IoT protocols – Part11 LoRaWAN

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What is LoRaWAN?

LoRaWAN is defined as a system architecture and communication protocol in the network, while LoRa is a physical layer that allows the establishment of long-distance communication connections.

Network architecture and protocols are the most influential factors in determining a node’s battery life, network capacity, service quality, security level, and the range of applications served. by network.

The basic software structure of a device that supports LoRaWAN is as follows:

In this structure, the LoRaWan includes the LoRa Mac (Class A, Class B, Class C) and operates on the PHY class as the LoRa chip. In each different region of the world, the LoRaWan device must be configured for the Lora chip to operate in the permitted band such as EU is 868MHz, US is 915MHz, … For more information about LoRa activities in regions around the world, visit the LoRaWAN Regional Parameter brochure provided by LoRa Alliance.

Network architecture of LoRaWAN

Many current network models are deployed based on a “mesh” network architecture. Within a “mesh” network, separate “end-nodes” will forward information to other “nodes” to increase communication coverage and increase network coverage. However, this increases adding complexity, reducing network capacity, and in particular, reduces battery life when “nodes” receive and send information from other “nodes” that may not be relevant to them. The “Star” network architecture, meanwhile, helps maintain battery life, while also enabling long-term communications.

In a LoRaWAN network, “nodes” do not need to be tied to a specific gateway. Instead, data transmitted by a regular “node” will be received by multiple “gateways” to demonstrate flexibility in connectivity. Each gateway will forward packets received from the “end-nodes” to the “cloud server” through connections such as Cellular, Ethernet, Wifi, or even via satellite.

In short, in a LoRaWAN network there will be 2 types of devices:

+ End-Devices (End-nodes): are sensors, monitoring devices, actuators installed in remote working locations to collect and send data to central devices. There are 3 types of end-devices: Class A, Class B and Class C.

+ Gateway: The central device will collect data from end-devices and send it to a server to process data.

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