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What Is LoRa®?

LoRa (short for long range) is a spread spectrum modulation technique derived from chirp spread spectrum (CSS) technology. Semtech’s LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology is a long range, low power wireless platform that is the de facto wireless platform of Internet of Things (IoT). LoRa devices and the open LoRaWAN® standard enable smart IoT applications that solve some of the biggest challenges facing our planet: energy management, natural resource reduction, pollution control, infrastructure efficiency, disaster prevention, and more. Semtech’s LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN standard have amassed several hundred known uses cases for smart cities, smart homes and buildings, smart agriculture, smart metering, smart supply chain and logistics, and more. With over 191 million devices connected to more than 151 networks and growing, LoRa devices are creating a Smarter Planet.

LoRa Wireless RF Technology

LoRa Wireless RF Technology

A Semtech innovation, LoRa devices offer compelling features for IoT applications including long range, low power consumption and secure data transmission. The technology can be utilized by public, private or hybrid networks and provides greater range than Cellular networks. Sensors with LoRa devices can easily plug into existing infrastructure and enables low-cost battery-operated IoT applications. Semtech's LoRa chipsets are incorporated into devices manufactured by a large ecosystem of IoT solution providers, and connected to LoRaWAN networks around the globe. Simply stated, LoRa connects devices (or all things) to the Cloud.

LoRaWAN technology scalability diagram

What Is LoRaWAN®?

The LoRaWAN open specification is a low power, wide area networking (LPWAN) standard based on LoRa. Designed to wirelessly connect battery operated things to the Internet in regional, national or global networks, the LoRaWAN standard leverages the unlicensed radio spectrum in the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band. The specification defines the device-to-infrastructure of LoRa physical layer parameters and the LoRaWAN standard, and provides seamless interoperability between devices. While Semtech provides the LoRa radio chips, the LoRa Alliance®, a non-profit association and the fastest growing technology alliance, drives the standardization and global harmonization of the LoRaWAN standard. 

Semtech LoRaWAN diagram Network Architecture

LoRa Devices: Connected Everywhere

Designed for IoT communications, LoRa devices and the LoRaWAN standard enable the connection between remote point-of-use devices and LPWANs for delivery to analytics applications.


LoRa Modulation: Semtech’s LoRa is the physical (PHY) silicon layer, or wireless modulation, used to create the long range communicatio­n link.

Transceivers & End-Nodes: Transceivers configured with LoRa devices are embedded into end-nodes, or sensor devices, designed for a multitude of industry applications.

Picocells & Gateways: Sensors capture and transmit data to gateways over distances near and far, indoor and outdoor, with minimal power requirement.


Network Server: Gateways send information via Wi-Fi, Ethernet or Cellular to the network server, which is responsible for network management functions like over-the-air activation, data de-duplication, dynamic frame routing, adaptive rate control, traffic management, and administration.


Application Servers & Cloud IoT Services: Applications interpret the data collected by end devices, applying techniques like machine learning and artificial intelligence to solve business problems for a Smarter Planet.

Key Features of LoRa

LoRa Long Range
Long Range
Connects devices up to 30 miles apart in rural areas and penetrates dense urban or deep indoor environments
LoRa Low Power
Low Power
Requires minimal energy, with prolonged battery lifetime of up to 10 years, minimizing battery replacement costs
LoRa Secure
Features end-to-end AES128 encryption, mutual authentication, integrity protection, and confidentiality
LoRa Standardize
Offers device interoperability and global availability of LoRaWAN networks for speedy deployment of IoT applications anywhere
LoRa Geolocation
Enables GPS-free tracking applications, offering unique low power benefits untouched by other technologies
LoRa Mobility
Maintains communication with devices in motion without strain on power consumption
LoRa High Capacity
High Capacity
Supports millions of messages per base station, meeting the needs of public network operators serving large markets
LoRa Low Cost
Low Cost
Reduces infrastructure investment, battery replacement expense, and ultimately operating expenses