Episode 3 & 4 of my Youtube series about LPWAN is about antennas for LPWAN and impact on object design. The episode 4 go deeper on the way to improve radio performance by tuning and adapting antennas with matching circuit.
As usual, this series of post are summarizing in English the content of my French video on youtube.
The RF 868MHz is a public bandwidth European Low Power Networks (LPWAN) as Sigfox and LoRaWan are using for communicating.
This bandwidth is regulated by different norms like ERC-REC-70-3E in Europe and have national norms in relation. In France ARCEP 2014-1263 seems to be the last one validated in the JO on the 30th of January 2015. The following video is a second episode of my VLOG on LPWan technologies. As usual, the video is in French but this post will give you a overview in english.
Since a long to time I did not post about MQTT … The main reason was I uses MQTT as a protocol to publish data directly from a device but in a centralized environment like SigFox / LoraWan you can’t use it directly on the device. Actually I have some devices communicating with a backend and the question about how to provide these information to the customers of my service are raising. To match this pattern I have to ways : providing and API where the information are pulled by the customer and MQTT where the information are pushed to the customer.
One choice is not against the other one, I had the two kind of customers. For this reason I will describe how we can implement a MQTT server (mosquitto) to push Sigfox data device as json content.
After making LoRaWan test in a city environment, I make some test in a rural environment with the objective of evaluating the capability for being used in connected farming environment.
The result is really like what we have got in a city, eventually better in a way as the antenna position was on altitude. The following map makes with 6kbps communication shows the coverage. You can see that the coverage is really limited on the Eastern direction. This is due to higher mountains this way. Mountain are the main limiting elements and as you can see, even on short distance communication they are blocking any signal.
Last week, Objenious (a bouygues Telecom company) has announced the availability of its LoRaWAN network in France. With already 32 cities covered, about 50% of people can access to the low power network. More over they have announced the deployment of 4000 antennas by end of the year to cover the whole country.
I had the opportunity to test the network and as far as now, I can say it works well, the backend is nice even if it sounds a bit not intuitive yet but for sure they will fix it soon. The good news was a communication about price, with a range of 12€ to 1€ depending on volume, the pricing is really near Sigfox one in a first look. The volume scale will be really important to see the difference as the technical offer (message limit, bandwidth, downlink limit if we have some or not).
In my point of view, Orange is the one loosing most with this announce as they are supposed to start soon with 11 cities in France and they did not yet communicate on the scaling. So now, we are waiting for Orange response and offer in this competition.
The surprising thing in the Objenious announced was the roaming capability with USA as the LoRa frequencies are not compatible between Europe and USA. As most of the device are not yet dual band and the question of detecting the location before emitting still an issue for such use-case, I do not really see how it can have a short term positive impact on project. By-the-way, I was also not aware the LoRaWAN specification for roaming was published. Is it ?
So welcome to Objenious in LPWAN french market, competition is always a good think, and what you announced sounds good and useful for object maker like me.
I was looking for a real LoRaWan experimentation on the field, not only a given open field performance where the result do not match the reality.
For this reason, I installed a Kerlink gateway on a friend’s balcony living on a high part of my city. Then I moved a tracker reporting its GPS position on regular basis and day after day I built a map of the area covered by this antenna.
This post details the results of this expermientation