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The Lengths we go to test our Solutions

Last week Matt, our Solutions Engineer, took to the skies along with the LoRaWAN field test device to see how far our LoRaWAN gateway reaches from our head office.

The results were astonishing as you can see from the image below. The gateway was able to detect the signal from as far away as Southport!!

Matt is a keen pilot and took his plane for a fly across the North Wales coast to see how the terrain affects the LoRaWAN signal. As you can see from the image above, there was far better coverage along the North West of England compared to the higher terrain of the Snowdonia National Park.

So how does LoRaWAN work?

LoRaWAN provides long range, low speed communication for sensors, resulting in fewer gateway devices being deployed compared to WLAN, cellular and mobile networks. LoRaWAN provides the capability for fast, secure and cost-effective deployment of IoT smart applications across an area where large distances are involved, within urban or rural environments. So, in simple terms LoRaWAN is a technology that:

  • Requires less physical hardware to deploy and power
  • Reliably supports smart solutions
  • Delivers a seamless interaction between smart sensors/devices and the end applications
  • Provides a secure and resilient network

A LoRaWAN network is ideal for communications between applications, databases or dashboards and dispersed IoT sensors, due to the low power of the LoRaWAN technology and the capability for the sensors to be battery powered. Data transmissions to/from LoRaWAN sensors typically happen on an irregular basis and not constantly. An ideal instance where LoRaWAN would fit, is in a Smart City environment where data would be transferred periodically from the IoT sensors.

LoRaWAN network architecture is typically laid out in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways are a transparent bridge relaying messages between end-devices and a central network server in the backend. Gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections while end-devices use single-hop wireless communication to one or many gateways.

A single LoRaWAN gateway covers more than 10 km in range and are comparatively cheaper. For example a small city can be covered with only a handful of LoRa gateways.

LoRaWAN Network in Newport

Pinacl is currently installing gateways in Newport with the capability to provide connectivity to thousands of remote Smart Sensors. Once completed, the IoT network will support several proof of concepts such as Air Quality Management and Flood Sensors.

The IoT network will sit alongside the existing dark fibre network deployed throughout Newport. This network connects back to the largest datacentre in Europe – NGD, and the public WiFi infrastructure installed within the City centre – all of these forming part of Pinacl’s Smart City blueprint.

The deployment of a LoRaWAN™ network will deliver ubiquitous coverage across a City providing reliable low speed connectivity to thousands of smart sensors. One of the main benefits offered by LoRaWAN™ is that the smart sensors can be battery powered with a lifetime of 5-10 years.

The network is fully secure and will be made available for both the public and private sectors. In addition, the smart sensor data shall be used to populate a Smart City Data Hub. This big data depository will contain anonymised City data and shall then be made available to approved application developers to innovate and create new services and solutions.

If you would like to know more about our Internet of Things deployments please call 01745 535 300 or fill in the form below. 

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