Low powered wide area networks (LoRaWANs) are a cost-efficient and long-lasting alternative to 4G in urban and industrial environments. You can achieve smarter cities with LoRaWAN technology. Learn how LoRaWAN can deliver connectivity for devices in city environments to cut costs and boost efficiency.
The concept of low powered wide area networks – LoRaWAN – has been around for a long time, but it was only in 2015 that a new protocol was established to unlock the technology for real-world use.
LoRaWAN provides wireless connectivity for low data rate, battery-powered devices and sensors. Organisations can install sensors across a wide area that feed back to a central gateway, providing crucial data for decision-making.
Using the free Industrial, Scientific & Medical (ISM) frequency band, low-powered IoT sensors can be connected throughout urban and rural environments. Each sensor is programmed for a specific task and feeds data back to a system.
Is LoRaWAN a fit for you?
Ideal for simple and specific monitoring activities, such as measuring asset use, LoRaWAN offers a cost-effective and long-lasting alternative to 4G. Utilising the free ISM frequency, there is no need to purchase a SIM card for each device or pay a service provider to use the network. With each sensor only undertaking a simple and specific task, the initial cost of purchasing endpoint sensors is also much lower than with more sophisticated units. The simplicity of each sensor means they can be powered by long-lasting lithium batteries, further extending their usable life and realising long-term cost efficiencies.
Does LoRaWAN have limitations?
LoRaWAN limits the amount of data that can be sent by each sensor. While sensors are more affordable and can communicate over longer distances, they can only be used for simple tasks. This limits the application for more complex use cases like video recording.
While free to use, the ISM frequency band also requires compliance with specific parameters, with equipment using the frequency having to tolerate potential interference generated by other ISM applications, such as industrial and medical equipment.
LoRaWAN application in city environments
LoRaWAN is used around the world for simple and specific tasks like asset tracking, water and gas metering, environmental monitoring, waste management, and smart street lighting.
LoRaWAN is the ideal technology to power smart cities that integrate ICT and IoT for seamless operations and services. Councils and local authorities can optimise resources, reduce waste, consumption and costs, and improve quality of life.
Use cases for smarter cities with LoRaWAN
From city planning to maintenance and compliance, LoRaWAN can help councils and organisations understand how their assets are being used and quickly trigger action.
Use sensors to monitor demand and occupancy rates across the city
Monitor use to trigger cleaning and minimise complaints
Understand use to provide community resources
Top up water tanks for public use
Identify when bins are ready for collection
Monitor air quality for health and compliance
The hardware to harness the power of LoRaWAN
The right equipment needs to be in place to harness LoRaWAN. Cisco offers a proven range of carrier-grade, ruggedized products specifically designed for harsh outdoor deployments.
Cisco IXM is an IP67 rated LoRa gateway – delivering secure, reliable and long-range connectivity for outdoor and indoor industrial environments.
The gateway can be deployed outdoors on poles, on cellular base station towers, on roofs and walls. It can also be installed indoors in parking garages, basements or ceilings. Cisco IXM can be deployed as a standalone unit and directly connected to existing Ethernet switches or routers through its Fast Ethernet port.
Cisco’s industrial router solution is modular; it plugs and plays with different setups for specific tasks. The compact, rugged design is made for tough conditions. Internal and expansion modules provide the flexibility to add or upgrade WAN (like LoRaWAN) and storage components, while its small form-factor and low power consumption makes it easy to install and integrate into space- and power-constrained cabinets.
Industrial IoT sensors
Cisco offers 11 different sensors that work with the LoRaWAN gateway. These battery-powered sensors monitor temperature, occupancy, water leaks, vibration and more – so you can identify opportunities and issues that could impact operations, safety, and performance.
Build smarter cities with LoRaWAN and managed services
Today, most asset monitoring and tracking solutions are not integrated with the underlying network, which reduces operations managers’ ability to quickly and easily deploy, scale, and manage these solutions. They have multiple dashboards and interfaces, requiring more time and resources to identify problems and business-impacting trends, and often leading to missed insights and lost opportunities to improve operations. Monitoring and tracking assets should be simple.
By partnering with a managed services provider, your organisation can achieve improved visibility over your industrial assets. By wrapping support and networking services around your existing IoT solution components – such as your existing devices – managed services can improve your LoRaWAN deployments.
Complete the form to download our smart cities brochure
Does smart city technology sound like a fit for your organisation? Talk to our IoT Technical Lead, Luca Palermo, or complete the form to download our smart cities brochure.