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How LoRaWAN and Massive IoT are Reshaping Business and Society

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Over the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has made significant progress. We are now entering the era of “Massive IoT”, with technology reaching an unparalleled scale due to the large number of sensors and devices entering the market. This expansion presents new opportunities for businesses and the tackling of global challenges that were previously out of reach.

Valuable use cases are emerging across various industries, enabling new methods for resource monitoring, process optimization, and cost savings. Sensor devices provide data on an asset’s location, condition, and other time-sensitive operational statuses, helping to prevent costly losses or potential liabilities. However, for the IoT to continue growing successfully, its scalability depends on the expansion of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) designed to support large-scale sensor deployments that can function seamlessly for extended periods. These networks also need to support different public and private deployment models, simplify networking management tasks, and scale as needs and priorities change.

LoRaWAN has outperformed competing LPWAN solutions in meeting these requirements due to its unique combination of cost efficiency, low power consumption, long-range, and non-proprietary model. Functioning as per the LoRa Alliance, it leads global, large-scale LPWAN deployments across all metrics, with coverage in more than 76,000 cities in 188 countries.

The value provided by large-scale IoT sensor deployments far outweighs the costs of transitioning from legacy technologies and manual processes, which are ill-suited to the requirements of the devices they support and lack the flexibility to adapt. Below are three examples demonstrating how IoT connectivity using LPWAN networks like LoRaWAN is improving public safety, conserving resources, and providing unprecedented business benefits.

Smart buildings and campuses – improving air quality

Pollution sources, such as smog, wildfires, and other pollutants, create unhealthy air that affects health. Poor air quality can also extend to indoor spaces. For instance, the pandemic highlighted the importance of proper ventilation and good indoor air quality. Sensor monitoring can help in both environments, providing states, municipalities, and building owners with an easy way to monitor environmental safety conditions and indoor air quality.

Indoor air quality (IAQ) monitoring aims to measure and reduce pollutants indoors for the health and comfort of occupants, ensuring proper ventilation and air quality. Sensors in smart buildings and campuses help identify and reduce air pollution, viruses, and contamination that can cause discomfort and respiratory issues for occupants.

IoT sensors provide building managers with temperature, humidity, and CO2 level data. In the event of a potential danger, managers can execute remote commands and alarms to alert building occupants. The sensors also help optimize heating or air conditioning usage, saving energy costs for building owners.

Effective monitoring of air quality requires network connectivity for IoT devices to share data. Their signals need to be able to pass through building materials without being blocked, never lose power, and periodically send small data packets, which LoRaWAN supports.

Natural Gas – preventing dangerous leaks

Methane and natural gas leaks are common and potentially hazardous. Leaks can occur in pipelines and related infrastructure, posing significant risks. Gas utilities are implementing sensing and alerting systems with valve shut-off capabilities to enhance visibility and public safety.

With sensors spread throughout their infrastructure, gas utilities gain complete awareness and control of their gas distribution systems, including automating the secure shutdown of valves in case of leaks. These automated systems improve safety and reduce the risk of incidents for residential and commercial building owners.

Connectivity for these sensors needs to be reliable and able to communicate across long distances. Using LoRaWAN to connect these sensors also opens the possibility of obtaining additional property management sensor data to prevent issues like water leaks, rodents, and HVAC malfunctions.

Water Utilities – conserving a scarce resource

Droughts are becoming more common, emphasizing the need for municipalities and water utilities to conserve and distribute water efficiently.

Smart water metering in residential and commercial properties enables water utilities to measure water usage trends without manual intervention. This data helps reduce water loss through improved leak detection, streamline billing, and enhance infrastructure diagnostics.

Modern AMI systems’ wireless communication networks are ideal for supporting multiple water metering and management applications. Establishing a shared LoRaWAN network infrastructure enables municipalities to support a wide range of commercial and citizen-facing applications beyond just water AMI.

Why LoRaWAN

For large-scale IoT deployments requiring low data payloads and minimal latency, LoRaWAN is a cost-effective technology investment and a long-term replacement option for legacy systems. It remains the leading choice for critical infrastructure and essential enterprise IoT projects due to its open standards, extended end-device battery life, ease of deployment, and low cost.

LoRaWAN is designed to connect low-cost, battery-operated sensors over long distances wirelessly. Its open standards allow end users to deploy an ever-growing number of LoRaWAN-enabled devices on the network, offering more flexibility and device compatibility compared to proprietary connectivity solutions.

As businesses and municipalities look to optimize their operations and services using data, they must also consider the networks on which IoT devices and their data depend. With LoRaWAN, organizations across industries can realize the cost, safety, and resource conservation benefits of the Internet of Things.

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