Reply to post: Interesting article

Meet the LPWAN clan: The Internet of Things' low power contenders


Interesting article

We're making great progress with LoRa, both LoRaWAN and direct (end-to-end) LoRa communications, using in-house designed and built telemetry units that are very small and can run for years on 4 AA cells. We're using them in the water industry to bring remote un-manned sites into the SCADA system that otherwise would be too expensive to hook up (no mains power on site, maybe no mobile GSM coverage etc).

Just yesterday we were getting signals more than 10 miles, and also pushing signals through dense forests and woodlands.

It works very well.

Ultimately, the uptake of technologies such as LoRaWAN and Sigfox are going to be governed by the amount of data you're allowed to put into the air. We have concluded that LoRaWAN is not suitable for telemetry, because the restrictions on how much data you can transmit in 24 hours is (in our opinion) punitive, and not suitable for telemetry where, say for 23 hours of the day you are just sending routine event-based telemetry (pump on, pump off) but then the pump trips in hour 24 and you don't get notified because too many data events occurred during the day, and you are off the air because you have used your quota (LoRaWAN does not forward data into your network after the end-node has used up its allowance).

To me, this smacks of the shenanigens played out by the mobile operators - making you pay for your data. It actually isn't, it's a means of maintaining space on the airwaves for all devices to have a chance to transmit their data, but as I mentioned, the allowance is not enough for serious commercial applications at the moment. Consequently we are running LoRa systems, but coming into our own, custom developed gateway.

I hoping Weightless will gain more traction because it looks good, but at the moment, LoRa has the momentum (by a very long way) over all the others, though LoRaWAN will not be suitable (I believe) for most applications, unless you have VERY low amounts of data to send per day). I run three LoRaWAN gateways (on TheThingsNetwork), one in Durham and two in Aberdeen where data is forwarded from any device that wants to transmit on LoRaWAN. The gateways are based on Raspberry Pi's and work flawlessly.

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