Nowadays, technology has become an integral part of our daily lives. Like other technologies, IoT is helping connected cities to upgrade their existing infrastructure. For smart infrastructure, cities need rational connectivity options.
The good news is low power wide area networking technologies like LoRa exist. In this article, we’ll discuss LoRa technology in smart cities and how it can help build smart applications. So, let’s start.
What is LoRa?
Semtech Company developed a wireless protocol that is intended for long-range and low-power communications. LoRa stands for Long Range, and it is an ideal technology for IoT networks. Multi-tenant networks and the public can use this technology to connect different applications on the same network.
There are different LoRa gateways, and each of them has the ability to handle numbers of nodes. Constructing this network is cheaper and easy to implement. More importantly, the LoRa protocol contains different layers to ensure secure communication.
Advantages and Disadvantages of LoRa
Smart city LoRa technology has many benefits. With LoRa, you can enjoy the following benefits.
- Long Range
It’s an ideal option for long-range connectivity. LoRaWAN range is almost 5 km in urban areas and 15 kilometers in rural areas.
- Low Energy Consumption
When compared to other wireless communication protocols, LoRa technology requires less power. As a result, the battery life of devices is increased.
- Cost Efficient
LoRa technology can easily deploy within smart cities infrastructure. It doesn’t require much investment to implement this technology. More importantly, devices don’t require much maintenance and can last for years. Therefore, it’s a cost-effective solution.
- Bi-Directional Communication
LoRa-enabled networks can send and receive data.
Disadvantages of LoRa Technology
- Low Transmission Rate
It’s the biggest disadvantage of this technology. So, it’s best for applications that require a low data rate.
- Not ideal for Some Applications
Real-time applications require lower latency and bounded jitter. Therefore, it’s not ideal for such applications.
But the good news is in smart cities, wireless technology needs to send small-size data, so that LoRa can be the best option because of its long range and low transmission data rate.
How Can LoRa Mesh Network Help Smart Cities?
LoRa is a non-cellular wireless communication protocol. It’s useful for long-range communication. Because of its long signal range and low power requirements, it’s the best option for connected cities.
In a smart city, the LoRa mesh network can help. Therefore, the government must install various hubs and gateways in different areas of cities. For example, the best practice is to install a gateway or hub on the streetlight. It should be installed every 10 kilometers to provide complete coverage.
The best thing about the LoRa mesh network is it doesn’t need massive investment like LTE technology that requires cellular towers and special equipment with huge cost. Therefore, in smart cities, LoRa seems to be the best option due to the following reasons:
- Long range
- Low power consumption
- Best for battery-operated devices
Applications of LoRa in Smart Cities
There are various objectives of a smart city. Some common objectives are waste reduction, optimizing resources, enhancing performance, and improving the overall life quality of citizens. Luckily, LoRaWAN is the solution to many of these challenges. The following applications of LoRa can help smart cities in a great way.
- Tracking System
You can use the LoRa tracking system to track pets and vehicles. For example, you can install a GPS tracking device in your car or bus to record and store their location. Moreover, this technology can also help track pets when they get out of sight.
In some areas, it’s not possible for utility and metering companies to collect data. But LoRa devices and LoRaWAN protocol can help in energy and water metering even in dense urban environments.
- Smart Lighting
LoRa technology enables cities to manage their energy footprint effectively. It allows them to detect broken lights or supply outages. Smart lighting can promote security in urban areas and improve the safety of riders and pedestrians.
- Waste Management
Weight and level sensors can enable city service providers to check the status of bins. It informs them about real-time fill levels and avoids containers spilling over. It reduces unnecessary pick-ups of half-filled bins. As a result, it saves fuel and reduces pollution.
- Smart Parking
The ultrasonic sensor can help monitor and manage parking spaces more efficiently. Parking providers can generate massive revenue, and vehicle owners can part and get their vehicles without any hassle. More importantly, smart parking ensures that there is guaranteed access to ambulance, fire, and police services.
- Fire Detection and Management
Fire detection and management are much needed for smart cities and industries. The deployment of IoT-connected sensors can optimize industrial operations. Moreover, they can help industries detect fire and take action.
- Traffic Monitoring
LoRa wireless traffic flow detection system can help where traffic flow is stopped or slow. Smart technology can help improve traffic flow.
These LoRa applications in smart cities make them better than many wireless technologies.
Connected cities have various challenges, and an IoT solution is the best option for these challenges. LoRa wireless communication can be the best technology in smart cities. In this article, we have covered the advantages and disadvantages of LoRa technology in detail.
Moreover, we have covered how LoRa mesh can help smart cities. So, if you need LoRa design services, you don’t need to go anywhere else because Arshon Technology can help you with all types of electronic designs and we have an excellent background in LoRa design services.
Author: Sara (Fakhri) Siahkar IoT Specialist @ Arshon Technology Inc.