LoRaWAN – the first public and open LPWAN standard

19th December 2015

Continuing on from our previous article explaining the LoRa Alliance, we’re now excited about the final LoRaWAN revision 1.0 specification that has recently been formally released to the public by the LoRa Alliance – and is available to download freely from their website. This release makes LoRaWAN the most comprehensive and the most widely adopted Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) specification presently available for open use.

The LoRaWAN specification is the first public and open carrier-grade LPWAN protocol standard, aimed at wide-area networks of sensors, base stations and servers, or any wide-area Internet-of-Things or M2M networking applications.

This specification has been created by the LoRa Alliance, an open, non-profit consortium led by IBM, Actility, Microchip and Semtech, who believe that the Internet-of-Things era is already well and truly established, who have a mission to standardise LPWAN deployments around the world that enable wide-area connectivity for IoT and machine-to-machine, smart city and industrial telemetry applications.

As a part of IBM’s support of the LoRa Alliance, IBM has released their “LoRaWAN in C” reference implementation of the specification as open source under the Eclipse Public License.

The LoRa Alliance and its members, which include many industry leaders in the mobile network and IoT sectors, see the release of this standard as a significant step towards international standardisation and interoperability in the LPWAN space.

This will stimulate the deployment of network infrastructure and certified sensor hardware products from many manufacturers and vendors around the world – all using a unified and interoperable standard. According to the Alliance, they are delighted to have achieved this milestone of opening the LoRaWAN specification to the general public.

The members of the LoRa Alliance have collaborated, sharing their knowledge and experience, to build and rigorously test the LoRaWAN R1.0 release specification to ensure its best possible readiness for large-scale deployments across the entire spectrum of different LPWAN use cases.

The LoRa Alliance hopes that this careful implementation of the LoRaWAN open standard will drive the global success of LPWAN technology, particularly in Internet-of-Things and M2M ecosystems, and it will help to guarantee interoperability around one open, carrier-grade, global specification.

The Alliance is a strong believer in open standards, rather than proprietary, closed specifications, which enable cooperation between the key stakeholders in the LPWAN and Internet-of-Things sectors, including mobile network operators, sensor and connected device manufacturers, and end users as well. They believe that open ecosystems are critical to encourage the widespread adoption of low-cost, long-range machine-to-machine connectivity.

Having industry leaders, vendors, service providers and users involved in the development and improvement of the standard has ensured that all of their shared knowledge and experiences are included and addressed most effectively by the specification.

The aim is ultimately that LoRaWAN will be the best placed standard to benefit the LoRa community, and the LPWAN IoT industry more generally.

LoRaWAN is an ideal framework for LPWAN applications that require very strong energy efficiency, providing telecom-grade connectivity and managed, secure, bidirectional communications as well as location-enabled services, all with hardware that can run from a single coin cell battery.

Furthermore, LoRaWAN is optimised for strong energy efficiency and support for large networks of up to millions of devices in regional, national or even international wide-area networks. It is specifically aimed at supporting low-cost, secure, bidirectional wireless communications with portable devices across wide areas while keeping both the battery costs and base station infrastructure costs to a minimum.

With the wide-area capabilities of the LoRaWAN specification, entire cities or countries can be connected using a relatively small number of base stations, meaning that the up-front rollout of thousands of base station nodes is not needed as would be required with traditional mesh networks. This makes wide-area IoT solutions much more accessible, with reduced infrastructure costs.

LoRaWAN technology can be used alongside the more common cellular M2M technology in a complementary way – although cellular networks require shorter distances to each base station and have higher power requirements, they can also offer more bandwidth for those applications and devices in the network where this bandwidth is required.lora2

The LoRa Alliance Certified Product program ensures that any LoRa-branded devices on the market are compliant with the standard, are interoperable, and meet regulatory requirements such as the radio frequencies being used, giving end users without technical expertise confidence in the products that they buy.

The LoRAWAN specification aims to make it easy to develop LPWAN services and applications, and to address the challenges of deploying and operating a LPWA network across a large geographic area – even as large as a whole country.

Its features are specifically aimed at supporting low-cost, secure, mobile and bidirectional communication for wireless IoT applications, with strong energy efficiency and a minimal need for base station deployments.

Here at the LX Group we have end-to-end experience and demonstrated results in the entire process of IoT product development, and we’re ready to help bring your existing or new product ideas to life. Getting started is easy – click here to contact us, telephone 1800 810 124, or just keep in the loop by connecting here.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in IoT embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisLoRaWAN – the first public and open LPWAN standard

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