What is LoRaWAN?

LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) is a connectivity service that connects infield devices such as a weather station to the internet, via a locally installed LoRaWAN tower(s).

LoRaWAN is an international Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity protocol. LoRaWAN resides within the Low-power WAN (LPWAN) connectivity group.

Low-Power WAN (LPWAN) is a wireless network area that can connect low-bandwidth, battery-powered devices across great distances with low bit rates.

IoT is a term used to describe a device that is connected to the internet and either provides data to or uses data from other devices and services.

A protocol is an agreed language (e.g. English) that enables IoT devices to transmit their data to the internet, and then to your laptop or smart device (phone/tablet).

Note: two devices with different protocols (e.g. LoRaWAN and SigFox) cannot share installed gateways (more information below).

What are the components and infrastructure for on-farm?

Gateways – LoRaWAN towers are often referred to colloquially as gateways (and sometimes repeater stations).

Towers – Typically a tower installed on a property comprises both the physical ‘steel’ tower infrastructure and a gateway (an electronics box) with a transmission aerial.

This tower can be installed on your property or a neighbouring property, and typically provides a service of up to a 15km radius depending on topography.

Where and why do I use it?

LoRaWAN is typically used where 3G/4G cellular service, or satellite connectivity services are not available or are currently not commercially viable.

Note: Both 4G/5G (Telstra CAT-M1 / NB IoT) and digital agriculture satellite connectivity services are maturing rapidly and will be part of the future connectivity solution for some food and fibre end-users.

Benefits and negatives of LoRaWAN

(+) easily expandable by adding towers

(+) on-going data costs are low

(+) end-users can install their own network or use local


(+) multiple end-users can build and share a network

There are however some things to be aware of when

considering LoRaWAN

(-) some providers ‘lock-down’ towers so that you cannot add 3rd party devices

(-) gateway range is significantly impacted by hilly topography

Before You Buy! Questions to ask and points to

·         Consider Private or public protocol e.g. can you add 3rd party vendors?

·         Charges (ongoing monthly data charges)

·         Maximum km radius (in perfect topography conditions)