LoRa is the wireless modulation or physical (PHY) silicon layer, used to create the long-range communication link. LoRaWan is the MAC (media access control) layer built on top of LoRa modulation, in essence the software that defines how the hardware is configured and used.
LoRa is a spread spectrum, long range, low power device developed from chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology. Launched by Semtech in 2015, officially approved as a standard by the ITU (International Telecoms Union) in 2021, now LoRa and LoRaWan are regarded as the leading non-cellular low power wide area (LPWA) network.
Commonly regarded as the gold standard in LPWAN (low power, wide area, networks) LoRa is suitable for transmitting secure low bandwidth data over long distance and can be operated across the ISM bands, 2.4GHz and the license free spectrum. Ranges of over 10km for can be achieved for uplink communication making it ideal for many low power battery operated IoT deployments.
Based upon a star network topology the gateway forwards messages between the central server and the deployed backend solution. Gateways are connected to the server via standard IP connections while end-devices connect to one or many gateways within a deployment and are bi-directional supporting over the air upgrades. The LoRa and LoRaWAN standard is interoperable which enables flexible IoT deployments at scale.
In further support of ‘mass IoT’ deployments, LoRa has enabled communication to satellite services ensuring ubiquitous connectivity on a global basis through their latest transceivers: SX1261 and SX1262. In addition to their expanded capacity these new chips offer better signal propagation in indoor environments.
Wittra uses the latest LoRa chips in their Unified Gateway allowing for a multi-protocol approach which offers a sustainable and flexible solution and allows for the unification of 6LoWPAN wireless mesh as well as the latest LoRa solutions in one technology deployment.
Read also about our other Technologies, mioty and 6LoWPAN.