3 min reading

26 June 2024

26 June 2024

IoT Building Coverage: Tips and Techniques for Success

IoT Building Coverage: Tips and Techniques for Success
IoT Building Coverage: Tips and Techniques for Success

Estimating Radio Frequency (RF) indoor path losses can be challenging due to varying building materials, structures, walls, and other obstacles. While expensive software simulation tools and third-party services can estimate these losses, a more practical approach is to measure typical indoor path losses directly within a building. This measured data can then be used to deploy sensors throughout the building, ensuring a more reliable installation. TEKTELIC has developed user-friendly software that allows customers to perform these measurements without prior RF experience.

Understanding RF Path Losses with TEKTELIC KONA Indoor Gateway

Based on thousands of indoor deployments, we know that the TEKTELIC KONA Indoor LoRaWAN gatewaycan cover at least four to five floors, each measuring 30 x 30 meters. To optimize coverage, the gateway should be placed on the third floor, centrally located, away from large concrete walls, and in an open area. Deploy at least five to ten LoRaWAN sensors, such as COMFORT, on each floor from the first to the fifth, including the third floor. Place these sensors where you expect the actual sensors to be deployed, particularly at the edges of the building or the furthest distance from the gateway on each floor. This placement ensures an understanding of RF path losses to the building’s edges, not just its center.

Top LoRaWAN Gateway for Indoor Deployment

Sensor Deployment and Data Collection

Once the sensors are deployed, use the Network Server or KONA Atlas Device Configuration Applications to set them to transmit data every five minutes. This data can include basic information like temperature, humidity, and light (the specific data is less important as long as it matches the expected packet size). Frequent transmission helps collect sufficient sample data, which is crucial for accurate RF path loss calculation during both working and off hours. Aim to collect around 1,000 samples, which will take approximately 3.5 days (1000 / 12 x 24 = 3.5 days) with a transmission interval of five minutes.

Analyzing Data for Optimal Coverage

TEKTELIC Network Server software will collect the transmitted data, analyzing each received packet’s RSSI, SNR, Spreading Factor, and Packet Success Rate. This analysis helps understand each device’s performance on each floor relative to the LoRaWAN gateway’s location on the third floor. The installer or customer support engineer can then determine if one indoor gateway can cover the specified floors and edges of the building where sensors are located or if adjustments are needed.

Top LoRaWAN Gateways

Ensuring Reliable RF Performance

Generally, if the received packets’ RSSI levels are above -120 dBm, with a good SNR for the Spreading Factor, and it’s not the largest Spreading Factor for the deployment region (e.g., 10 in North America, 12 in Europe), reliable RF performance from one indoor LoRaWAN Gateway across the tested floors can be expected. To deploy the IoT solution throughout the entire building, replicate the tested deployment pattern across all floors. For a building with 25 floors, install indoor Micro Gateways on every fifth floor, starting from the third floor (e.g., floors 3, 8, 13, 18, and 23).

By following these tips and techniques, you can ensure successful IoT building coverage with reliable data transmission and optimal sensor performance.

Get Started with TEKTELIC Today

Ready to optimize your building’s IoT coverage? Contact us today to learn more about our solutions and how they can help you achieve reliable and efficient building coverage.

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