LoRa | Advantages of LoRaWAN | Disadvantages of LoRaWAN

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of LoRaWAN. It mentions LoRaWAN advantages and LoRaWAN disadvantages. LoRa technology is used as WAN (Wide Area Network) and hence the name LoRaWAN.

The LoRa Wireless tutorial covers following sub topics:
Main page LoRa tutorial   LoRa Frequency Bands   LoRa protocol stack   LoRa MAC layer   LoRaWAN classes   LoRa features   LoRa Transceiver module  

LoRaWAN Introduction:
• The full form of LoRa is Long Range Radio.
• The technical specification is published by LoRa Alliance.
• It is low power wide area network which has become popular to due to low power consumption and long coverage range.
• Supports 902 to 928 MHz in US, 863 to 870 MHz in EU and 779 to 787 MHz in China.

LoRa network architecture

The figure depicts LoRaWAN network architecture. As shown it consists of LoRa Gateway, servers and LoRa End Devices.

Advantages of LoRaWAN

Following are the advantages of LoRaWAN:
➨It uses 868 MHz/ 915 MHz ISM bands which is available world wide.
➨It has very wide coverage range about 5 km in urban areas and 15 km in suburban areas.
➨It consumes less power and hence battery will last for longer duration.
➨Single LoRa Gateway device is designed to take care of 1000s of end devices or nodes.
➨It is easy to deploy due to its simple architecture as shown in the figure-1.
➨It uses Adaptive Data Rate technique to vary output data rate/Rf output of end devices. This helps in maximizing battery life as well as overall capacity of the LoRaWAN network. The data rate can be varied from 0.3 kbps to 27 Kbps for 125 KHz bandwidth.
➨It is widely used for M2M/IoT applications.
➨The physical layer uses robust CSS modulation. CSS stands for Chirp Spread Spectrum. It uses 6 SF (spreading factors) from SF 7 to 12. This delivers orthogonal transmissions at different data rates. Moreover it provides processing gain and hence transmitter output power can be reduced with same RF link budget and hence will increase battery life.
➨It uses LoRa moulation which has constant envelope modulation similar to FSK modulation type and hence available PA (power amplifier) stages having low cost and low power with high efficiency can be used.
➨LoRaWAN supports three different types of devices viz. class-A, class-B and class-C. Refer LoRaWAN classes>>.

Disadvantages of LoRaWAN

Following are the disadvantages of LoRaWAN:
➨It can be used for applications requiring low data rate i.e. upto about 27 Kbps.
➨LoRaWAN network size is limited based on parameter called as duty cycle. It is defined as percentage of time during which the channel can be occupied. This parameter arises from the regulation as key limiting factor for traffic served in the LoRaWAN network.
➨It is not ideal candidate to be used for real time applications requiring lower latency and bounded jitter requirements.

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