What is it?
A LoRaWAN® gateway is a device that acts as an intermediary between sensors and devices within a LoRaWAN® network. LoRaWAN® is a wireless communication protocol that employs the LoRa modulation technique derived from the Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) technology. It lies in encoding information on radio waves by means of chirps, linear frequency-modulated signals.
How does it work?
LoRaWAN® gateways can be utilized for different groups of devices at once. At the same time, they are frequently used in overlapping groups. Devices give out their signals in the form of radio frequency packets. A gateway with the strongest signal reception in the range then receives these signals. The captured message is subsequently passed to the cloud or the network server. The availability of multiple gateways makes the network resistant to cases where a specific gateway fails.
How does it connect to the network server?
Gateways are linked to the LoRaWAN® network server through IP connections. To be precise, they commonly interact with the server with the help of a cellular connection, Wi-Fi, or hardwired Ethernet.
How is it placed?
There are four methods of installing a LoRaWAN® gateway. For instance, end devices can be located indoors on a single level, the LoRa antenna is mounted vertically, and the gateway should be placed in the center of the coverage area.
When end devices are located on multiple levels indoors, the gateway should be situated in the center of the building, and the antenna is aligned horizontally.
As an option, end devices can be placed outdoors. In this scenario, the gateway should be located at the appropriate height and must not be obstructed by any objects.
Types of LoRaWAN® gateways
First, LoRaWAN® gateways are divided into indoor and outdoor ones. Outdoor gateways are more robust and weatherproof than their indoor counterparts.
Another way to classify LoRaWAN® gateways is by categorizing them into single-channel and multi-channel ones. Single-channel gateways use less expensive transceivers and offer limited functionality, receiving a single spreading factor and one channel simultaneously. They also lack downlink support, leading to the loss of a message when the network tries to schedule a downlink.