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Understanding the LoRaWAN Capacity Whitepaper

02 November 2017 / by Hilary Pemberton

Hilary Pemberton



The “Real-world LoRaWAN™ Network Capacity for Electrical Metering Applications” whitepaper describes a study that was conducted to measure the productivity and efficiency of an average LoRa-based gateway. 

To fully test the capabilities of an average gateway, researchers connected electrical meters (EMeters), located mainly in basements and metal cabinets, to a network of eight-channel LoRaWAN™ gateways and measured their performance.

To analyze the scope of electrical meters and their correspondence with an average gateway, researchers located a quaint town in the Calenberger region of Germany that resides at an altitude of 70-90 meters above sea level and consists of short buildings and single-family homes made of brick, concrete and tile roofs. In Gehrden, there are approximately 14,000 homes, 7,000 of which were given the opportunity to have an EMeter installed on their property. In total, about 10,000 meters were deployed in this area.

Meter Specifications and Protocol

Created by Holley Inc. specifically for the German market, each EMeter equipped with Semtech Corporation's LoRa® devices and wireless RF technology (LoRa Technology) was built with a LoRa-enabled modem chip and antenna. The meter protocol encouraged simplicity with a smaller payload, reduced error probability and reduced complexity. Four times an hour, the EMeters were programmed to send four-byte payloads. Once per day, confirmed uplinks were dispatched.

Complete specifications are listed in the Real-world LoRaWAN™ Network Capacity for Electrical Metering Applications whitepaper; available to LoRa Community members.


After analyzing the data rate distribution of EMeters on a network of 8 channel gateways, it was discovered that an “average” gateway is capable of receiving:

  • 470,000 messages per day from the EMeters without repetition
  • 1,000,000 messages per day maximum, if repetition occurs
  • 2,000,000 uplinks from asset tracking devices

To read the entire experiment, join or login to the LoRa Community and download the “Real-world LoRaWAN Network Capacity for Electrical Metering Applications” whitepaper!

About Semtech LoRa® Devices and Wireless RF Technology

Semtech’s LoRa wireless RF technology is a widely adopted long-range, low-power solution for the Internet of Things that gives telecom companies, IoT application makers and system integrators the feature set necessary to deploy low-cost, interoperable IoT networks, gateways, sensors, module products, and IoT services worldwide. IoT networks based on the LoRaWAN™ specification have been deployed in over 60 countries. To learn more about how LoRa enables IoT, visit Semtech’s LoRa site and join the LoRa Community to access free training as well as an online industry catalog showcasing next-generation products developed by the LoRa Technology ecosystem.

Semtech, the Semtech logo, and LoRa are registered trademarks or service marks, and LoRaWAN is a trademark or service mark, of Semtech Corporation or its subsidiaries.

Topics: LoRa, Wireless RF, Internet of Things

Hilary Pemberton

Written by Hilary Pemberton

Hilary Pemberton is a Corporate Marketing Associate at Semtech Corporation.