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Explaining Lorawan

Connecting to the internet was initially a straightforward, direct approach starting in the early 1990s. These days, technology has improved, making things more challenging but also more capable. Microcontrollers and other devices can connect to the internet via various protocols instead of just one Ethernet connection, including Bluetooth, WiFi, BLE, ZigBee, 3G, 4G, 5G, NFC, RFID, SigFox, DigiMesh, Thread, and 6LoWPAN.

Each of these connections is important for connecting devices and transmitting data, but we want to draw attention to the emerging LoRaWan protocol. LoRaWAN is a wireless network for data transfer to the internet, similar to what was previously mentioned.

As LoRaWan gains popularity and targets IoT (Internet of Things) applications that demand long-range, low-power internet access without WiFi, it swiftly distinguishes itself from competing technologies.

For remote battery-powered sensors or devices that communicate over huge distances or in remote locations, LoRaWan is an attractive solution. According to LoRaWan, data packets are transferred over long distances when necessary to the closest, most accessible gateway, which then sends the boxes to the server for storing, processing, or visualizing.

What Separates LoRa from LoRaWAN?

A radio transmission technique called LoRa gateway uses chirped, multiple-symbol encoding to transmit radio signals. The system is exclusive to Semtech, a semiconductor maker. Sometimes individuals mistakenly believe that LoRa gateway and LoRaWAN have the same meaning.

These common ISM band radio chips may convert radio frequency to bits using LoRa gateway or other modulation techniques, such as FSK. Because of this modulation, the radio system may be implemented without code. This physical layer technology at a lower level can benefit applications that are not widespread.

The point-to-multipoint networking protocol LoRaWAN uses Semtech’s LoRa gateway modulation technique. The radio waves themselves are not the issue; instead, it is how the radio waves interact with LoRaWAN gateways to carry out tasks like encryption and identification. Additionally, it has a cloud component to which several gateways can connect. Due to its restrictions, most businesses don’t use LoRaWAN for industrial (private network) applications.

How LoRaWAN Works

LoRaWAN and other radio technologies are straightforward at their most basic level. Star networks’ communication style is similar to that of a lecturer and audience. They speak to the class from the gateway (the professor) and vice versa.

In terms of communication, this connection is asymmetrical. The professor wouldn’t be able to hear or comprehend everyone in the class at once, even if they were all attempting to talk to him at once. Numerous aspects of star topologies may be compared to this example, but it has been dramatically simplified.

Classes A, B, and C of LoRaWAN

Three classes of LoRaWAN are active at once. We refer to Class A as a pure ALOHA system since it is entirely asynchronous. This implies that the end nodes just broadcast whenever they need to and remain inactive till then, rather than staying for a precise moment to communicate to the gateway. If your eight channels were perfectly aligned, you could fill each time slot with a message.

The theoretical full capability of a pure aloha network is around 18.4% of this top, with no communication pauses. Collisions are what give rise to this potential. Two nodes will collide using the same radio settings and transmitting on the same frequency channel. As soon as one node finishes transmitting, another one instantly begins.

Nodes in Class B systems are battery-operated. (Observe the time slots across the diagram’s top.) At one pulse per second, all LoRaWAN base stations simultaneously emit beacon signals (1PPS). As a result, time may be synchronized globally since each GPS satellite in orbit delivers a message at the start of every second.

The 128-second cycle has a time slot allotted to each Class B node, which is used to determine when to listen. You may instruct a node to monitor every tenth-time space, for example, and when that time slot opens up, it enables the transmission of a downlink message (see above diagram).

Class C enables nodes to listen continuously and deliver downlink communications. Because maintaining an active node requires a significant amount of energy, this technology is generally employed for AC-powered applications.


Applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) that require WiFi-free, long-range, low-power internet connection are the focus of LoRaWan. A wireless communication network called LoRaWAN allows data to be sent to the internet. It uses radio waves and gateways to perform operations like encryption and identification. There are currently three active LoRaWAN courses. With no communication interruptions, the theoretical maximum capacity of a pure aloha network is around 18.4% of this maximum. If two nodes utilize identical radio settings and communicate on the same frequency channel, they will collide.

You can also use akenza.io, a self-service IoT platform that lets you build useful Azure IoT Hub products and services. Akenza.io is confident in its ability to help organizations develop IoT solutions by considerably reducing the workload and complexity.

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