LPWAN operating range

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The range of the device in the network leads to the minimum number of LPWAN gateways required to create coverage. This will reduce the cost of network deployment and use. 

It is difficult to correctly tell the range of an LPWAN gateway, it depends heavily on the conditions of use and the technical specifications of the devices. Manufacturers specify a maximum range - this is not the case.

Sigfox and LoRa regularly report new range records - already over -700 kilometres. However, it is important to note that this is assuming operation from a balloon in the stratosphere. When placing the devices in a "working area": in a basement room or sealed freezer, or under a sewer manhole, the range drops immediately to, for example, 1-2 kilometres, and sometimes to tens or hundreds of metres.

A factor in the range reduction is the attenuation of radio waves in space due to the structure of the terrain and the presence of obstacles in the form of structures and walls.

The communication range is also highly dependent on the altitude and the quality of the installation of the LPWAN gateway antenna. The higher the receiver antenna is lifted, the greater the coverage area of the gateway. 
In a city - the signal comes to the receiver by reflecting off the walls of nearby houses or other objects. The higher the receiver is lifted, the larger the effective area of the reflected signal.

The desired coverage area of the LPWAN gateway is 3-5 km in the city and 10-15 km in the countryside. In this case, it is possible to get 50 km or more from the roof of a skyscraper, even in urban environments.

Also true for cell operator solutions, NB-IoT stations with an advertised range of 15 km will not always hear a smart device even within 1000 metres in a settlement. In the city, cellular operators' antennas are not placed too high, usually below the level of the roofs of the nearest buildings - their mission is stable connection quality, not range.

LPWAN gateways do not require frequent deployment, have low cost and are cost-effective to place on high points, even in urban areas, which will provide significantly more coverage.

Our smart city solutions can help you get exact data in multiple areas and better control your space and make it more comfortable and secure.
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