The IoT is going to connect the world. That’s how it’s stated in the introduction video of the LoRa Alliance, an association devoted to the large scale deployment of LPWAN through the placing in service the LoRaWAN open standard.
APPLICATION OF LORAWAN AND WI-FI IN IOT
Approaching a large proportion of IoT use cases, LoRaWAN and Wi-Fi still serve different purposes in IoT. Today Wi-Fi is most often deployed to support critical IoT use cases whereas LoRaWAN is used for massive IoT use cases.
Massive IoT is applied to connect billions of battery-powered objects, transmit a low amount of data at a low data rate and optimize energy consumption. The application of massive IoT may be found in cities, agriculture, logistics, buildings (airports, hotels, stadiums, multi-dwelling units, homes, venues, etc.), and supply chain or transportation.
Critical IoT serves as a connection of millions of objects, communication between a massive amount of data with low latency and high reliability at a higher data rate, which mostly results in higher power consumption. The applications are found in transportation (connected vehicle, traffic control), smart health (surgery, patient monitoring), and industry (real-time applications, robots, remote manufacturing).
HYBRID WI-FI/LORAWAN USE CASES
For decades, LoRaWAN and Wi-Fi technologies were applied for daily services such as smart buildings, cities, and venues, the same as automotive and smart transportation and location services. The impressive growth of new wireless technologies enabled new commercial use cases in the following commercial sectors.
In the case of smart buildings, Wi-Fi was commonly used for high-speed Internet surfing, broadband services, and security cameras. LoRaWAN, in contrast, served the leak and smoke detection, air conditioning, door/window opening alarms, asset and vehicle tracking, room energy monitoring and more.
The alliance of these two technologies creates the possibility of on-demand streaming for battery-powered devices. For example, low power LoRaWAN sensors can activate the device that transmits information to the cloud (using Wi-Fi technology) only when it detects sound, motion or vibration in the building. Therefore, the battery of the device will be preserved from unnecessary usage.
PLACES OF RESIDENCE AND VENUES
Billions of personal and professional devices in homes use Wi-Fi to provide instant connection, whereas LoRaWAN is used for traffic light monitoring, waste management, and traffic direction. It is suggested to use LoRaWAN picos for handling Wi-Fi backhaul portion of the network to the user set-top box to expand coverage of home services to the neighborhood. In such a way, these “neighborhood IoT networks” may endorse the support of new geolocation services and provide the basis for the demand-response services.
Currently, Wi-Fi is used for passenger entertainment and access control, while LoRaWAN is used for fleet tracking and vehicle maintenance. Hybrid use cases identified in the paper include location and video streaming. Automotive and smart transportation companies could combine Wi-Fi and LoRaWAN to make location and video streaming more reliable on busses, planes, and other mass transit services.