We’re well into 2020, and the promise of 5G networking is continuing to lead conversations across the wireless industry. However, as 5G deployments increase, we also see a rise in alternative low power technologies to offer flexible, cost effective power and low bandwidth options for these so-called massive Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. In particular, market demand for solutions based on Semtech’s LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® protocol is continuing to increase, including those helping to combat the global COVID-19 outbreak. It has become clear that as 4G and 5G will target low latency and high throughput applications in the near future, LoRa and LoRaWAN-based applications will make up a larger portion of the massive IoT space, led by mobile operators, unlicensed spectrum operators and enterprises across private rollouts. The market is heading toward a Multi-Radio Access Network (Multi-RAN) strategy leveraging complementary standards, including 4G, 5G, LoRaWAN, and others such as Wi-Fi 6.
The LoRaWAN® protocol is especially optimized for low power, wide area networks (LPWANs). It supports secure, bi-directional communication for IoT applications which scale to connect millions of potential devices. As security is a fundamental need in all IoT applications, the LoRaWAN protocol was designed with security in mind, with authentication and encryption built into the specification itself. However, a secure network protocol is only one half of the equation. Deploying a LoRaWAN-based application requires correct implementation of the protocol and a close adherence to recommended practices.