Welcome to “LoRaWAN”

A new way to wirelessly connect.

LoRa WHAT?

LoRaWAN is an exciting new wireless technology that allows companies to connect simple electronic devices to the internet. LoRaWAN, which stands for Long Range Wide Area Network, is one of the technologies that make up the “Internet of Things” (IoT). It is an international radio system so it can be used in any country with a LoRaWAN radio network.

What is the IoT?

The IoT is the idea that all electronic devices such as personal electronics, white goods, cars, street lights, etc. can all be linked to the current internet for management, tracking, security, convenience, etc. IoT is becoming more common with home heating thermostats, house blinds, dishwashers and other household appliances being controllable from mobile phone apps which use the internet and wireless technology to link the devices, monitor status, and send control commands.

So what can I use LoRaWAN for?

The new technology allows you to connect LoRaWAN-enabled devices of any kind to the free-to-use LoRaWAN network (which links directly into the internet). Northern Ireland has just launched a region-wide network with base-stations (similar to mobile phone masts) across the country. LoRaWAN has been used in multiple industries to detect gas levels, vibration, light levels, movement in restricted areas, water flow rate, etc. and then transmit that data onto the internet so it can be viewed on a PC or mobile phone from anywhere in the world.

How could I use it?

In a number of great ways! If you have a need to send any sort of sensor data to the internet (temperature, moisture, noise levels, etc.) and have been doing it manually or using the expensive mobile-phone network then the LoRaWAN network could be a great and cheap way to meet your needs. Or, if your company makes a sensor device (e.g. flood sensors) and you want to connect it to the internet you can do so by adding LoRaWAN technology to your device. If you have something to monitor you could automate the monitoring using LoRaWAN technology. LoRaWAN devices are typically battery-powered and use little energy.

How can I get started?

You don’t need to be a technical SME to use LoRaWAN technology. The Things Connected Programme has been designed for SMEs like you who have a problem they need to address, a product they need to enhance, or a new service they wish to offer. The NI councils, Ulster University, and TourismNI are providing funding, training, and technical assistance to help you get started. Sign up for free access to the network and free training (funded by Digital Catapult); you can even apply for cash funding. Check out the following links for more information.

https://lpwan.ulster.ac.uk/

https://www.digitalcatapultcentre.org.uk/open-calls/things-connected-northern-ireland-iot-challenge/
 

https://twitter.com/LPWAN_NI