With so many IoT connectivity solutions available, it can be hard to determine which one is right for your particular business case. So, what is LoRa? At the simplest explanation, LoRa or low range is a long-range, low-power wireless platform.
What is LoRaWAN?
LoRaWAN is the LoRa platform utilized in the low power wide range network (LPWAN) specification that supports the Internet of Things (IoT).
While LoRaWAN is entering the industry as a competitive IoT connectivity solution, widespread, global use of this technology has not yet reached its peak. Currently, given the features of LoRaWAN, Brazilian market demand for such connectivity is increasing at a quick pace. American Tower, a shared telecom infrastructure company, rolled out LoRaWAN in support of IoT, and currently, it covers many of the major metro areas in Brazil.
For IoT use cases that work best utilizing long-range connectivity for low power consumption, LoRaWAN is a suitable option. This technology can also be utilized by public, private, or hybrid networks, making it a flexible choice while also supporting secure data transmission.
Benefits of LoRaWAN
What IoT connectivity solution works best if cellular or Wi-Fi connectivity isn’t a reliable option? Whether it’s too costly to leverage cellular or Wi-Fi coverage is an issue, devices need to be powered by connectivity at a feasible cost while also providing consistency.
Additionally, 5G benefits – namely its high speed and low latency – do not necessarily meet the requirements of battery-operated devices deployed in the field for, in many cases, a device’s entire lifecycle. Speed of data transmission and greater access to the network can be a heavy strain on low-power devices, not to mention the cost of high-rate data transmission.
LoRa provides greater coverage at the lowest costs for IoT use cases where speed and latency aren’t dealbreakers. The best use cases that fit LoRaWAN involve rural or indoor settings. The narrow band of LoRaWAN provides a wider range, and the ability to penetrate through obstructions for full coverage makes this an attractive IoT connectivity solution.
Use Cases for LoRaWAN
The benefits of LoRaWAN are clear – low power, wide range, and cost-effective for devices that don’t require high data transmission rates. A few of the best use cases include:
- Agriculture: With a long range that provides reliability in rural applications for devices that do not have a high data transmission rate, LoRaWAN perfectly supports agricultural use cases.
- Assets and logistics: Network-based location and tracking abilities at a low cost and optimized battery life make LoRaWAN suitable for assets and logistics.
- Smart metering: LoRaWAN’s ability to reach sensors monitoring utilities located underground make this a well-suited connectivity choice for smart metering.
- Smart home: The ability to pass through obstruction, such as walls, and ability to support battery powered, low data -consuming applications that can be used in smart homes make this connectivity option appealing.
LoRa Not a Short-Sighted Choice
As 2G and 3G networks shut down and 5G rolls out to become a global option in the next 10 years, it may seem concerning to choose an IoT connectivity solution amidst a flurry of choices.
Even as 4G LTE becomes the cellular choice for IoT devices, LoRaWAN provides the simpler connectivity choice for wide-range, low-power IoT applications.