We’ve spent over a year investigating LoRaWAN and working on a number of projects. The question that often comes up is what’s the true range of LoRaWAN. Can you really get 20Km+ from a £300 gateway, and a GPS Tracker the size of two AA batteries?
The simple answer is Yes you can. Again, this isn’t one of our most scientific LoRaWAN tests. No men in white lab coats with really long rulers, or rangefinders. Just us, three branded LoRaWAN gateways and a handful of Zane and 3rd party LoRa devices.
20Km LoRaWAN Range Tests
Simple Plan: Step 1: Plug in 3 gateways powered via a car inverter with a GPRS WIFI hotspot, parked at the top of a hill 220m (above sea level). Step 2: Drive a handful of LoRaWAN sensors up to 20km away, and take readings every few miles.
We’re impressed. 5 out of 6 devices including our zTrack and zTemp worked successfully at 20.05km, and at this range, we weren’t squeezing every last LoRa RSSI out of the device. The devices connected quickly and reporting their sensor data consistently. The majority of these devices use either internal ceramic aerials, or wire aerials, so there’s no chunky antenna justification here.
We, unfortunately, ran out of time, but if we had continued we’re fairly confident we’d be getting 30km+ .
Did we cheat: Some will point out that we ran this test from a hill overlooking a valley and that we cheated. That’s not really true. No one in their right mind is going to install LoRa gateways at the lowest point. So yes… it’s line of sight, and up on a hill, but there’s no reason why LoRaWAN network provider won’t be putting their enterprise gateways in similar locations.
We plan to repeat the tests soon, using different altitudes and both urban and rural. We’ll let you know the results.
If you’d like to discuss your LoRaWAN project with us, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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