Billions of connection enabled devices must communicate billions of data packets 24/7/365. Therefore, the communication protocol is a critical choice in a successful deployment. There are several wireless communication technologies utilized by the IoT. We are going to concentrate on an emerging technology called LoRaWAN®.
The LoRaWAN® specification is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect battery operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national or global networks, and targets key Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility and localization services.
The specification defines the device-to-infrastructure (LoRa®) physical layer parameters & (LoRaWAN®) protocol and so provides seamless interoperability between manufacturers, as demonstrated via the device certification program.
While the specification defines the technical implementation, it does not define any commercial model or type of deployment (public, shared, private, enterprise) and so offers the industry the freedom to innovate and differentiate how it is used. The LoRaWAN® specification is developed and maintained by the LoRa Alliance®: an open association of collaborating members.
Here is a brief (but not exhaustive list of the current technologies available):
Bluetooth is a global 2.4 GHz personal area network for short-range wireless communication. Device-to-device file transfers, wireless speakers, and wireless headsets are often enabled with Bluetooth.
ZigBee is a 2.4 GHz mesh local area network (LAN) protocol. It was originally designed for building automation and control—so things like wireless thermostats and lighting systems often use ZigBee.
6LoWPAN uses a lightweight IP-based communication to travel over lower data rate networks. It is an open IoT network protocol like ZigBee, and it is primarily used for home and building automation.
3G & 4G
3G was the first “high speed” cellular network and is a name that refers to several technologies that meet IMT-2000 standards. 4G is the generation of cellular standards that followed 3G and is what most people use today for mobile cellular data. You can use 3G and 4G for IoT devices, but the application needs a constant power source or must be able to be recharged regularly. It is the highest cost of all the protocols.
Currently in the early stages of deployment, 5G is set to be the next generation of cellular network protocol. It is designed for high throughput, and it will face the same issues as 3G and 4G in regards to IoT deployment.
LoRaWAN – Benefits
With its two-way communication, integrated security modules, and services pertaining to both localized and mobile devices, LoRa is the perfect choice for businesses looking for a wide area network for their battery powered IoT devices. LoRaWAN is especially useful for long-range transmission of telemetry data among low-powered devices. Its most beneficial feature is its ability to connect millions of end devices at once. Low-powered LoRA gateways collect data from multiple devices and share it at a speed between 0.3 to 50 kbps at large distances.
One of the leaders in the LoRaWANtechnology is Switzerland based LORIOT. Due to a unique positioning in the LoRa® ecosystem, as both software provider and network operator, the LORIOTLoRaWAN® Network Server is one of the most powerful, complete, and secure solutions in the market. It ensures clients such asTelecos, Utilities Companies, System Integrators, Local/City Governments, Bluechip Companies and Multinational Organisations have the highest standards for their enterprise-grade deployments.
Westgate Technology Corp an official partner and distributor for Western Canada.
You can learn more about LORIOT here: https://loriot.io/