What is LoRa?

IoT LoRa 
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- everything RF

Dec 4, 2018

LoRa is a wireless technology that offers long range, low power and secure data transmission for M2M and IoT applications. LoRa is based on chirp spread spectrum modulation, which has low power characteristics like FSK modulation but can be used for long range communications. LoRa can be used to connect sensors, gateways, machines, devices, animals, people etc. wirelessly to the cloud.

LoRa Technologies operates in different frequency bands in different regions: In the United States it operates in the 915 MHz band, in Europe it operates in the 868 MHz band and in Asia it operates in the 865 to 867 MHz, 920 to 923 MHz band. Click here to learn more about LoRa frequency bands.

LoRa technology was created by a French company called Cycleo which was then acquired by Semtech in 2012. Semtech was the founding member of the LoRa Alliance that is now the governing body of LoRa Technology. The LoRa Alliance is one of the fastest growing technology alliances. This non-profit association consists of more than 500 member companies, committed to enabling large scale deployment of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) IoT through the development and promotion of the LoRaWAN open standard.

LoRa Technology Specifications

Governing Body
LoRa Alliance
ISM 868/915 MHz
Up to 5 km (Urban) and 15 km (Rural)
27 kbps
Chirp Spread-spectrum modulation type based on FM Modulation Technology
32-bit CRC

LoRaWAN is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWA) networking protocol developed by the LoRa Alliance, that wirelessly connects battery operated ‘things’ to the internet in regional, national or global networks, targeting key Internet of Things (IoT) requirements such as bi-directional communication, end-to-end security, mobility and localization services.

LoRaWAN uses unlicensed spectrum in the ISM bands to define the communication protocol and system architecture for the network while the LoRa physical layer creates the long-range communication links between remote sensors and gateways connected to the network. This protocol helps in the quick setup of public or private IoT networks anywhere using hardware and software.

LoRa is the physical layer i.e. the chip and LoRaWAN is the MAC layer i.e. the software that’s put on the chip to enable networking.