IBM, Semtech, and other members of the recently formed, LoRa Alliance standards association have developed a LPWAN specification and protocol called LoRaWAN. LoRaWAN is optimized to connect sensors over long distances with optimal battery lifetime and minimal infrastructure. The LoRaWAN delivers key benefits in terms of mobility, security, bi-directionality, and localization/positioning.
LoRaWAN sensors can communicate over distances of more than 100 km (62 miles) in favorable environments, 15 km (9 miles) in typical semi-rural environments and more than 2 km (1.2 miles) in dense urban environments at data rates from 300 bit/s up to 100 kbit/s. This makes them well suited for sending small amounts of data, such as GPS coordinates and climate readings, where broadband can’t reach. The sensors also require very little energy to operate; most can run for 10 years or more on a single AA battery and AES128 keys make communication tampering and eavesdropping virtually impossible.