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What Are LoRaWAN Gateways?

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If you are looking to make your Internet of Things (IoT) communications network even faster and more secure, a Dusun LoRaWAN gateway could be the solution. IoT gateway developers and vendors of IoT solutions can use LoRaWAN gateways as a low-power means to facilitate communications between smart homes or IoT devices and the network server.

The LoRa Alliance is a non-profit organization working to have LoRaWAN adopted as the industry-standard low-power wide area network (WAN). Only gateways bearing the LoRaWAN certified mark, such as Dusun LoRaWAN, can ensure consistent performance across IoT networks and with IoT sensors from various manufacturers.

What Are LoRaWAN Gateways? 

A gateway, of course, is a bridge between devices and the Internet of Things IoT) communications network or server. To accommodate use in homes, office buildings and public applications, IoT devices use low-power networks. The Gateway is then connected to a high bandwidth network such as WiFi, Ethernet, or a cellular network. 

A LoRaWAN gateway is a specific gateway that uses the LoRa modulation technique to operate on a specific wireless spectrum. Essentially, LoRaWAN enables devices to use LoRa for communication. LoRa = Low Range, while WAN, of course, refers to a Wide Area Network.

A LoraWan gateway has a distribution network that uses Bluetooth protocol. They receive information from end nodes or sensors that collect data. The Gateway then sends information to the application servers, which execute decisions, data visualizations and events applicable to the project or application. 

How a LoRaWAN Gateway Works

Where WiFi uses 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies, LoRa uses different open frequencies depending on where the network is operating. It operates in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) RF bands, which vary based on geographic location. LoRa can communicate across distances of up to 10 kilometers with optimal line-of-site, according to TechTarget.

The LoRaWAN provides network protocols for network traffic related to data collection and IoT device management, while the LoRa only provides the physical means of wireless transport. The two work together, with LoRaWAN gateways providing node authentication and data encryption for advanced network security. 

Advantages of LoRaWAN Gateways

LoRa fits the wireless standards required for IoT applications in ways that cellular networks and ZigBee do not. It has low latency, excellent coverage and a wide range. Unlike other protocols, LoRaWAN gateways don’t use a lot of power, require little bandwidth and have wide coverage areas with large network capacities – all at a relatively low cost. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on the LoRaWAN gateway you choose for your project. 

When you’re evaluating gateways, you’ll want greater data capacity and a stable network topology, accomplished by the quality of its RF processing. 

Gateways for indoor and outdoor projects, as well as larger undertakings like smart cities, include: 

The larger DSGW-210B-cloud, featuring 2 GB of RAM, is especially suitable for small to mid-size industrial applications. No additional servers are required and extensive research & development is not necessary to establish an IoT network with the LoRaWAN gateway. 

Because additional servers aren’t required to establish an IoT network, the server infrastructure is completely scalable. All processes on the server are automatic, vastly simplifying implementation, operation and maintenance. 

The simplicity of the LoRaWAN protocol frees up IT staff and network engineers to concentrate on improving other operations and delivering higher levels of service to team members. 

Dusun LoRaWAN Gateways and Their Various Compatible Networks

Dusun LoRaWAN gateways are flexible and easy to use with a variety of third-party platforms. These products can all be used on The Things Network, a global collaborative IoT project powered by a LoRaWAN server called The Things Stack. Using this protocol enables users to easily manage applications, endpoint devices and gateways on a Linux-based OS.

You can also use a Dusun LoRaWAN gateway with a ChirpStack network server and the Helium Network, a decentralized wireless network built on a blockchain. The Helium Network enables devices to send and receive data across the internet securely. Meanwhile, miners can earn tokens by connecting the WHIPs and routers across wireless networks.

3 Use Cases for LoRaWAN Gateways

LoRaWAN gateways have multiple applications in cities and larger buildings. By installing various modules, you can expand the use of your LoRaWAN gateway for smart city projects; tracking of vehicles, objects or pets; or management of your smart home devices. The vast number of connections available through the gateway, in addition to its low power consumption and bandwidth requirements, makes the protocol fully scalable and still affordable to use.

1. LoRaWAN for Asset Tracking

Whether you’re using LoRaWAN to track customers’ beloved pets, or their packages as they leave a warehouse for delivery, Dusun LoRaWAN’s wide range provides an effective way to do it. You can use your AWS IoT core or another server for tracking across a long distance. Add as many gateways as you need based on your logistics locations and the pathway of your packages.

LoRaWAN gateways and LPWANs help logistics companies by tracking not just the positions of assets, but characteristics such as the speed it’s traveling, the package’s temperature and other industry- or asset-specific details that may affect delivery. 

2. LoRaWAN for Utilities Management

As smart electric and water meters grow in popularity, utility providers can benefit from the capabilities of LoRaWAN gateways and LPWANS to track water and electric use within businesses, apartments and other households. Companies can then bill based on the amount of water and electricity used or time-of-day, or reward households and businesses for conserving resources. The data sent from the LPWAN can also be used to expedite service and maintenance of these systems as needed.

3. LoRaWAN for Agricultural Industry Projects

The use of LoRaWAN is growing in agricultural projects, as well. Farmers are using LoRaWAN, thanks to its low power consumption and wide range, to monitor soil health and adapt fertilizer. The data collected by the sensors also enables historical tracking for better crop management long term.

LoRaWAN is also used for irrigation control, to minimize water waste and reduce costs. Other capabilities include cattle monitoring, environmental monitoring, and farm asset management to better track and control the entire supply chain. The implications for food production and distribution are huge, especially today, as food prices increase across the U.S. 

Should You Use a LoRaWAN Gateway in Your Next Project?

If you are looking for a scalable and affordable solution for smart home technology, logistics tracking or smart city management, a LoRaWAN gateway is rapidly becoming the industry standard to connect with many systems. Modules add flexibility to the systems, allowing the LoRaWAN gateway to track various types of data.

The fact that LoRaWAN protocols are encrypted, rate-adaptive and have multipath concurrent reception makes them suitable for virtually any IoT project today and in the future. Shop our range of LoRaWAN gateway products today.

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist and owner of the boutique retail content marketing agency Allcot Media. She has written about audiovisual and control system technology for more than 20 years, including serving as the content marketing, social media and PR specialist for Crestron Electronics.

Sources

LoRa Alliance – LoRa Alliance Home Page

The Things Network – Gateways

Tech Target – What Is the Difference Between LoRa and LoRaWAN?

LoRa Alliance – Why LoRaWAN Is The Logical Choice for Asset-Tracking Connectivity

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