[Freedombox-discuss] Lorawan IoT protocol

Graham Cobb g+debian at cobb.uk.net
Wed Mar 21 15:29:41 UTC 2018

On 21/03/18 13:23, sam at bristolwireless.net wrote:
> It is an interesting tech

Indeed. But LoRaWAN is primarily a Low Power WAN (LPWAN) technology: the
focus is on power saving, large number of nodes and long distance. My
understanding is that data rates are very low (27kbps as an absolute
maximum using the LoRa technology and much lower rates are needed if
long distances are involved), packet sizes are normally very small and
reliability can be poor (and all these trade off against each other).

So IoT and emergency messaging (both often low bandwidth) are very
relevant use cases. Mesh networking doesn't fit well: user expectation
will be for much higher data rates, and the mesh means that every
message has to be transmitted several times, reducing effective capacity
even further (LoRaWAN devices communicate with their local gateway which
then normally connects onwards using conventional IP networks).

Note that TheThingsNetwork is a very interesting initiative, but it
limits capacity even further in order to provide better "fairness" for a
larger number of devices (the issue is the amount of time any single
device is able to transmit: TTN limits it to 30s per day per device --
less than 100K bytes per day).

So, an interesting technology to experiment with (I plan to do so when I
get some time). But pretty limited in applications.

There is an interesting paper apparently published in IEEE
Communications Magazine available at:


More information about the Freedombox-discuss mailing list