Internet of Things [IoT] means many different things to different organizations. The current state of the IoT landscape can best be described as early stage from a technology perspective. A wide array of technologies, costs, standards, interoperability and security are all accounted for to varying degrees.
Currently, there is a buzz around Big Data and Analytics, which leads to Artificial Intelligence at the top of the IoT pyramid. While those areas are forging ahead in terms of development, there are many more links in the IoT chain needed to get to comprehensive data and analytics.
There are layers of technology that need to come together to form this new way of communicating with things to get true Big Data. From sensors to devices to networks to servers, numerous points need to interact for “Things” to be truly connected. From a network communications perspective, one technology simply cannot serve IoT and all the expected applications as well as the volumes as noted by the billions of expected connections.
Cellular, while commonly known and understood, is a great fit for high data throughput, but power consumption and costs are simply too prohibitive for many use cases based on the number of connections that will be needed to be transmitted. Another technology in the network and communications space is Wi-Fi, which has its place in short range applications. However, on their own, neither of these can fully leverage the promise held by IoT.
LoRaWAN™ technology provides an open standard that is designed to optimize LPWAN’s for battery lifetime, network capacity, range and cost. This open platform ensures a strong ecosystem with the availability of a variety of devices for a wide variety of IoT applications.
In addition to the open platform, LoRaWAN™ networks aren’t based on a mesh network architecture. LoRa protocol does not operate in a node-to-node manner, which results in reduced complexity and increased network capacity. Additionally, because the nodes on a LoRaWAN network are asynchronous and only “wake up” or communicate when they have data to relay, the reduced number of synchronizations results in a dramatic increase in battery life.
Scalability is another area where LoRaWAN technology ideally lends itself to IoT applications. By utilizing gateways capable of receiving different data rates, shifts can be managed in the rates being transmitted, resulting in shorter “on air” time opening more potential space on the network for other data transmissions. Further, additional gateways can be added at any time to increase capacity or range.
Security also needs to be addressed in any IoT discussion. LoRaWAN utilizes two layers of security – one for the network and one for the application. These two layers safeguard the customer data from end-to-end via AES encryption with an IEEE EUI64 identifier.
LoRaWAN is an open standard, secure network technology backed by 500+ organizations across the globe and is successfully deployed in over 50 countries. With hundreds of deployments already in place and more currently in the trial phase, it is the leading technology in the LPWAN space. A certification program guarantees interoperability and provides the assurance of technical flexibility to support multiple IoT applications, static or mobile, from a multitude of top global organizations.
For a successful IoT initiative of any size or scope, key considerations include cost, security, strength of ecosystem and flexibility in both business models and variety of applications. LoRaWAN networks lead the LPWAN space because of versatility, ease-of-use and the fact that it is the leader in all the major areas essential for short term IoT adoption and long-term end-user success.