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LoRa and LoRaWAN: Benefits and Use Cases

LoRaWAN, a competitive IoT connectivity solution has incredible potential and it’s widespread, global use has not yet reached its peak potential. For IoT use cases that work best with long range connectivity for low power consumption, LoRaWAN is the perfect solution. This technology is a flexible choice supporting secure data transmission in public, private, or hybrid networks.

In December 2021, it became the ITU International Standard for Low Power Wide Area Networks and has been endorsed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). 

 

Technical challenges and limitations (range, capacity, battery life) were the barriers to Internet of Things (IoT) adoption for a number of industries whose location didn’t have access to network capacity. LoRa devices and LoRaWAN protocol provided the solution with its long-range connectivity, battery lifetime, security, network architecture and capacity.

What is LoRa and LoRaWAN and how do they work

LoRa stands for Long Range, a wireless technology capable of sending small amount of data over wide distances. A pillar of low power wide area network (LPWA) technology that bolstered the adoption of Massive IoT. The devices that were purpose-built to be battery operated and low-powered to be adopted in vast ecosystem IoT including agricultural, industrial, and healthcare among others.

 

LoRa is intended for use in applications where geographical coverage is large and data volumes are rates are relatively small.

LoRaWAN is the network protocol that links LoRa signal (sensor data) to applications. It is the marriage of LoRa platform utilized in the low power wide range network (LPWAN) that supports internet of things (IoT). LoRa is the radio signal that carries the data and LoRaWAN is the communication protocol that defines and controls how data is communicated across the network.

 

LoRaWAN provides low power, wide range, and cost-effective connectivity for devices that don’t require high volume data transmission. It’s also the ideal option for locations where cellular is too expensive and Wi-Fi coverage is not available.

Key Benefits

Use Cases

Agriculture

Agricultural fields and greenhouses can benefit from LoRa and LoRaWAN, especially for sites in remote locations without landline connection, and cabling in the site is uneconomical. LoRa can collect climatic data such as wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall, and solar radiation. It can also be used to get status from different points around the greenhouse structures.

 

Using soil sensors get soil information and send it to LoRaWAN network to be interfaced with climatic sensors. This results in improved production and logistics efficiency to provide production forecast insight from the greenhouse environment using big data analysis.

 

LoRaWAN supports agricultural use cases with its long-range reliability in rural applications for devices that don’t have high data transmission rates as well as for its long battery lifespan for devices used in semi-frequent readings for moisture and pH among others.

 

Healthcare

LoRa’s low power, low cost, and reliable performance technology is ideal for connected health applications. IoT solutions comprised of LoRa-based hardware are used to monitor high-risk patients or health systems 24/7, ensuring comprehensive management of health and medical safety.

Industrial

LoRa-enabled devices and sensors take real-time data to provide key insights into predictive maintenance, efficiency, machine health, reduced downtime and other operational monitoring. Digitisation of legacy processes and equipment through IoT  is driving profits, keeping lower costs and maximising industrial efficiencies.

Assets and Logistics

Network-based location and tracking abilities as well as low-cost and optimised battery life make LoRaWAN the ideal solution for assets monitoring and logistics tracking.

Smart Metering

LoRaWAN’s ability to pass through obstruction and reach sensors monitoring utilities underground makes this connectivity well-suited for smart metering.

 

The system will provide accurate real-time usage data enables precise billing, assess consumption and reduce risks of leakage on physical sites. It ensures sustainable indoor and outdoor connectivity as well as network security.

Potential

Lora Alliance, the association that supports LoRaWAN protocol predicts steady growth for adoption of the protocol and LoRa devices. It is anticipated that it will be the leading non-cellular LPWA network technology and will account for more than a quarter of all LPWA network connections by 2026.

Connectivity According to Business Case

Selecting a connectivity solution can be a challenging decision to make especially given the wide array of IoT solutions available. AI Consulting Group is a trusted expert advisor on IoT to help enterprise and organisations achieve their ROI and reach full business potentials through IoT solutions.

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