LoRa Alliance Unveils LoRaWAN Development Roadmap

By James Hickey, Managing Editor, RFIDJournal.com

Key Takeaways
  • The  LoRa Alliance offers a guide to its future evolution and direction
  • Alliance members noted smart metering is one key market where LoRaWAN has established a market-leading position

If you want to know the future of the LoRa Alliance, they are providing a map.

The alliance, a global association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN standard for the internet of things (IoT) low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), recently launched its formal roadmap that highlights LoRaWAN’s evolution from building and interconnecting networks through its focus on making the technology faster and easier to deploy.

The roadmap showcases the planned development of the LoRaWAN open standard for IoT communications, one that officials offer is only made possible by the success by being the leading LPWAN with the most deployments supporting IoT’s active scaling across numerous end markets.

Roadmap Outline

Donna Moore, CEO and chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance, stated members of the LoRa Alliance have been diligent in their work to lay the foundation, strategically evolving LoRaWAN to achieve the significant scaling that is taking place in IoT.

“LoRaWAN is a purpose-built networking technology to support massive IoT,” said Moore in a press statement. "it is the only LPWAN that can address the requirements of any organization looking to deploy large-scale, low-power IoT solutions today.”

The roadmap outlines the planned enhancements of several critical features already incorporated in the LoRaWAN standard including expanding addressable markets, hyperscalability, core network management, certification and physical/link layer development.

Scalability is Key

As IoT is forecast to increase to billions of connections in the next few years, network scalability is a key consideration that is addressed in the current standard and slated for future enhancements. Alliance members noted smart metering is one key market where LoRaWAN has established a market-leading position with the current specification delivering abundant network capacity to address market requirements.

Rich Sanders, president, Zenner USA, and treasurer, LoRa Alliance Board of Directors, disclosed his company has already proven technology to its larger-scale deployments with water, gas and electric municipalities installed in seven U.S. communities this year alone.

The Zenner network illustrates LoRaWAN’s existing high-capacity capability is with nearly 7.5 million sensors running on more than 100,000 gateways in 15 countries to support energy providers, the housing industry, cities and municipalities, municipal utilities and industrial operations—showing the LoRaWAN standard easily addressing today’s IoT capacity requirements.

“We are seeing an immense amount of interest in LoRaWAN that will feed the growth of our company on a global basis,” said Sanders. “LoRaWAN technology makes an open standard system easy to install and at a lower cost for our customers.”

Global Connections

Recognizing the growth in IoT connections that will be enabled by satellite and other NTNs, the alliance developed LR-FHSS for global LoRaWAN connectivity. As part of its planned roadmap, the LoRa Alliance will continue to enhance and expand the standard based on market needs and new use cases.

Moore stated it is “tremendously validating” to look at the future of the LoRaWAN standard and know that alliance members are building from an exceptionally broad and solid foundation.

“Time after time, our members share their real-world deployments that are successfully using LoRaWAN at scale to improve the well-being of people and the planet while running profitable enterprises,” said Moore. “This truly exemplifies the strength, breadth and depth of the LoRaWAN standard today and the unlimited potential of LoRaWAN as we continue to evolve and enhance its features.”

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