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Cisco looks to LoRaWAN for IoT device connectivity

Gateway for Things

By Richard Chirgwin, 30 Jun 2016

Cisco has anointed another industry alliance into its Internet of Things embrace, with LoRaWAN

The company's added a LoRaWAN-capable gateway to its sprawling product set, a decision that its global marketing and corp comms veep Doug Webster explains lets service providers create networks of low-powered sensors – “devices and sensors that are battery powered, have low data rates and long distance communications requirements”, he writes.

Webster names a familiar list of use-cases for the technology: asset tracking, logistics, smart cities, buildings, utilities and agriculture.

The target markets all have in common that they want devices that can operate at low power, so they can get decent battery life. That's where LoRaWAN (and other proposed standards) come in.

LoRaWAN stands for long range wide area network. Overseen by the LoRa alliance, its aim is to give systems sufficient link budget that gateways can cover “hundreds of square kilometres” (as the alliance says in this white paper).

The technology has been deployed in Belgium by the Proximus network.

The standards the LoRa group is working on cover the MAC (media access control) layer and modulation, and devices using the standards would communicate in the ISM band.

Cisco's LoRaWAN solution is described in detail here.

They comprise suitable radio interfaces for the Cisco 802 and 829 industrial routers, supported by the company's IoT Field Network Director software, and support in the company's IOS routing software. ®

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