What is data throughput?
Data throughput refers to the rate at which data can be transmitted or received within a given time frame over a network. It measures how much data can flow through a communication channel or network connection in a given time. This metric is usually expressed in bits per second (bps) or kilobits per second (Kbps).
In the context of LoRaWAN®, data throughput represents the speed at which information can be sent between LoRaWAN® devices, such as IoT-connected devices or sensors, and the application servers that manage and process this data.
How does it work?
Data throughput is influenced by several factors, including the available bandwidth, signal quality, and modulation scheme used by the communication technology.
In LoRaWAN®, low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technology, data transmission is possible over long distances using radio waves. LoRaWAN® uses a modulation technique called chirp spread spectrum (CSS), allowing long-range communication with minimal power consumption.
LoRaWAN® divides the available bandwidth into multiple channels and uses adaptive data rate (ADR) to manage data throughput efficiently. ADR adjusts the data rate based on the signal strength between network devices and gateways. Devices closer to the gateway can transmit at higher data rates. In contrast, those farther away use lower data rates to ensure reliable communication.
How does it compare to bandwidth?
Bandwidth and data throughput are related but distinct concepts. The first refers to the range of frequencies available to transmit the data. The second is the amount of data you can transmit within a given amount of time.
In LoRaWAN®, the available bandwidth is fixed, usually between 125 and 500 kHz, and divided into several channels. Each channel allows for parallel communication, which increases the overall data throughput.
However, it is important to note that data throughput is not solely determined by bandwidth. Signal quality, interference, and modulation scheme are crucial in determining the effective data throughput for a LoRaWAN® network.