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LoRa, short for "Low-power Wide-area Network" (LPWAN or LPWA network), is a wireless communication network designed for long-range and low-bit rate connectivity.

These key attributes make LPWAN attractive to use for battery-operated sensors and connected objects.

  • Long range: The operating range of LPWAN technology varies from a few kilometers in urban areas to over 10 km in rural settings. It can also enable effective data communication in previously infeasible indoor and underground locations.
  • Low power: Optimized for power consumption, LPWAN transceivers can run on small, inexpensive batteries for up to 20 years.
  • Low cost: LPWAN's simplified, lightweight protocols reduce complexity in hardware design and lower device costs. Its long range combined with a star topology reduce expensive infrastructure requirements, and the use of license-free or licensed bands reduce network costs.

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A LPWAN may be used to create a private wireless sensor network, but may also be a service or infrastructure offered by a third party, allowing the owners of sensors to deploy them in the field without investing in gateway technology.

LoRaWAN is one of the protocols competing with several standards and vendors in the LPWAN space.