hardware: End device radios and their infrastructure in general are very low cost compared to other networks. In addition, various open source versions of infrastructures such as gateways are being created, further reducing costs.
  • High capacity: A single gateway can link thousands of IoT endpoint devices.

Common Applications

As a technology that supports IoT there are innumerable examples, however, we present some of them:

  • Monitoring of the vaccine cold chain. The LoRaWAN sensors they are used to ensure that vaccines are kept at the proper temperatures during transit.
  • smart farms. Real time crop soil moisture information and optimized irrigation schedule reduce water usage by up to 30%.
  • water conservation. Faster identification and repair of leaks in a city’s water network.

Companies are understanding the benefits of implementing IoT technologies, together with protocols that allow a more efficient implementation. Also, through its use, the costs are lowered and the variety of implementations is increased that will continue to push LoRaWAN to levels never seen before.