LoRaWAN Mapping for citywide deployments

LoRaWAN Network Mapping

Our Partner was awarded the large scale deployment of a major upgrade of Street Lights across an entire city. The solution enabling the Council to make additional savings on their annual street lighting energy consumption and costs, whilst also delivering operational and maintenance efficiencies. Essential to the success of the project was the deployment of LoRaWAN through LoRaWAN mapping to identify suitable coverage, resilience and redundancy with the minimal number of gateway installation points. The success of thousands of Street Lights using LoRaWAN class C Multicast reliant on the coverage and quality of service through redundancy.

As their strategic partner in LoRaWAN, it fell on Concept13 to undertake the LoRaWAN mapping study, analysis and subsequent decision on were LoRaWAN gateways should be installed. With several thousands Street Lights nodes to be deployed all requiring reliable LoRaWAN connectivity, positioning the gateways was critical to the overall success and long-term viability. The challenge of LoRaWAN not simply height and range, but more critically effective message delivery utilising the optimum LoRaWAN Spread Factor to minimise cross-talk, minimise air-time and maximise the gateways precious duty-cycle.

Concept13 undertook the LoRaWAN mapping task remotely first identifying over 100 possible council owned and operated buildings from which the Gateways might be installed. Complex topogaphy analysis was then performed alongside detailed Radio Frequency (RF) Mapping to understand the lay of the land and possible interference. From a short-list of buildings and locations, relevant approvals were then sought from the council by our Partner and necessary RAM’s produced by our installers. Exact installation locations identified including all necessary power and cellular provisions.

Final LoRaWAN Radio Frequency mapping then produced and using “mesh” technology the entire Street Light deployment subsequently demonstrated to be fully covered. The LoRaWAN RF mapping clearly indicating the strength of coverage and therefore realistic Spread Factor and duty cycle that might be needed,. Critical to the design and selection of the LoRaWAN Gateway installation sites being to ensure each node would reach a minimum of 2 and ideally 3 gateways, Using the advanced features of the LoRaWAN Network Servers Quality of Service, this ensuring a reliable and resilient LoRaWAN deployment.

Following formal agreement from the Partner and Council, our installers proceeded to install the Gateways at the top of a number of High Rise buildings. Installations performed with diligence and the controls to ensure suitable installation at heights to get the best from the LoRaWAN Gateways. Following completion of the installation, Concept13 staff then undertook a full citywide study of LoRaWAN coverage ensuring reach and quality of signal at an optimum data rate (Spread Factor). The results directly reflecting that of the LoRaWAN RF mapping performed.

The installation a major success with exceptional performance from just 8 gateways covering some 35 square miles and thousands of Street Lights.

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