Do LoRa low-power wide-area networks scale?

Bor, Martin and Roedig, Utz and Voigt, Thiemo and Alonso, Juan (2016) Do LoRa low-power wide-area networks scale? In: MSWiM '16 Proceedings of the 19th ACM International Conference on Modeling, Analysis and Simulation of Wireless and Mobile Systems :. ACM Press, New York, pp. 59-67. ISBN 9781450345026

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New Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as Long Range (LoRa) are emerging which enable power efficient wireless communication over very long distances. Devices typically communicate directly to a sink node which removes the need of constructing and maintaining a complex multi-hop network. Given the fact that a wide area is covered and that all devices communicate directly to a few sink nodes a large number of nodes have to share the communication medium. LoRa provides for this reason a range of communication options (centre frequency, spreading factor, bandwidth, coding rates) from which a transmitter can choose. Many combination settings are orthogonal and provide simultaneous collision free communications. Nevertheless, there is a limit regarding the number of transmitters a LoRa system can support. In this paper we investigate the capacity limits of LoRa networks. Using experiments we develop models describing LoRa communication behaviour. We use these models to parameterise a LoRa simulation to study scalability. Our experiments show that a typical smart city deployment can support 120 nodes per 3.8 ha, which is not sufficient for future IoT deployments. LoRa networks can scale quite well, however, if they use dynamic communication parameter selection and/or multiple sinks.

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A Corrected version. A bug was found in the simulator, whereby previously collided packets would be in some cases marked as ‘not collided’, thereby overestimating the goodput of the network. The bug was fixed and all figures and numbers have been updated accordingly. The overall conclusions, however, has stayed the same.
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22 Sep 2016 08:48
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30 May 2024 01:44