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Difference between Wi-SUN LoRaWAN and LTE NB-IoT | Wi-SUN Vs LoRa Vs NB-IoT

This page compares Wi-SUN Vs LoRa Vs NB-IoT and mentions difference between Wi-SUN, LoRaWAN and LTE NB-IoT technologies.

What is Wi-SUN ?

Wi-SUN stands for Wireless Smart Ubiquitous Network. Wi-SUN is based on IEEE 802.15.4g/e and it is supported by Wi-SUN alliance members. Wi-SUN supports star, mesh and hybrid topologies. Wi-SUN is usually deployed as per mesh architecture in which each node relays the data to the network. Wi-SUN devices operate on AC power as well as battery power.

Wi-SUN Network Architecture

The figure-1 depicts Wi-SUN network architecture. As shown, it is a full mesh network consists of nodes i.e. routers. Multiple nodes are connected with border router which connects them with WAN using cellular or fiber or ethernet links. NOC (Network Operations Center) is installed to monitor the Wi-SUN network and its elements.
➨Refer Wi-SUN technology >> which describes Wi-SUN network architecture and its benefits and Wi-SUN protocol stack >> for more information.

What is LoRaWAN ?

LoRaWAN stands for Low Power Wide Area Network. LoRaWAN uses LoRa devices which offers low power and wide area networking. It uses unlicensed ISM band. LoRaWAN standard and certification for interoperability is supported and managed by LoRa Alliance. Semtech is the company whioch develops LoRa devices to be used in LoRaWAN network.

LoRaWAN network architecture

The figure-2 depicts LoRaWAN network architecture. As shown, it follows star topology in which LoRaWAN end devices communicate with LoRaWAN gateways. These gateways are connected together and are interfaced with core network servers on which end user applications run. LoRaWAN gateways interface with network server using cellular or WiFi or ethernet backhaul connections. Different cloud servers can be used for LoRaWAN IoT applications such as AWS IoT Core, ThingSpeak, Google Cloud Server etc. LoRaWAN network uses MQTT or CoAP or HTTP protocols for connectivity between LoRaWAN gateway and application server.
➨Refer LoRa tutorial >>, LoWaWAN MAC Layer inside >>, LoRaWAN architecture >>, LoRaWAN protocol stack >> and LoRaWAN Physical layer >> for more information.

What is LTE NB-IoT ?

The LTE NB-IoT follows 3GPP specifications rel.13, rel.14 and rel.15. It is known as Low Power Wide Area Network technology. It improves indoor network coverage and supports higher number of devices in the network. The NB-IoT devices offer longer battery life and are cheaper in cost. It is used for low power and infrequent data transmission devices. NB-IoT system uses GSM spectrum or unused RBs (resource blocks) within guard-band of LTE carriers.

LTE NB-IoT Architecture

The figure depicts LTE NB-IoT architecture which is divided into two parts viz. access and core. UEs are connected to eNBs (i.e. base stations) using Uu interface. The eNBs are connected together via X2 interface. The eNBs are connected to Core network side using S1 interface.
➨Refer LTE NB-IoT tutorial >> , NB-IoT architecture >> and benefits of NB-IoT >> for more information.

Difference between Wi-SUN LoRaWAN LTE NB-IoT

Following table summarizes comparative difference between Wi-SUN, LoRaWAN and LTE NB-IoT.

Parameters Wi-SUN LoRaWAN NB-IoT
Frequency < 1 GHz and 2.45 GHz 863 to 870 MHz, 902 to 928 MHz, 779 to 787 MHz ISM bands
Refer LoRa frequency bands >> for more information.
700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 1900 MHz
Refer LTE NB-IoT frequency bands >> used in different countries.
Data rate Up to 300 Kbps 0.3 to 22 Kbps (LoRa modulation) and 100 Kbps (using GFSK) Up to 60 Kbps in Cat NB1 and up to 158 Kbps in cat NB2
Latency 0.02 to 1 sec 1 to 2 sec 1.4 sec to 10 sec
Encryption for Data transmission AES, HMAC, Certificates AES, CMAC, Pre-shared secret LTE data transmission encryption, AES
Coverage range 4 km point to point using 1W output from non-directional antenna 2-5 Km (urban areas), 15 Km ( suburban areas ) 1 km (urban), 10 km (rural)
Power consumption 2µA (while at rest), approx. 8mA (during listening), < 14mA at +10dBm (during transmission) Best at very low data rates, Battery life is extended in PSM or eDRX modes, current consumption is about 2 to 3 µA in PSM mode. Very low power comsumption and hence extends battery life to 10 years
Preferred application Designed for frequent communication up to 10 seconds Designed for infrequent communication up to 128 seconds Designed for infrequent communication up to 600+ seconds


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