In partnership with the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Things Network, French start-up GreenCityzen is using LoRa®-based devices and deploying a LoRaWAN® network to provide an end-to-end solution to secure clean drinking water for refugee camps in Africa.
1. The Role of the Gateway in LoRaWAN
The LoRaWAN-based gateway is the physical layer (PHY) interface for the LoRaWAN network server (LNS). On the one hand, it listens to certain parts of the radio spectrum and decodes LoRa®-modulated signals originating from LoRa-based sensors. On the other hand, the gateway transmits messages from the network down to a sensor as LoRa-modulated signals.
On-boarding Devices Securely
There are many diverse applications for LoRaWAN® devices. Similarly, there is a wide and diverse population of end users. These factors lead to a device on-boarding process that takes just as many forms. Device on-boarding is the process of associating a device with a particular network and application server. It is the foundation of a device's level of security. It precedes and enables device activation, whether over-the-air activation (OTAA) or through activation by personalization (ABP), which themselves become compromised if the device on-boarding is done incorrectly.
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Helium and Semtech recently announced that the Helium Network is one of the largest, public LoRaWAN networks in the United States. On the heels of this, we want to properly introduce the Helium Network to LoRa® Developer Portal users, and put together a few tutorials and deep dives to ensure this community can quickly take advantage of Helium for Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
To effectively deploy a LoRa®-based Internet of Things (IoT) solution, you will either need access to an existing LoRaWAN® network, or will have to install your own. Conveniently, you have the option to register your LoRa-based devices with either a public or private network.
There are a number of differentiators for LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® protocol that have helped in its widespread adoption, including long range connectivity, battery lifetime, security, network architecture, and network capacity. However, there is one particular feature that will drive LoRaWAN adoption for years to come. Technical challenges or limitations (range, capacity, battery lifetime, etc.) are no longer a barrier to Internet of Things (IoT) adoption. The remaining challenges of the IoT are system integration, digital transformation, return-on-investment (ROI), service level agreements (SLA), and ensuring interoperability across an ecosystem.