I’m a little late to this party (only just saw the topic).
Some of you have heard this from me before…
The TTN community in Australia has been running AU915 since before it was a released standard. It was the first LORaWAN band plan released for Australia and at the time was the only band plan available. At the time I recall there were 2 gateways. One in Perth and one in Sydney. (we’ve come a long way!)
Since then the AS923 band plan was created, primarily for a bunch of Asian countries and also New Zealand.
Both AS923 and AU915 can be used in Australia and there are slightly different pros and cons for each.
One of the big attractions for AS923 is the ever increasing amount of ready-made devices coming out of Asia. Some of these vendors support both band plans, but many are just AS923. The market for AS923 is large, whereas our sparsely populated island paradise is but a mere 20-something million people.
I think we’re now at the point where the variety of AS923 devices is at least on par with AU915, but growing at a faster rate. All LoRaWAN module manufacturers have had AS923 support since 2017 (except for Microchip who were about a year behind everyone else)
An attraction of AU915 is that it already has wide community adoption and the possibility of using all 64 channels, compared with 16 in AS923. (currently TTN only uses 8 for either band-plan)
The reality is that market forces will prevail and customer demand will drive what happens. Australia will continue to have both band plans for the foreseeable future, and TTN and Meshed will continue to support both.
To that end, Meshed has started implementing dual-band gateways on the public TTN network. Both AU915 and AS923. You will see them popping up on the map (they look like 2 gateways at the same location) and we are encouraging growth of both band plans in Australia.
It would be nice to have just one band-plan, but both exist today and will do well into the future. If you are pondering which band-plan to implement in your gateway, my suggestion is:
- If you are mostly interested in LoRaWAN for yourself, go with what the remainder of your community already has. Sydney (and soon Adelaide) will have pretty good coverage of both band plans.
- If you are mostly interested in producing devices, make sure your device supports both and configure your gateway for either.
- If you are mostly interested in setting up gateways for other people/organisations, be flexible, understand their requirements, understand surrounding band-plans.
Things which may help in the future:
- Some South American counties have adopted AU915, which strengthens its appeal/community
- New LoRaWAN standards (such as inclusion of CFList on AU915) help to improve flexibility and inter-operability between standards. Both band plans will probably continue evolving.
- TTN v3, which has the potential to assign channels to devices on an individual device basis - details TBD
Some things which may hinder in the future:
- Devices that have been hard-coded to particular frequencies
- Devices running older versions of the LoRaWAN stack - ie 1.0.1
- Devices using ABP
This is all just my (incomplete) opinion. I recognise this is a topic that some of us are passionate about and many of you have other opinions. Let’s discuss. Someone suggested an offline forum and I think that’s a good idea too.