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How LPWAN drives long-range IoT applications

How LPWAN drives long-range IoT applications
The low-power wide area network (LPWAN) technology, which enables interconnectivity between low-power devices over long distances, has become a popular solution for citywide or even nationwide IoT deployment.

With the Internet of Things (IoT) picking up steam, many different IoT technologies have emerged, each specifying a particular transmission distance, data rate and power consumption. Among them, the low-power wide area network (LPWAN) technology, which enables interconnectivity between low-power devices over long distances, has become a popular solution for citywide or even nationwide IoT deployment.

One recent example is a partnership between Samsung and SK Telecom on a soon-to-be-launched IoT network throughout South Korea using the LoRa protocol, a form of LPWAN. According to telecoms.com, Samsung and SK will deploy the dedicated IoT network across the country in the middle of 2016 following an initial Daegu rollout this month, which will serve as an early test bed for determining potential service use cases that can range from cloud platforms and big data analytics for healthcare and medical services to electric vehicle infrastructure for autonomous cars.

Also according to telecoms.com, SK Telecom joins Orange and a number of other telecom operators, including Du, Swisscom and KPN, in deploying the LPWAN technology. Dedicated platforms for small devices are leading to the use of a new term called the Internet of Small Things, which Samsung says will be a key facilitator for more business opportunities in Korea if enabled by LPWAN technologies such as the LoRa protocol, telecoms.com reported.

The LoRa protocol, or LoRaWAN, was originally developed by Semtech and is now supported by the LoRa Alliance. It uses the 70MHz to 1GHz portion of the radio spectrum, transmitting data from 0.3 to 50 kbps over a distance of up to 40 kilometers. This modulation technique has significant advantages – including lower cost, good penetration of obstacles, greater coverage over longer distances and better battery life – when compared with cellular networks and Wi-Fi.

Sensing LoRaWAN’s potential, IBM has developed the long-range signaling and control (LRSC) software to enable smooth and seamless connectivity between devices following the LoRaWAN 1.0 standard. A typical LRSC installation comprises a central network server linking hundreds or thousands of radio gateways to dozens of application routers. In this way, hundreds of thousands of LoRaWAN 1.0 end devices, from smoke detectors, temperature sensors, to smart electrical heating controllers, can establish a secure bidirectional, low-data-rate connection with corresponding apps, enabling millions of small, IoT-type transactions per day per system installation.

Among cities that have deployed smart/safe city initiatives using LRSC are New York and the Swiss City of St. Gallen. Projects outside smart city initiatives also exist. U.S.-based networking solutions provider Senet, for example, has used the technology to help clients monitor fuel and heating oil usage via a network of sensors attached to customers’ fuel tanks.



Product Adopted:
Wireless Transmission
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