The first carrier grade Low Power Wide Area network (LPWAN) protocol is now available for sensor, base station and network server providers.
LoRa Alliance™ – The LoRaWAN R1.0 specification today attained Public Release status and is now available to download from the LoRa Alliance website. The LoRa Alliance and its members, amongst which include many industry leaders and Mobile Network Operators, see this as a major step towards international standardization in LPWAN, catalyzing network deployments and certified sensor manufacturing around the world. The Alliance members have collaborated, sharing knowledge and experience and intensively testing the LoRaWAN R1.0 specification to ensure readiness for the entire ecosystem. This will drive the global success of the LoRaWAN Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) and guarantee interoperability in one open carrier grade global network.
LoRaWAN network architecture is a typical star-of-stars topology in which the gateways are a transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server. 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, with support for multicast, enabling software upgrade over-the-air, and other mass message distribution, to reduce the ‘on air’ communication time.
Communication between end-devices and gateways is distributed via different frequency channels and data rates. The selection of channel and data rate is a trade-off between communication range and message payload. LoRaWAN data rates range from 0.3 kbps to 50 kbps. To maximize both the battery life of the end-devices, network capacity and ease of deployment, and to easily scale, the LoRaWAN network server manages the data rate for each connected sensor via an Adaptive Data Rate algorithm (ADR). This unique optimization is based on advanced information such as SNR, RSSI, PER and channels to ensure optimal performance under the local radio conditions.
National LPWAN’s for the Internet of Things (IoT) have strict requirements in terms of security for the each individual user and typically require local, or in country, hosting. To ensure this for the user, the application or the network owner LoRaWAN includes:
- Unique Network key (EUI64) and ensure security on network level
- Unique Application key (EUI64) ensure end-to-end security on application level
- Device specific key (EUI128)
LoRaWAN has several classes of end-point devices to address the very different requirements of almost any kind of IoT application:
- Bi-directional end-devices (Class A): End-devices of Class A allow for bi-directional communications whereby each end-device’s uplink transmission is followed by two, short downlink receive windows. The transmission slot scheduled by the end-device is based on its own communication needs with a small variation based on a random time basis (ALOHA-type of protocol). This Class A operation is the lowest power end-device system for applications that only require downlink communication from the server shortly after the end-device has sent an uplink transmission. Downlink communications from the server are queued automatically until the next scheduled uplink.
- Bi-directional end-devices with scheduled receive slots (Class B): In addition to the Class A random receive windows, Class B devices open extra receive windows at scheduled times. In order for the end-device to open its receive window at the scheduled time it receives a time synchronized beacon from the gateway. This allows the server to know when the end-device is listening.
- Bi-directional end-devices with maximal receive slots (Class C): End-devices of Class C have nearly continuously open receive windows, only closed when transmitting.
“We are delighted and very proud to have finally achieved this important milestone of opening LoRaWAN to the general public. The LoRa Alliance is a strong believer in open standards, enabling cooperation between the driving forces of the IoT industrial leaders and Mobile Network Operators. Having end customers, sensors, equipment manufactures and telecom operators contributing to the standard has ensured that all of the shared knowledge and ecosystem needs are included in the specification. This has ensured that it is the ideal framework for applications operating on a single coin cell battery and addresses the challenges of deploying and operating a LPWA nationwide network.” – Nicolas Sornin, Chair of the LoRa Alliance Technical Committee
Ståle Pettersen, Acting Chair of the LoRa Alliance:
“With this release, LoRaWAN R1.0; is the most comprehensive and adopted specification in LPWAN’s and is now publicly available to benefit the LoRa community and the IoT industry. Maintaining telecom grade technology while providing managed, secure, bi-directional communication and location enabled services using a simple coin cell battery is simply impressive.”