Take aways from 2024 LPWAN days at Pau

LPWAN Day is an annual conference for university research in the field of LPWAN. This year’s edition was held in Pau. The event provides an opportunity to review the state of research on technologies such as LoRaWAN, Mioty, Wirepas, and satellite experiments, fostering technical, detailed, and inspiring exchanges.

This year, about sixty participants attended, mainly from academia but also from industries like Semtech, Wirepas, Schneider, and Kineis. As in every edition, we had many very in-depth and passionate discussions. The organization was flawless, and the hospitality in Pau was exceptional. However, I must admit that our visits to Glacier Giorgios may have skewed our perceptions.

In summary, it was two wonderful days, with beautiful weather and exceptional people. Here are my key takeaways.

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News from LoRaWAN Live Munich

This week saw the Munich edition of LoRaWAN Live, the event for the LoRaWAN community organized by the LoRa Alliance. This event rotates locations with each iteration, and this edition marked the return of the event to Europe.

As usual, the event was a professional gathering for alliance members who use these events to advance the evolution of the LoRaWAN standard. Participants included gateway manufacturers, device makers, and electronic component producers. Unfortunately, this focus, often comes at the expense, of non-member users and smaller players, who are less present compared to events like The Things Conference or larger, more general conferences, like IoT Solutions.

The main downside of this conference, in my opinion, was the low attendance of end users and newcomers. This is likely due to the high cost of attending the conference, not to mention the hotel prices during the Euro 2024 period.

Despite this, the conference featured a series of high-quality presentations on the development of use cases, market growth, and opportunities for in-depth discussions with technology experts. As always, it was a chance to meet new people and have engaging conversations.

So, what’s the state of the LoRaWAN ecosystem in 2024?

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Evolution of Usage on the Helium IoT Network

In an article written in 2022, following an unwarranted and poorly executed attack that reduced the value of the Helium network to the nascent consumption of data, erroneously overvalued at $6600, I began monitoring the usage of the network over the months.

To give some context, Helium is a DAO governing the operation of several networks: LoRaWan (IoT), CBRS (4/5G), and WiFi. A DAO is a distributed organization using blockchain to govern its operational processes. This project is one of the pioneers of what we now call DePIN (Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks), which bridge the virtual world of blockchain with the physical world around us and generally translate into service offerings consumable in the traditional economic circuit, competing with equivalent services in the traditional economy.

Helium is the largest deployed LoRaWan network in the world. It is used for roaming by numerous telecom operator networks and natively by many companies deploying fleets of connected objects. For my part, since 2021, I have been the first to provide commercial and open access to individuals and businesses to this network to connect their objects, through the service Helium IoT Console delivered by IngeniousThings. For this reason, I pay particular attention to monitoring usage on the IoT network.

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STM32WL and Flash memory usage in a LoRaWan / Sigfox use-case

The choice of an STM32WL microcontroller precludes the use of internal EEPROM, requiring the use of either an external EEPROM or the internal Flash memory for storing persistent data. The latter option is often favored in many designs (and modems) for cost reasons, though it comes with certain implications.

Using networks like LoRaWAN and Sigfox involves regular persistent writes. In the case of LoRaWAN, using OTAA (Over-The-Air Activation) mode, the devNonce must be recorded during each join procedure to ensure its uniqueness over network connections. Here, the number of persistent memory writes will theoretically be low (except for the battery end-of-life scenario discussed later). For an ABP (Activation By Personalization) connection, the situation differs significantly; the frame counter (FCnt) must be recorded so that it does not reset to zero in the event of a reboot. The same applies to Sigfox and its SeqId, which must increment with each communication. Without specific logic, LoRaWAN ABP and Sigfox will write to persistent memory with each data transmission.

While an EEPROM memory area has a lifespan of about 100,000 to 1,000,000 cycles (still potentially lower than the number of messages sent during the object’s lifecycle), a Flash memory area lasts only 10,000 writes, a number quickly reached in IoT communications. Therefore, using Flash as persistent storage requires a different approach compared to EEPROM in this context.

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Let’s Get Started with Helium & RAK11300 (RP2040 + SX1262)

In this blog post, we are going to see the steps to get started on Helium, with Chirpstack LNS using a RAK11300 module on a RAK wisblock board.

We are just going to setup a device with a LoRaWAN heartbeat to display it on Chirpstack.

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IoT slide deck 2023-07 update

Two years since I did not published my IoT slide deck. Here is the new version, now about 345 slides about IoT topics including Sigfox, LoRaWan, Helium and much more. In this edition, you will also find some slide about the digital transformation impact on the society and the environmental impact.

All the slides on this deck can be freely reused for any educational content; Most of them are also used in my different MooC you can fin on my Youtube IoT Channel

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Kerlink Wirnet iZeptoCell

Kerlink iZepToCell

The new baby in Kerlink family has arrived, it’s iZeptoCell ! Ok, I’m a bit late to write this blog post and it came alive a couple of months ago. When I say baby, I really mean baby, no due to its age but more related to its size !

This LoRaWan gateway is really small and can take place in any indoor environment looking like a sensor but providing a wide range connectivity for many devices deploy around. This is a really good option to cover a small / medium company floor up to a building.

This gateway exists with an Ethernet connectivity like the one I’m testing and with a Cellular connectivity, something appreciated when corporate IT dislike having devices on the corporate network.

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Deploy Dragino LPS8 (DATAONLY) on Helium


The Dragino LPS8, LoRaWAN gateway is a helium ready device you can add to Helium as a Data-Only. It means it does not participate to PoC but earn HNT for transferring traffic.

It’s not a ready-to-go data-only, so you need to register the hotspot in the helium block-chain on your own but it run the gateway-rs software internally.

This device as been designed for Helium, but not only, it can be connected to TTN or another different network, like a private network. The installation with Helium network is not really complicated but you will need to process some command on a terminal and manipulate wallet-cli.

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