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The role of LoRaWAN in the Internet of Things

You may have heard the term LoRaWAN mentioned in our previous blogs, but what exactly is LoRaWAN? 

Well, LoRaWAN is a type of Low Powered Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology intended to act as an Internet of Things network for low power wireless sensors covering a large geographical area. 

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. 

What kinds of IoT applications does LoRaWAN enable?

There are many examples where LoRaWAN can be used in a Smart City environment improving existing services or enabling new services to be offered to the citizens. For example, Smart Waste Management, Smart Metering and Air Quality sensors can all be monitored and fed back via the LoRaWAN network to the relevant application, database and/or dashboard. The network can be configured to forward the sensor data to multiple destinations, ensuring high availability of the services.

LoRaWAN is suited for the many Smart IoT applications at which business and governments are looking today and where it offers a more cost effective and efficient connectivity solution than WiFi or mobile connections (4G/5G).

What are the key benefits of a LoRaWAN network?

Using a LoRaWAN network for IoT deployments can deliver many benefits, including:

  • LoRaWAN covers long distances, making it ideal for both Urban and Rural Smart solutions.
  • LoRaWAN consumes less power which makes the technology ideal for battery powered devices.
  • LoRaWAN provides Low bandwidth communication which makes it the ideal solution for practical IoT deployments that require less data such as waste bin management, where you just need to know if the bin is full, or smart parking where you only need to know if a parking space is free or not.
  • Relatively low deployment costs compared to mobile or WiFi due to the lower number of Gateway devices required.
  • LoRaWAN supports bi-directional communication.
  • A single LoRaWAN Gateway can accommodate 1,000s of devices or nodes, multiple Gateways provide resilience to the smart solutions.

Our Latest LoRaWAN deployment

Pinacl are deploying a LoRaWAN network across Newport with the capability of providing connectivity to thousands of remote Smart Sensors. Once completed, the IoT network will support several proof of concept solutions for the Council, as well as the opportunity for IoT vendors to trial new products in a ‘living lab’ city environment.

This open access network will be one of the first available in the UK, and Pinacl are looking for interested parties to work with us to accelerate innovative IoT solutions within the urban environment.

The IoT network will sit alongside the existing dark fibre network deployed throughout Newport which 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 LoRaWAN™ network enables the deployment of a range of smart applications supporting efficient and innovative ways to deliver Waste Management, Street lighting, Parking, Pollution and Flood monitoring, to name but a few.

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.

How Pinacl can help?

Pinacl will work with you at all stages of your IoT and Smart City journey and can offer support based on over 33 years of experience. We are one of only eight percent of UK/EMEA resellers who are already installing IoT solutions across the UK and believe IoT is all about the art of the possible.

If you would like any more information on our IoT deployments or how Pinacl can help you with your IoT initiatives, call us on 01745 535300 or email enquiries@pinaclsolutions.com