LoRaWAN - Decoding the IoT Network
The internet of things is set to disrupt most facets of human life. According to Cisco, 25 billion objects will be connected to the internet by 2020 – increasing our dependence on machines to run our everyday tasks. A glitch in the communication channel can be disastrous to both finances and security.
Enter LoRaWAN – A wide area, low power global communications the standard that is set to define the way smart objects communicate remotely.
The challenge of connecting billions of devices brings with it the prerequisite of low power and low cost over a long-range. Most current wireless networks like Bluetooth, LTE, mobile networks, and other networks do not feature the cumulative traits that are needed for communicating with IoT devices – either they are way too expensive or cannot cover long distances.
IoT devices require small data packets (unlike mobile networks) to communicate over long and secluded locations.
How LoRaWAN can impact IoT?
Benefits of LoRaWAN:
Lower Power Consumption:
Imagine fitting sensors onto endangered species to track their whereabouts, you would require a device that could hold battery power for a long period of time maybe years. Most available networks cannot comprehend the load and may eventually drain out but with LoRa-based chips, you can detect the animal's location at low-power probably extending to the lifetime of the creature.
Longer Range Connection:
Semtech's Bear Project focuses on providing long-range communicable devices during disasters.
Most push-to-talk (PTT) applications experience a high failure rate during natural calamities due to network congestion or failure. LoRaWAN provides victims with access to the outside world and authorities when other communication channels become redundant. Beartooth devices have supported relief efforts during the recent Hurricane Harvey in Texas, connecting with rescue squads over a paired mobile phone with Beartooth chips that use low battery power to help with relief efforts.
LoRaWAN is ideal for communicating data and commands over an IoT network. With IoT devices gaining access to home accessories, we become prone to cyber espionage. LoRaWAN provides end-to-end encryption between nodes to make sure there no foul-play in the functioning of IoT devices.
The Numbers say it all:
As more devices get integrated into the IoT phenomenon, LoRa can prove to be the network of the future. Estimated to grow by 89% annually, LoRa-based technology may be worth around $24.5 billion in the next four years.
Few factors that have been considered as hindrances to the growth of IoT has been security, range, and the power factor especially for remote devices, LoRaWAN negates all these factors allowing for the mass proliferation of IoT devices.
Although a relatively new concept, LoRaWAN has already garnered worldwide acceptance with many countries like Australia making it the standard communication protocol for IoT devices. With the rise of wireless devices, the bandwidth factor, cost advantage, security, and application to various fields – LoRa is marked to make rapid strides in the coming years.