LoRa Tutorial – What is LoRa Wireless for IoT?


LoRaWAN is a low power wide area network (LPWAN), developed to connect Internet of Things devices and sensors for mass deployment.

LoRa is developed to provide IoT devices extended battery life in the range of several years at the same time a LoRa network has extended range and is cost effective to deploy.

Key characteristics of LPWAN

  • Long battery life: Often in excess of 10 years supporting smart metering applications.
  • Low cost chipsets and networks
  • Limited data communication throughput capacity.

Latest research shows that there will be more than 3.6 billion LPWAN connected devices at the end of 2024. Today the number is just 10s of millions.

This signifies that technology like LoRaWAN will play a vital role in Internet of Things space and can operate alongside cellular and short range communication technologies.

In this tutorial you will learn:

What is LoRa?

LoRa is the physical layer or the wireless modulation scheme utilized to create long distance communication link.

If you are familiar with mobile communication, WCDMA and OFDAMA are the physical layer technology used for UMTS (3G) and LTE networks.

LoRa is based on chirp spread spectrum modulation, which is similar to FSK (Frequency Shifting Keying) modulation but it increases the communication range significantly.

LoRa – The Technology behind LoRaWAN

What is chirp spread spectrum modulation?

Chirp spectrum uses its entire allocated bandwidth to broadcast a signal. Because the chirps utilize a broad band of the spectrum, chirp spread spectrum is also resistant to multi-path fading even when operating at very low power.

Also, chirp spread spectrum is resistance to Doppler effect, which is typical in radio applications.

The biggest advantage of LoRa over other communication technology is its long-range capability. A single gateway or base station can provide service to an entire city or hundreds of square kilometers.

LoRa has better link-budget greater than any other standardised communication technology.

A link budget is accounting of all of the gains and losses from the transmitter, through the medium (free space, cable, waveguide, fiber, etc.) to the receiver in a telecommunication system.

LoRa Advantages

  1. Better battery life
  2. Long range
  3. Cost effective for large deployment

Next: LoRa Vs LTE: LoRa Advantages