IoT is a growing technology in today’s age and this is the reason that you may come across terms like LoRaWAN gateway and LoRa technology. While most people think that these terms are interchangeable, this is not the case. Both of these terms have a lot of differences that we are going to discuss in this article. Not only this, but we will also discuss their prominent benefits and perspective applications. So, let’s start right away!
What is LoRa Technology?
The LoRa technology is one of the wireless modulation techniques that people have derived from CSS or Chirp Spread Spectrum technology. The main function of this technology is to encode information on radio waves with the help of the chirp pulses. This is extremely similar to the way that bats and dolphins communicate! The users can receive LoRa modulated transmission even across great distances as it is completely robust against disturbances.
This technology is ideal for the applications that work by transmitting a small amount of data that feature low bit rates. You can even transmit data at a longer range in comparison to technologies such as Bluetooth, WiFi, or ZigBee. This is what makes the LoRa technology suitable for actuators and sensors that work in low power mode.
Another great thing about the LoRa technology is that you can even operate it on the sub-gigahertz bands that are completely license-free. Some examples include 915MHz, 433MHz, and 868MHz. In addition to this, you can also operate it on 2.4GHz to receive data of higher rates compared to the sub-gigahertz bands. However, it happens at the cost of the range. All of the frequencies that the LoRa technology uses fall into the category of the ISM bands. This is what makes these frequencies internationally reserved for scientific, industrial, and medical purposes.
The Advantages of LoRa Technology
Some of the benefits of using the LoRa technology are mentioned below. Let’s check them out!
1.Direct to Cloud
The biggest advantage of using the LoRa technology is that it is direct to the cloud. That’s because this technology provides a long-range to the users and connects similarly to that of the cellular. As a result, you get centralized base gateways or stations that might be located at a distance.
The cost of deploying narrowband signaling and RF modules is extremely low with the LoRa network. In addition to this, the protocols that use the unlicensed bands are even lower. This is what makes this technology a cost-effective solution that is capable of scaling with the growth of the IoT.
What is LoRaWAN Gateway?
The LoRaWAN gateway is built on top of the LoRa modulation technology. The gateway refers to the physical box housing the hardware and application software. In addition to this, it is also a Media Access Control (MAC) layer protocol. To put it in simple words, it is a type of layer of software that explains how the devices can use the LoRa hardware. One such example includes when the devices transmit and form the format of the messages.
The earliest LoRaWAN gateway technology was introduced in January of the year 2015. Currently, the LoRa Alliance maintains and develops its protocol.
The Advantages of Using the LoRaWAN Gateway
Some of the advantages of using the LoRaWAN gateway for IoT devices are mentioned below. Let’s take a look at them!
One of the major advantages of this technology is that the devices are capable of operating in a low-power mode. This is what enables them to last for 10 years without the need to replace the cell battery.
The LoRaWAN gateway is capable of transmitting and receiving signals over a distance of more than 3kms in densely populated urban areas and 10kms in rural areas. So, if you are looking for a technology with a longer range, you know which one to choose!
The LoRaWAN network can easily determine the location of the devices with the help of triangulation without the need to have GPS technology. Not only this, but you can even locate the LoRa end devices if it picks up at least three of the signals.
4.Public and Private Deployments
With the help of the LoRaWAN network, it becomes extremely easy to deploy public and private networks that use the same hardware and software. Some examples include end devices, gateways, antennas, and Basic Station software for end devices.
A Detailed Contrast between the LoRaWAN Gateway and LoRa Technology
Even though the LoRa technology and the LoRaWAN gateway are related, they are quite distinct from each other. So, you shouldn’t confuse between the two of them.
The LoRa technology only exists in the PHY layer. This is what enables it to long-range the communication link. Where the majority of the wireless systems utilize Frequency Shifting Keying Modulation as their PH layer, LoRa uses a modulation technique known as CSS or Chirp Spread Spectrum. This helps it in maintaining similar low power characteristics as that of FSK but with an increase in its communication range.
On the other hand, the LoRaWAN gateway goes deeper than the LoRa technology. This technology comprises two sub-layers. These sub-layers include the Media Access Control sub-layer, whose main purpose is to support large-scale public networks with the help of a single operator.
It is an open-standard technology that defines the entire communication protocol based on a LoRa chip. An important thing to note here is that the architecture and protocol that the LoRaWAN gateway governs in the MAC sub-layer are extremely influential in determining the quality of service, network capacity, security, and other applications that a network serves.
Even though a lot of people consider the LoRaWAN gateway and LoRa technology to be quite similar, this is not the case. Both the technologies are quite different from each other in the way they operate. So, make sure that you consider the requirements in detail and choose wisely! However, if you still have anything else to ask, feel free to contact us. We will be happy to assist you in any way we can.