What is network capacity?
Network capacity is the ability of a network to handle and transmit data effectively and efficiently. In LoRaWAN® network infrastructure, it refers to the capability to handle a large number of devices simultaneously. We call these devices endpoints.
How does network capacity work?
LoRaWAN® (long-range wide-area network) efficiently accommodates many endpoints while optimizing the use of network resources. It uses a star-of-stars network topology, where many endpoints connect to a central server.
The LoRaWAN® network server manages communication between the endpoints (sensors or devices) and applications/systems that use the data. It reduces the complexity of managing each endpoint.
To manage network capacity effectively, LoRaWAN® employs a specific modulation technique known as chirp spread spectrum (CSS). This technique allows for long-range communication and minimal power consumption. It significantly extends the battery life of the devices connecting to this type of network.
Additionally, LoRaWAN® relies on various adaptive data rate mechanisms to adjust the data transmission rate of each endpoint. This approach ensures that each device transmits data at an optimal speed. It conserves network resources and enhances overall network capacity.
What are the challenges of network capacity?
LoRaWAN® network capacity can be challenging due to an increase in the number of endpoints and the required data throughput. Some of these issues include:
- Interference: As the network grows, the possibility of interference between multiple endpoints transmitting data simultaneously also increases. This can negatively impact network performance and result in data loss or delay.
- Bandwidth Limitations: LoRaWAN® utilizes specific frequency bands, which have a limited amount of available bandwidth. With many endpoints, the simultaneous data transfer can put a strain on the network’s available bandwidth.
- Network Scalability: Scaling the network to handle increasing endpoints requires careful planning and infrastructure optimization. When you do not scale network capacity properly, it can lead to network congestion, reduced performance, and decreased reliability.
- Security: Monitoring the network for protection can be demanding as the number of connected devices grows. Implementing robust security mechanisms is essential to protect against unauthorized access or potential data breaches and prevent data loss.