Building your Own LoRaWAN Network
Posted: Mar 29, 2019
RAK Wireless’ LoRa enabled gateway module allows users to get up and running with their own networks.
The LoRaWAN specification is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) network protocol designed for the specific purpose of connecting battery operated IoT devices wirelessly. The LoRaWAN standard addresses requirements for end-to-end security, mobility, bi-directional communication and the like. The LoRaWAN network architecture assumes a star-of-stars topology, where the gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server. LoRaWAN has three different classes of end-point devices in order to deal with the vast differences in various kinds of applications. The features of LoRaWAN are multi-fold and include low cost (in operating expenses and infrastructure investment), low power (extending battery lifetime up to 20 years), long range (deep penetration in dense regions). The LoRaWAN standard is maintained by the LoRa Alliance.
Using the LoRaWAN Module
RAK Wireless has a LoRaWAN module built into its RAK833 gateway. This gateway functions as a LoRa radio frontend, acting as a receiver of incoming LoRa data packets and forwarding them to an aggregate management software/hardware host. Cost effective and small form factor LoRaWAN modules can be developed which are capable of supporting a wide range of sensors and a long range wireless protocol. Security, which has always been a prime factor for consideration in any wireless technology, is handled effectively in the case of LoRaWAN modules. LoRaWAN uses two layers of security: one for the network and the other for the application. While the network security layer ensures authenticity of the node in the network, the application layer of security ensures that network operators do not have access to end users’ application data. AES encryption being used in the key exchange, the security levels are sufficiently high.
Advantages of Using LoRaWAN Module
The benefits of a module approach to LoRaWAN are multi-fold. For one, the simplified RF design and certification accelerates time to market, as does the reduced design resources. Further, the small form factor makes the module excellent for embedded applications. The compact, low power area network wireless module supports long range wireless protocol. Another advantage in the LoRaWAN module is that it is priced attractively and can be made available through any major global distributor. RAK Wireless’ LoRaWAN modules are all LoRa certified with LoRa Alliance. The LoRaWAN module finds application in a number of scenarios such as remote control, wireless alarm and security systems, home and industrial automation, smart metering, wireless star networks, and many more.
As LoRaWAN gains traction across Europe and the rest of the world, manufacturers of LoRaWAN module-enabled products are reaping the benefits of the surge in interest and enabling a better connected network.
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