New verticals within the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm such as smart cities, smart farming, or goods monitoring, among many others, are demanding strong requirements to the Radio Access Network (RAN) in terms of coverage, end-node’s power consumption, and scalability. The technologies employed so far to provide IoT scenarios with connectivity, e.g., wireless sensor network and cellular technologies, are not able to simultaneously cope with these three requirements. Thus, a novel solution known as Low Power - Wide Area Network (LP-WAN) has emerged as a promising alternative to provide with low-cost and low-power-consumption connectivity to end-nodes spread in a wide area. Concretely, the Long-Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) technology is one of the LP-WAN platforms that is receiving greater attention from both the industry and the academia. For that reason, in this work, a comprehensive performance evaluation of LoRaWAN under different environmental conditions is presented. The results are obtained from three real scenarios, namely, urban, suburban, and rural, considering both dynamic and static conditions, hence a discussion about the most proper LoRaWAN physical-layer configuration for each scenario is provided. Besides, a theoretical coverage study is also conducted by the use of a radio planning tool considering topographic maps and a precise propagation model. From the attained results, it can be concluded that it is necessary to evaluate the propagation conditions of the deployment scenario prior to the system implantation in order to reach a compromise between the robustness of the network and the transmission data-rate.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited