LoRa for IoT

hen it comes to Internet of Things, connectivity to the internet is the primary area of focus.  The sensors on the IoT devices, wearables and electronic devices need to get connected easily – preferably wirelessly. IoT LPWA market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 90 percent. It is expected that in 2021 the market size of about EUR 24.5 billion. SigFox and LoRa have been competitors in the LPWAN space for several years.

I earlier wrote about Sigfox LPWA system.  It was pretty simple story. Now it is time to take a look at the competing technology LoRa. It is a more complicated, and maybe more interesting story.

LoRaWAN tries to bridges the gap between WLAN and cellular networks while allowing low power operations (sensors can work years with batteries). LoRaWAN is a Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) and allows for Internet of Things connectivity making way for secure bidirectional communication. LoRa offers good bidirectionality because of the symmetric link.

LoRAWAN and LoRa radio

LoRa system consists of two parts: LoRaWAN media access control and LoRa physical layer technology.

LoRaWAN is a media access control (MAC) layer protocol designed for large-scale public networks with a single operator. It is built using Semtech’s LoRa modulation scheme. LoRaWAN as a protocol is strictly for wide-area networks.

LoRa as a lower-level physical layer technology (PHY) can be used in all sorts of applications outside of wide area. No, you do not need a gateway for applications that don’t need to connect to Internet. You can easily implement simple protocols using LoRa, either with modules or with the chips themselves.

There are two options to use this type of radio technology: LoRa and LoRaWAN

  • LoRa contains only the link layer protocol and is perfect to be used in P2P communications between nodes in the 868 and 900MHz bands. LoRa modules are a little cheaper that the LoRaWAN ones.  For details Go to the LoRa Tutorial.
  • LoRaWAN includes the network layer too so it is possible to send the information to any Base Station already connected to a Cloud platform. LoRaWAN modules may work in the 868/900/433MHz bands. For more details Go to the LoRaWAN Tutorial.

Nice thing about LoRa’s open standard is its potential to be very flexible; it’s not going to be driven by a specific company. The LoRa Alliance strategy is that the specification that governs how the network is managed is relatively open. You can download the specifications and join the LoRa Alliance, and any hardware or gateway manufacturer can build a module or gateway that conforms with the LoRa specifications. While the ecosystem itself is open, it does have a closed element: currently the only company that makes the radio for LoRa is Semtech. (They’ve announced licensing to other silicon manufacturers in the future).

If you need command-and-control functionality—for, say, electric grid monitoring—LoRa is your best option. It has true bidirectionality because of the symmetric link.

LoRa radio details

LoRa communications systems for IoT consists of LoRa (a chirped modulation format) and LoRaWAN (a MAC-layer protocol) . LoRa is a spread-spectrum technology that uses quite wide band (usually 125 kHz or more). Its frequency-modulated chirp utilizes coding gain for increased receiver sensitivity.

The great performance of LoRa in 3 features (good sensitivity, low path loss, good obstacle penetration) makes LoRa a disruptive technology enabling really long range links. Because LoRa receiver looks at quite wide amount of spectrum (so receiver gets much more noise than narrowband systems like SigFox), it needs to elevate noise due to a larger receiver bandwidth is mitigated by the coding gains. Practical link budgets are about the same for SigFox and LoRaWAN. For example Semtech SX1272 LoRa transceiver IC promises 157 dB maximum link budget. With more realistic sensitivity of -134 dBm and +14 dBm we get 148 dB link budget, that should be able to provide more than 22km (13.6 miles) in LOS links and up to 2km (1.2miles) in NLOS links in urban environment (going through buildings).

LoRa is a unique modulation format that can be generated by Semtech LoRa parts, including the SX1272 and SX1276 transceiver chips. It’s a really inexpensive, efficient way to get processing gain in a small chip-scale transceiver. LoRa is a spread spectrum technology, but it is not a direct sequence spread spectrum technology. LoRa uses an unmodulated carrier in an FM chirp, which has similarities to M-ary FSK. Other notable LoRa’s features are long preambles and variable bit rates.

LoRaWAN data rates range from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps (some chips can offer bit rate up to 300 kbps). To maximize both battery life of the end-devices and overall network capacity, the LoRaWAN network server is managing the data rate and RF output for each end-device individually by means of an adaptive data rate (ADR) scheme.

You can transmit and receive the LoRa modulation at many frequencies between 150 MHz and 1 GHz. The Semtech basestation architecture is designed to operate only at 850 MHz to 1 GHz. Most typically LoRa is used in 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (USA) unlicensed frequency bands. LoRaWAN modules may work in the 868/900/433MHz bands.

In radio communications at license free there are limits on transmitter duty cycles. In Europe, 863 to 870  MHz band has been allocated for license-free operation with transmission duty cycle of 0.1%, 1% or 10% (or other control means like LBT and AFA). At 868 MHz the duty cycle is 1%. For other regions, quite similar limitations apply.

There are also other recommendations, for example TTN Fair Access Policy limits the data each end-device can send, by allowing:  An average of 30 seconds uplink time on air, per day, per device. At most 10 downlink messages per day. A good goal is to keep the application payload under 12 bytes, and the interval between messages at least several minutes (application packet size can vary between 51 bytes for the slowest data rate, and 222 bytes for faster rates).

LoRa has so far relied on unlicensed spectrum to provide connectivity for sensors used in smart meters, asset-tracking devices and other “Internet of Things” (IoT) networks, but it is also heading to licensed frequencies as well?. Mobile operators that have made investments in LoRa networks are now looking at using licensed spectrum to support the technology. Running the technology over licensed spectrum could help operators overcome one of the main drawbacks of the technology — the interference and congestion that can occur in unlicensed airwaves.“The only benefit carriers have is that they can guarantee quality of service because it’s a licensed band,” said the mystery mouthpiece.  Going to other than ISM bands should not be a big problem, because for example The SX1272 LoRa transceiver covers a frequency range of 860 to 1,020 MHz and SX1276 transceiver spans a frequency range from 137 to 1,020 MHz.

LoRaWAN details

LoRaWAN includes the network layer too so it is possible to send the information to any Base Station already connected to a Cloud platform. LoRaWAN was designed for the centralized architecture of telecom operators.

LoRaWAN network architecture is typically laid out in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways is a transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections while end-devices use single-hop wireless communication to one or many gateways. All end-point communication is generally bi-directional, but also supports operation such as multicast enabling software upgrade over the air or other mass distribution messages to reduce the on air communication time. For some more details, read Go to the LoRaWAN Tutorial.

In LoRa system both the endpoint and the basestation are relatively inexpensive. This is primarily because you can use the same radio for a receiver on the basestation and at the endpoint. Typically LoRaWAN basestation tends to be more expensive than the endpoint.

Advantages and disadvantages of LoRaWAN

Following are the advantages of LoRaWAN:
➨It uses 868 MHz/ 915 MHz ISM bands which is available world wide.
➨It has very wide coverage range about 5 km in urban areas and 15 km in suburban areas.
➨It consumes very little power and hence battery will last for long duration.
➨Single LoRa Gateway device is designed to take care of 1000s of end devices or nodes.
➨It is easy to deploy due to its simple architecture
➨It uses Adaptive Data Rate technique to vary output data rate/Rf output of end devices. The data rate can be varied from 0.3 kbps to 27 Kbps for 125 KHz bandwidth.
➨The physical layer uses robust CSS modulation (Chirp Spread Spectrum). It uses 6 SF (spreading factors) from SF 7 to 12. This delivers orthogonal transmissions at different data rates. Moreover it provides processing gain. LoRa modulation has constant envelope modulation similar to FSK modulation (easy for PA design)
➨LoRaWAN supports three different types of devices viz. class-A, class-B and class-C.

Following are the disadvantages of LoRaWAN:
➨It can be used for applications requiring low data rate i.e. upto about 27 Kbps.
➨LoRaWAN network size is limited based on parameter called as duty cycle. This parameter arises from the regulation as key limiting factor for traffic served in the LoRaWAN network.
➨It is not ideal candidate to be used for real time applications requiring lower latency and bounded jitter requirements.

Security is important. National wide networks targeting internet of things such as critical infrastructure, confidential personal data or critical functions for the society has a special need for secure communication. This has been solved in LoRaWAN system by several layer of encryption as detailed in this picture from LoRa Alliance.


The security model uses several keys: Unique Network key (EUI64) and ensure security on network level, Unique Application key (EUI64) ensure end to end security on application level and Device specific key (EUI128). Some discussion on LoRaWAN security can be found at Security of an IoT network using AES (LoRaWAN) web page:MIC (Message Integrity Code) for each message and the end-to-end (application to application) ciphering of the payload both use AES 128 bits key.

Pictures of some LoRa products

Here is LoRa dev board by Espotel.

Here is Jaakko Ala-Paavola from Espotel showing LoRa demo that uses their LoRa dev board and commercial LoRa gateway (also uses Node-RED to implement control logic).


The Things Network

The Things Network is a global, crowdsourced, open, free and decentralized internet of things network The Things Network (TTN) comprises a number of internet connected LoRaWAN gateways deployed by enthusiastic supporters in a growing number of areas around the world.

Because the costs of LoRa technology are very low, the idea is that we do not have to rely on large telco corporations to build such a network. For example  the city of Amsterdam was covered with only 10 gateways at the cost of 1200 dollars each – a single Gateway can serve thousands of devices. If you don’t already have local coverage, then you can deploy your own gateway and connect it to TTN. While gateways are expensive at around $500 each, many local funding opportunities exist.

Although the goal of The Things Network is to support for any protocol that can be useful for the community, the focus is currently on LoRaWAN. LoRaWAN is perfect for the Internet of Things as it is low battery, long range, and low bandwidth.

The Things Network is about enabling low power Devices to use long range Gateways to connect to an open-source, decentralized Network to exchange data with Applications and Platforms.

Gateways form the bridge between devices and The Things Network. Devices use low power networks like LoRaWAN to connect to the Gateway, while the Gateway uses high bandwidth networks like WiFi, Ethernet or Cellular to connect to The Things Network. All Gateways within reach of a device will receive its messages and forward them to The Things Network.

The network will deduplicate the messages. The Backend handles the received data.The aim is make the different backend components as decoupled as possible, so there is a clear separation of the responsibilities of each component. The Things Network’s different routing service components:
Gateway, Router, Broker, NetworkServer, Handler and Application

LoRaWAN is a “network-intensive” protocol, intensive in the sense that due to the simple and minimalistic approach for devices, the backend systems are responsible for most of the logic. Firstly, there are some Gateway-related functions such as scheduling and managing the utilization of the gateways. Scheduling is needed because a gateway can only do one transmission at the same time. The utilization information is used to evenly distribute load over different gateways and to be compliant with the European duty cycles. Another important feature is monitoring the status of each gateway. We also need device-related functions that manage the state of devices in the network: Addressing is such that device address are non-unique, so the network has to keep track of which addresses are used by which devices in order to map a message to the correct device and application). Other things the network must keep track of are the security keys and frame counters. The Handlers need to know how to interpret binary data, and bridge to higher-layer protocols, such as AMQP and MQTT. As The Things Network will be a distributed network, there has to be functionality that supports this distribution.

The default Handler implementation simply publishes a JSON representation of uplink messages to a topic <app_eui>/devices/<dev_eui>/up on an MQTT broker. This allows applications to simply subscribe to the same MQTT topic and process the data in any way.

EXAMPLE: From the following message, the application could for example see that the temperature measured by device 001122334455667788 was 12.86 degrees:

Topic: 0102030405060708/devices/001122334455667788/up

{ payload: 'BQY=',
  fields:{temperature: 12.86 },
  port: 14,
  counter: 1234,
  [ { frequency: 868.1,
      datarate: 'SF7BW125',
      codingrate: '4/5',
      longitude: 6.55738,
      latitude: 53.18977 } ] }

The public community network will probably stick with this API and format, but this behaviour can be easily adapted to other use cases.  After publishing the uplink message to MQTT, the Handler will determine whether it is necessary to reply to the device with a downlink message.

In an open network with many different end-devices (nodes), which are not connected but just start sending when they need to (ALOHA-like protocol), and all have a different data need and connection quality, there are many limiting factors to keep things working.

The data rate and maximum packet size roughly depend on the distance to the nearest gateway and the type of data to be sent. For the European 863-870MHz band, the application packet size varies between 51 bytes for the slowest data rate, and 222 bytes for faster rates  (LoRaWAN protocol adds at least 13 bytes to the application payload). When an end-device is far away from a gateway, it needs to use a low data rate to ensure at least one gateway receives its data. But a lower data rate implies a longer air time for each byte. For the European EU 863-870MHz ISM Band limits the duty cycle to 1% for data. For other regions, quite similar limitations apply. For 1000 nodes per gateway and dutu cycle limitations, we end up approximately 30 seconds per node per day. With this Fair Access Policy for 10 bytes of payload, this translates in (approx.): 20 messages per day at SF12 or 500 messages per day at SF7.

By default, gateways transmit with maximum allowed TX power (14 for EU-868). Every device has the same transmit duty cycle, gateways are no exception, so gateway must have less than 1% transmit duty cycle.


IoT device end: Semtech SX1272 LoRa transceiver IC provides SPI interface to communicate with it. RN2483LoRa module from Microchip connects over a serial interface.

The Things Network backend:  The default Handler implementation simply publishes a JSON representation of uplink messages to a topic <app_eui>/devices/<dev_eui>/up on an MQTT broker. This allows applications to simply subscribe to the same MQTT topic and process the data in any way.



  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Gumstix offers customizable suite of LoRa modules and boards

    Gumstix has added LoRa add-ons to its Geppetto board design service that work with a RisingHF LoRa module, and launched Overo, Pi, and Arduino LoRa boards.

    We’ve seen growing adoption of long-range, low-power LoRa modules that work over LoRaWAN networks, including Arduino’s LoRa Gateway Kit and Dragino’s OpenWrt Linux-ready LoRa Gateways. Now Gumstix is offering more customizable LoRa solutions by offering a connector module within its Geppetto D2O online embedded board design service that can integrate RisingHF’s RHF0M301 LoRa Gateway and Concentrator Module. They have also added a LoRa Transceiver module and an Arduino-ready Atmega32U4 module that can similarly be integrated into customizable Geppetto SBC designs with various compute modules and wireless and sensor extensions.

    In addition to the new LoRa options available in Geppetto, Gumstix has launched three new boards that house the RHF0M301 LoRa gateway module. The boards can be used for prototyping, or can be further customized within Geppetto. The Linux-driven Overo Conduit and Pi Conduit boards let you add an RHF0M301 module and either an Overo AirStorm or Raspberry Pi Compute Module, respectively.

    The new LoRa products are designed for applications including automated meter reading, home and building automation, wireless alarm and security systems, industrial monitoring and control, and other long range IoT applications including “wisdom agriculture,” says Gumstix.

    RisingHF’s RHF0M301 LoRa Gateway and Concentrator Module enables 5 to 15km LPWAN (Low-Power Wide-Area Network) communications, including LoRaWAN networking.

    Gumstix’s $4 LoRa Gateway and Concentrator Geppetto Module is a simple header interface module designed to connect the RHF0M301 to Geppetto boards. The $28.75 LoRa Transceiver is a surface-mounted module built around a Microchip RN2903 (PDF), a 915MHz LoRa transceiver module to which Gumstix has added an SMA antenna connector. Alternatively, you can use Microchip’s European-style, 868MHz RN2483 (PDF) module.

    The $12.25 ATmega module comprises Atmel’s ATmega32U4 MCU, which is compatible with the Arduino Leonardo and Micro.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    SigFox and LoRa in the same IoT module

    Mutate is the first major manufacturer to offer the LPWAN module that supports both LoRa and Sigfox. The new ABZ LoRaWAN module can be used to build applications based on any of the sensor network standards. Both networks are already in commercial use.

    In Murat’s new module, dual software support is created with a software package. In addition to the LoRa stack, the Magraan ABZ LoRaWAN module can also utilize the Sigfox communication protocol stack.

    The Murata-IoT module allows designers to decide which available sensor network technology will best serve the application according to the site, service requirements, and cost.

    The new module includes ST Microelectronics STM32-based microcontroller and Semtech SX1276 RFIC. The RF part operated in the 806-930 megahertz frequency band and provides a nominal power of +14 dBm.

    The Muratan ABZ LoRaWAN module has, in addition to LoRa, a European certification for the Sigfox network.

    Source: https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2017/08/14/sigfox-ja-lora-samaan-iot-moduuliin/

    More: http://wireless.murata.com/eng/products.html

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Sniff Your Local LoRa Packets

    As the LoRa low-bandwidth networking technology in license-free spectrum has gained traction on the wave of IoT frenzy, LoRa networks have started to appear in all sorts of unexpected places. Sometimes they are open networks such as The Things Network, other times they are commercially available networks, and then, of course, there are entirely private LoRa installations.

    If you are interested in using LoRa on a particular site, it’s an interesting exercise to find out what LoRa traffic already exists, and to that end [Joe Broxson] has put together a useful little device. Hardware wise it’s an Adafruit Cortex M0 Feather with onboard LoRa module, paired with a TFT FeatherWing for display, and software wise it scans a set of available frequencies and posts any packets it finds to the scrolling display.

    Scans LoRa channels displaying any monitored packets on the TFT display

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ground breaking world record! LoRaWAN packet received at 702 km (436 miles) distance

    With the rise of novel wireless technologies, we surprise ourselves over and over again of what these technologies are capable of. LoRa has been around now for more than 2 years and people all over the planet are excited about its immense distance it can bridge while consuming extremely little energy.

    It took the balloon almost 3 hours to ascend to an altitude of 38.772 km (24.1 miles, or 127204.7 feet). At this height, a single packet sent from the node was received by 148 different gateways connected to The Things Network.

    A distance of 702.676km was reached by using only 25mW (14dBm) of transmitting power, roughly 40 times smaller than a mobile phone can use.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Develop with LoRa for Low-Rate, Long-Range IoT Applications

    Designers have a wide variety of wireless technologies to connect a product to the Internet of Things (IoT). Each technology suits different applications, requiring designers to carefully consider factors such as range and data rate, cost, power consumption, volume, and form factor.

    This article will introduce the LoRa protocol, compare its advantages to other protocols, and discuss several products and development kits that enable engineers to get started quickly developing LoRa-based systems.

    Wireless IoT tradeoff considerations

    Each wireless technology has both strong and weak points. Standard Wi-Fi, for example, can transmit large amounts of data at high speeds, but it has a limited range. A cellular network combines high speed and long range, but it’s power hungry.

    IoT applications such as remote data acquisition, urban lighting control, weather monitoring, and agriculture, each have a different set of priorities. The quantities being measured or controlled in these applications such as weather conditions, soil moisture levels, or streetlights, all change very slowly over an extended period of time.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Chirpy, chirpy, cheap, cheap: Printable IoT radios for 10 cents each
    Backscatter boffins get Things talking over kilometres

    One of the favoured low-power radio techniques in Internet of Things research is “backscatter communications”: the transmitter sends a signal to a Thing, and the Thing modulates its data onto the reflection, and that’s then decoded by a receiver.

    The problem with such a passive comms scheme is that its distance is limited to … hundreds of metres or more, according to boffins who presented their work (PDF) to the Association of Computing Machinery’s UbiComp on Wednesday, September 13.

    The Washington University researchers showed that a Thing consuming just 9.25 microwatts (while active) could cover a 4,800ft2 (for non-Americans, about 445m2) house that and a one-acre (0.4 hectare) vegetable farm.

    In a point-to-point hop, the researchers claimed a 2.8km range.

    As the paper points out, the two big challenges in getting this kind of performance were:

    Create an encoding scheme suitable for a signal as weak as -135 dBm in a noisy environment; and
    Using commodity hardware as the receiver.

    The researchers modified the LoRa wireless standard for their backscatter scheme, because that was the radio technology that offered the best sensitivity.

    The two tricks that make it all work are a “chirp spread spectrum” (CSS) modulation, and a harmonic interference cancellation mechanism.

    The Washington University devices are small enough to use flexible electronics (including printed batteries), and they believe in mass production they’ll be around 10 cents each, and the receivers used SEMTECH’s off-the-shelf Sx1276 LoRa modem chips.

    LoRa Backscatter: Enabling The Vision of Ubiquitous Connectivity

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Fennec: LoRa Development Board

    An ultra low power LoRa sensor node powered by just one CR2032 battery

    Do you want to measure temperature, connect a soil humidity sensor in your vegetable garden or monitor the air quality at your street corner? With the Fennec Development Board you are able to connect almost any sensor and create your own amazing ultra low power wireless projects. We have created the most energy efficient Arduino compatible IoT device with LoRa communication in the world. Powered by only a button cell you can send sensor readings every 15 minutes for the next five years over long distances (5-15km).

    The Fennec is a LoRa v1.0.2B compliant IoT device

    The Fennec is capable to read analog sensors and digital I/O. With our software stack we support LoRa Class A, B & C. The unique ultra low power hardware design and deep sleep mode consumes only 4µA.

    Atmel SAM L ultra low power microcontroller
    LoRa communication with the Semtech SX1272
    Grove Connector with I2C interface
    Thermistor input
    2 Digital inputs/outputs
    2 Analog inputs
    Powered by a CR2032 battery or external battery supply
    860, 868 or 915 MHz PCB antenna

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The LoRa shield: an Open Source Arduino’s long-range communication module

    Let’s equip Arduino with a long-range communication module, and one based on Semtech technology.

    Open Electronics

    Search site
    The LoRa shield: an Open Source Arduino’s long-range communication module
    By ddan on April 4, 2016


    Let’s equip Arduino with a long-range communication module, and one based on Semtech technology.

    In this post we had the chance to talk about two technologies that compete for the market of the low-energy, long-range (few kilometers) wireless communication: that is, the SigFox and LoRa technologies. It is now the time to transfer the wireless long-range technology to the Arduino platform, and for this reason we propose a shield using a RTX LoRA module, and that is equipped with the corresponding software library, thus allowing an immediate usage.


    Ultra Narrow Band
    A possible solution is the one to restrict the modulation spectrum very much, so to reach some tens of Hertz: this can be achieved both by reducing the data-rate, and with some tricks concerning the modulation and filters.

    In SigFox, the carrier wave’s frequency is 868 MHz in Europe, the modulation is GFSK and the data-rate is 100 bps, with a communication slot’s width of just 100 Hz; thus more terminals may be able to broadcast at the same time, by allocating the available slot. Since the spectrum is a very thin one, all the energy is concentrated, and as a consequence you only need little so that the signal has a width greater than the noise.


    Spread Spectrum
    An alternative is the one to distribute a signal (once again, one having a low rate) on a band being much greater than the needed one, by using some dispersion function. A reconstruction is carried out by means of an inverse function.

    The dispersion function is generally a pseudorandom one, or a function causing some continuous frequency hopping or, finally, a combination of the two techniques. The result is a signal dispersion at a noise level, which makes interceptions and interferences difficult. Even in this case the energy needed is very limited, even though the spectrum is very wide, since it doesn’t matter if the signal is at the same level of the noise, given that the signal may be reconstructed by the processing.

    This technique has been borrowed from the military sector, and in fact it creates a sort of “camouflage” through the air. In LoRa, the dispersion band may be fixed from 7.8 kHz and up to 500 kHz.

    Moreover, each signal’s byte is modulated on several radio fragments (Spreading Factor). This amount may be defined, from 64 and up to 4,096.

    Thus the effective rate may go from about 18 bps (minimal band, maximum spreading factor) and up to 78 kbps (maximum band, minimal spreading factor).

    And even the sensitivity and the SNR value (signal/noise) are influenced by it; in particular, an increase in the spreading factor will increase the SNR value and the sensitivity, while an increase in the band will decrease the sensitivity. More specifically, as for the SNR, it goes from -5 dB up to -20 dB, while as for the sensitivity it goes from -124 dBm up to -134 dBm.


    The Arduino shield
    The shield we have prepared uses LoRa’s technology, and is based on a DRF1278F module by Dorji, which in turn is equipped with Semtech’s SX1278 chip, the heart of the system. The SX1278 is a very sophisticated and versatile component, that makes extensive use of the SDR, thus it can be completely configured.

    The first thing to point out is that the SX1278 is not dedicated to the LoRa system only, but that it may transmit and receive even in the classic FSK or OOK modes.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Secure LoRaWAN Communication Using a TO136 Secure Element

    Trusted-Objects provides LoRa secured stack. This stack can be easily integrated to any LoRa project.

    This project shows how to securize a LoRa setup.

    LoRa server
    Any LoRa server can be use to realize this project. We will use the most advanced opensource LoRa server project https://docs.loraserver.io/overview/

  10. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The LoRa Alliance this week released new technical specifications at its 9th All Members Meeting in Suzhou, China, hosted by ZTE. The new specs are LoRaWAN 1.1, LoRaWAN Backend Interfaces 1.0, and LoRaWAN 1.1 Regional Parameters rev. A.

    Source: https://semiengineering.com/the-week-in-review-iot-68/

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LoRa devices can now be roaming

    It would be convenient if the IoT devices could move from one network to another and still produce the user’s desired data via the operator. Now this is the case with LoRa devices, as the latest version of the technology supports roaming. LoRaWAN Alliance decided at the 9th annual meeting of the organization in Suzhou, China. With extensions, IoT devices running on the LoRa network can move to another LoRa network, enabling, for example, global LoRa tracking for transport and vessels.

    technology itself was updated to version 1.1. In addition to roaming, it supports network nodes sharing in interoperable nodes, which requires roaming between manufacturers. The new standard also defines regional-specific radio parameters for LoRa 1.1 devices.

    Sigfox network roaming has been successful in the past. Also, the NB-IoT nodes operating on the LTE network may be roaming

    Source: etn.fi/index.php/13-news/7037-lora-laitteet-voivat-nyt-verkkovierailla

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ESP32 – LoRa – OLED Module

    Get the most out of your (heltec/ttgo/aliexpress) ESP32 LoRa OLED development board

    This project aims to revel the hidden secrets of this ESP32 WiFi Lora module. Not much details have surfaced yet about this board. Consider this as a forum to ask questions and get answers..

  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LoRa Is the Network

    We’ve become used to seeing LoRa appearing in projects on these pages, doing its job as a low-bandwidth wireless data link with a significant range. Usually these LoRa projects take the form of a client that talks to a central Internet connected node, allowing a remote wireless-connected device to connect through that node to the Internet.

    It’s interesting then to see a modest application from [Mark C], a chat application designed to use a set of LoRa nodes as a peer-to-peer network. In effect LoRa becomes the network, instead of simply being a tool to access it. He optimistically describes peer-to-peer LoRa networks as the new FidoNet

    The hardware used for the project is the Heltec ESP32-based LoRa board, which comes with a handy OLED screen on which the messages appear.

    LoRa Chat
    Decentralised LoRa based Chat firmware for ESP32 boards by Heltec (and clones)

  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wireless Sensor Platform

    Arduino based platform for LoRa featuring plug and play connectors for sensors and actuators.

    Building a sensor network used to involve expert knowledge in sensor and wireless protocols and communications. Syxsens enables easy development with the popular Arduino software and libraries. Sensors can be connected in a plug-and-play fashion thanks to Grove style connectors. Expansion boards will be released with sets of sensors designed for specific applications such as Wild Fire detection (Firesens), Weather Station (Weathersens) and others.

    Device Specifications:

    Atmel ATSAMD21G18A 32-bit Cortex-M0 Microcontroller, 48MHz, 256 KB flash, 32 KB SRAM.
    NiceRF LoRa module based on Semtech SX1278/SX1276. Versions for 433MHz, 490MHz, 868MHz and 915MHz frequency bands.
    Up to 10 Km wireless range (line of sight).
    Connectors for sensors and actuators: 3 analog/digital, 2 I2C, 1 UART.
    Pin headers exposing all MCU pins (digital, analog and PWM).
    SWD debugging support.
    SX1278/SX1276 DIO pins available on headers.
    Over-current protection circuitry.
    USB connection for power and firmware uploading.
    5V Power supply by USB connector, 3.3V input on pin header.
    Built-in user LED.
    Built-in user button.
    High quality PCB with electroless nickel immersion gold finish.
    Dimensions: 81.28mm x 46.355mm.

    IPv6 Packets over LoRa

    We are also working on the implementation of a 6LoWPAN inspired frame format to enable IPv6/UDP/CoAP packets to be transmitted over LoRa. This also allows fragmentation and mesh support.

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ESP32 – LoRa – OLED Module
    Get the most out of your (heltec/ttgo/aliexpress) ESP32 LoRa OLED development board

    This project aims to reveal the hidden secrets of this ESP32 WiFi Lora module. The number of details available for this board is growing, so new findings are added regularly to the log. Feel free to ask questions and get answers…

    I have attached my current sample code to send and receive. It makes use of the Arduino LoRa Library by Sandeep Mistry and displays RSSI and SNR of the received data.

    The latest version (v1.80) of RadioHead RF95 Library also works now without additional tweaks!

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Things Network brings its products to market for easy development of low power, long range IoT networks

    With the help of The Things Gateway, The Things Node and The Things Uno, anyone can get started with the Internet of Things using Semtech’s LoRa® devices and wireless radio frequency technology. The Things Network promises that anyone can setup a local network in 5 minutes, build an Internet of Things (IoT) prototype in 60 minutes and a proof of concept in a day. The products are now available in stock

    The Things Network – a collaborative Internet of Things data network, started in Amsterdam by covering the city with an open LoRaWAN™ network.

    Currently, there are over 28000 users part of this global community spread across 550 cities around the world. To accelerate the growth and support the global community, a Kickstarter campaign was organized which led to the crowdfunded development of The Things Gateway, Node and the Uno.

    Premier Farnell was chosen as the partner for the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of these products. The Things Gateway, Node and Uno were created with LoRa-based hardware and software solutions from Microchip Technology. The LoRaWAN modules are fully certified

    The Gateway, Node and Uno also contain Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth® chips, a microcontroller, secure key storage, Flash memory and various analog blocks from Microchip.

    With over 1500 gateways to be shipped and distributed in over 50 countries around, the existing coverage of The Things Network will double. A majority of the orders are from European cities with an active community in place

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MDU Internet: What happens when a tenant moves out?

    Smart home technology is one thing, but can it be extended to multiple dwelling units (MDUs)? This is a question property managers are asking as the cable industry heads into 2018.

    “Where the gap has been is that providers of the (smart home) technology (haven’t) really provided a single dashboard that integrates what the resident might have with the property,” said Mike Slovin, VP, Xfinity Communities. “The problem with smart home to smart community is that you need Internet access.”

    When apartments turn over, the management of the myriad workers – painters, repairmen, carpet installers – involved can be cumbersome. When all is done, someone has to make sure the windows are shut, the air conditioning or heat is turned down, the doors are locked, etc. To do this remotely would require Internet access. But when a resident moves out, the Internet coverage for the apartment goes with them.

    Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) has launched technology in a handful of cities that uses a long range (LoRa) wireless network to provide ubiquitous data coverage for small pieces of information, like commands to lock the door or turn off the alarm.

    LoRa is a 900 MHz technology that offers two-way communications for payloads of less than 200 bytes. Each LoRa sensor can cover six floors in an MDU, Slovin said, adding that not many devices are needed to cover a whole building. Concrete and glass, or other areas that might be difficult for WiFi (when a router and gateway is not close), are not a problem for LoRa.

    “(But LoRa) won’t replace a broadband connection. It is for use by the resident (or property manager) to manage smart devices,” Slovin said.

    Property owners can also benefit from LoRa by utilizing sensors to alert of water main breaks, rodent problems, mold in humid areas, etc. Whereas these types of sensors using other technology are expensive to connect to the network and use a lot of power, LoRa sensors cost $50 or less.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Maduino Lora(433M/868M)
    Lora Solution Based on Arduino

    The LoRa Radio allows the user to send data and reach extremely long ranges at low data-rates. It provides ultra-long range spread spectrum communication and high interference immunity whilst minimising current consumption. The Maduino Lora useRFM95 and Atmega328, plus the power managements circuit, to make it an ready-to-go solution for Lora application.

    Hardware Open absolutely, you can download the eagle schematic and layout and use them in any design freely.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LoRa Taps New Chips, Smart Homes
    Sigfox may be third in race with NB-IoT, LoRa

    Semtech is sampling next-generation LoRa chips that can lower battery consumption and cost while boosting reach and data rates. Separately, a LoRa startup announced a suite of sensor products for consumers using Semtech’s existing chips.

    The news comes as one market watcher upgraded its forecast for LoRa, predicting that it will take one of the largest chunks of the rapidly expanding market for low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks in the Internet of Things. It will be closely followed by the Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) version of LTE, with Sigfox a distant third, according to the forecast (below) from IHS Markit.

    “We’re not seeing a fundamental shakeout in licensed or unlicensed networks; there’s tremendous growth across the board … but over the past year, the outlook has gotten brighter for LoRa and dimmer for Sigfox,” said Sam Lucero, a senior principal analyst for cellular IoT at IHS Markit.

    Last year, Comcast and Verizon announced plans to deploy LoRa networks. For its part, Semtech announced that its annual revenue for LoRa chips doubled to $50 million and forecast that it will hit $100 million in 2018.

    It also was a good year for NB-IoT, especially in China, where the government announced in June a policy with goals of reaching 600 million NB-IoT nodes by 2020. Its three carriers followed up with aggressive plans for deployments.

    Huawei is creating an NB-IoT ecosystem around its silicon

    In unlicensed networks, “we’ve had a lot of feedback that the Semtech model of being a public component supplier made for positive evaluations for long-term deployments,” he added. “Its more problematic for Sigfox as a service provider without an option for private networks, and the company can be seen as a single point of failure, particularly given [that] it is venture-backed.”

    IHS estimates that LoRa has about three times the unit sales of modules for IoT end nodes as Sigfox. But most of Sigfox’s nodes are based on discrete device designs, not modules, said Jay.

    Sigfox showed in September an end-node design capable of sending a Sigfox message that cost just 20 cents using a printed antenna and oscillator. It is perhaps the lowest cost of many ultra-simple designs competing for use in millions of end nodes, including smart packages for retailers such as Walmart.

    This year, Sigfox will enable global roaming capabilities with nodes that automatically switch among four frequencies, depending on their region. It also aims to enhance its location-tracking capabilities to within a kilometer using a form of triangulation.

    Walmart Calls for Sub-$1 IoT Sensor
    Retailer wants to lick-and-stick for pennies

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LoRaWAN Cell Modem Gateway

    Solar battery powered device relays data from a remote, wide area of LoRa radio devices to The Things Network via cell network.

    The Hologram Nova on a Raspberry Pi Zero W turned out to be a lot easier to use than I imagined. Just follow the instructions in this project and you can get a new internet interface in Raspbian by simply running “hologram modem connect” which installs a ppp0 device, easy peasy! With general, all purpose Internet available the rest is a simple matter of recreating a Raspberry Pi Single Channel Packet Forwarder for LoRa radio devices which The Things Network still supports (for now!).

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    LoRa Taps New Chips, Smart Homes
    Sigfox may be third in race with NB-IoT, LoRa

    Semtech is sampling next-generation LoRa chips that can lower battery consumption and cost while boosting reach and data rates. Separately, a LoRa startup announced a suite of sensor products for consumers using Semtech’s existing chips.

    The news comes as one market watcher upgraded its forecast for LoRa, predicting that it will take one of the largest chunks of the rapidly expanding market for low-power wide-area (LPWA) networks in the Internet of Things. It will be closely followed by the Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) version of LTE, with Sigfox a distant third, according to the forecast (below) from IHS Markit.

    “We’re not seeing a fundamental shakeout in licensed or unlicensed networks; there’s tremendous growth across the board … but over the past year, the outlook has gotten brighter for LoRa and dimmer for Sigfox,” said Sam Lucero, a senior principal analyst for cellular IoT at IHS Markit.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Empower brings IoT services to the industry with LoRaWAN technology

    Empower, the industrial and network maintenance company, utilizes Digita’s LoRaWAN sensor networks in its Emsight analytics service. IoT networks allow industrial companies to monitor and analyze data from different measurement points through sensors.

    IoT network based on Digita’s masts and bi-directional LoRa technology enables networked devices to operate. In the energy sector, for example, water and heat plants will benefit from this solution.

    “The LoRaWAN network enables agile and cost-effective tracking of a variety of devices from a long distance”, says Ari Kuukka , Senior Vice President, Digita’s IoT Services .

    Source: https://www.uusiteknologia.fi/2018/01/24/empower-tuo-iot-palvelut-teollisuudelle-lorawan-tekniikalla/

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Things Network Node for TTNmapper.org

    Simple The Things Network (TTN) node based on Adafruit Feather M0 with RFM95 LoRa Radio and Adafruit OLED FeatherWing.

    Having a new gateway in place for The Things Network (TTN), I wanted to test its coverage in urban environment.

    This can easily be achieved with the TTN Mapper project, a simple LoRaWan node and an Android or IOS smartphone.

    The Adafruit Feather M0 with RFM95 LoRa Radio together with the OLED FeatherWing was an easy and logical choice. It almost runs ‘out-of-the-box’.

    This small project describes how to get your node online in just a couple of hours (a bit more if you decide to print the enclosure!).


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