LoRa is a long-range, low power, low bit rate and single-hop wireless communication technology. It is intended to be used in Internet of Things (IoT) applications involving battery-powered devices with low throughput requirements. A LoRaWAN network consists of multiple end nodes that communicate with one or more gateways. These gateways act like a transparent bridge towards a common network server. The amount of end devices and their throughput requirements will have an impact on the performance of the LoRaWAN network. This study investigates the scalability in terms of the number of end devices per gateway of single-gateway LoRaWAN deployments. First, we determine the intra-technology interference behavior with two physical end nodes, by checking the impact of an interfering node on a transmitting node. Measurements show that even under concurrent transmission, one of the packets can be received under certain conditions. Based on these measurements, we create a simulation model for assessing the scalability of a single gateway LoRaWAN network. We show that when the number of nodes increases up to 1000 per gateway, the losses will be up to 32%. In such a case, pure Aloha will have around 90% losses. However, when the duty cycle of the application layer becomes lower than the allowed radio duty cycle of 1%, losses will be even lower. We also show network scalability simulation results for some IoT use cases based on real data.
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