LoRa is a 'Long Range' low power wireless standard aimed at providing a cellular style low data rate communications network.
Aied at the M2M and IoT market, LoRa is ideal for providing intermittent low data rate connectivity over significant distances. The radio interface has been designed to enable extremely low signal levels to be received, and as a result even low power transmissions can be received at significant ranges.
The LoRa modulation and radio interface has been designed and optimised to provide exactly the type of communications needed for remote IoT and M2M nodes.
In order to develop and promote the LoRa wireless system across the industry, the LoRa Alliance was set up.
Although LoRa has been fundamentally developed by Semtech, making the technology an industry standard will enable the system to grown and gain a much larger market share.
The LoRa Alliance is an open, non-profit association that was formally launched at Mobile World Congress in 2015. It was initiated by various companies to standardise Low Power Wide Area Networks, LPWAN, for the Internet of Things, IoT, machine-to-machine, M2M, and smart city, and industrial applications.
The founding members of the LoRa Alliance include Actility, Cisco, Eolane, IBM, Kerlink, IMST, MultiTech, Sagemcom, Semtech, and Microchip Technology, as well as lead telecom operators: Bouygues Telecom, KPN, SingTel, Proximus, Swisscom, and FastNet (part of Telkom South Africa).
There are several key elements of the LoRa wireless system. Some of its key features include the following:
- Long range: 15 - 20 km.
- Millions of nodes
- Long battery life: in excess of ten years
LoRa wireless technology is ideally placed to be used in a wide variety of applications.
The low power and long range capabilities mean that end points can be deployed in a wide variety of places, in buildings and outside and still have the capability of being able to communicate with the gateway.
As such the system is easy to deploy and it can be used for a large number of Internet of Things, IoT and machine to machine, M2M, applications.
Applications for LoRa wireless technology include: smart metering; inventory tracking, vending machine data and monitoring; automotive industry; utility applications . . . in fact anywhere where data reporting and control may be needed.
LoRa technology is particularly attractive for many applications because of its long range capability. New nodes can easily be connected and activated and coverage is easy to provide.
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