LoRa®-based devices connected to a LoRaWAN network operate in the unlicensed radio band known as the ISM band. While a LoRaWAN network can be deployed anywhere in the world, there are different regulatory requirements depending on the location of the deployment.
Currently, there are 195 countries in the world, of which 193 are members of the United Nations (UN). The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) manages the common spectral use for the UN, but final frequency assignment authority is left to the governments of each country or region. At the same time, many small and developing countries do not have a frequency-assignment authority in place.
This leads to a complicated picture with respect to world-wide LoRaWAN deployments. The successful implementation of a LoRaWAN network requires a clear understanding of the regulatory requirements regarding use of the ISM band in each country or region that is included in the deployment, so that regulatory compliance can be achieved and so that LoRaWAN channel plans can be created.
Due to the different requirements in various regulatory regions, it is not possible to provide a single channel plan for the whole world.
Fortunately, the LoRa Alliance® has a Regional Parameters Working Group, which creates, manages, and maintains the LoRaWAN Regional Parameters specification. This document specifies the channel plans to be used with LoRaWAN in various regions. Additionally, the specification describes the LoRaWAN regional parameters for the different regulatory regions across the globe. A companion document for the various LoRaWAN protocol specifications, it is a comprehensive document that covers the LoRaWAN regulatory requirements in each region.
Note, however, that while comprehensive, the LoRaWAN Regional Parameters document is not exhaustive, and is not meant to be an authoritative source of regional governmental requirements. Organizations deploying a LoRaWAN solution must comply with local regulatory requirements and should contact the authorities for each region in which they wish to operate. Also, when designing or purchasing sensors or devices, make sure that you adhere to the proper regional parameters.
The LoRaWAN Regional Parameters specification defines and documents the following parameters:
- join channels to be used when the device joins the network
- default channels
- duty cycle or dual time restrictions
- listen-before-talk (LBT) requirements
- date rates used
- maximum transmission power and power configuration
- channel plan and channel mask to be used
- maximum payload size against data rate
- receive window frequencies and receive window mapping
- “Class B” beacon and default downlink channel
Given that the worldwide regulatory environment is constantly changing, the LoRaWAN Regional Parameters specification is updated regularly to reflect know regulatory changes.
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