If you are reading this article, you have probably heard the hype and hyperbole around LoRa technology and its claim to solve all your IIoT communications needs. It is easy to get lost in the noise around this technology. Hence, I prepared a no-nonsense list of pros and cons that will help you determine whether LoRa technology is right for you:
The above benefits might convince you that LoRa can indeed solve all your communication challenges, however there are a few things to bear in mind before deciding whether it’s right for you:
LoRa’s Iow-power, high link-budget method means that there are applications that are difficult or impossible to deploy any other way. Here are some real-world examples:
Water metering - Asset in a pit, surrounded by metal and covered by water? The link budget of LoRa means that the signal still gets though.
Cold Storage - If you asset is in a metal-lined room, surrounded by dense objects or has restricted site access where food safety is an issue - LoRa is a perfect choice for you. Monitoring freezers in cold storage facilities is possible due to the high link budget and low power consumption, without complex installation problems.
Anti-poaching - Who’s stalking my rhino? Poaching is a serious (and dangerous) problem, and wildlife conservation has taken to technology to help defend populations of endangered species. The wildlife reserves in Kenya are vast and often remote, there’s no network coverage and an inspection means a day’s trek for the rangers. LoRa is helping solve this with remote camera monitoring and alarms over wide areas.
LoRa is Likely to be Around and Useful for a Long Time. It’s not magic, but it puts you in control. As a communication system, it should keep working long after other ISM band communications links are drowned out by all the traffic. With roaming on the horizon and the first few 2.4GHz LoRa devices out, we may even get to a truly international standard. Watch this space!
Implementing an IoT strategy is no easy feat, but even more challenging is making sense of the data generated to gain actionable, real-time insights that drive business transformation. From the edge to the cloud and everything in between, today’s organizations have more flexibility and choice around where and how to implement an industrial IoT solution.
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