Getting Started with LoRaWAN

So you want to go to market with an Internet of Things products. The odds are stacked against you. The average lead time is 24 months and there is a high failure rate. So make sure you are well prepared and if you fail, fail early so you can start over again. The sea of opportunities in the Internet of Things is huge, but only a few are able to tap the potential.

Use The Things Network for building a proof of concept with speedy installation knowing additional security and scalability features can be added later on only allowing highly secure solutions to end up in production.

Explore

Proof of

concept

Prepare

to scale

Run in

production.

Get started!

Explore.

Use The Things network for evaluation and get to know the technology. Knowing that while scaling the same API’s and platform are there but then with carrier grade.

    1

  • Learn online about LoRaWAN by reading on the technology, watching our videos and follow the LoRaWAN Academy

    Get yourself to a flying start by learning everything about LoRaWAN. Chances are, the solution you want to build does not actually match the technical capabilities of LoRaWAN. Save yourself time and money by getting educated. Our content will help you get up to speed faster, saving you time in your research.
    See our LoRaWAN Docs

  • 2

  • Get hands-on with our easy to setup tools

    BBest way to learn about new technology is to get hands-on experience. Our products allow you to setup a LoRaWAN network in 5 minutes, build a prototype in 1 hour and a proof of concept in one day. They are accompanied with numerous explanation videos and content to save you time and money.
    See our Prodcuts

  • 3

  • Build a ‘Hello World’

    Start with a prototype for your idea. Make it work first and make it perfect later. The first tangible version of your product will make you go through all kinds of hurdles which you may not have thought of earlier. This allows you to communicate the idea to your stakeholders and gather their feedback. Keep your costs low in this phase by using standard components. Make sure to keep all stakeholders aligned and don’t over-promise. With the standard prototyping tools, the solution initially is nowhere close to a scalable version.
    Start right now!

Proof of
concept.

Use The Things Network community network for building a proof of concept and speedy installation knowing additional security and scalabillity features can be added later on only allowing highly secure solutions to end up in production.

Potentially launching your own cluster for increased Quality of Service.

    4

  • Validate Business model

    Any project benefits from doing the most risky bits first. In IoT the business case might be the hardest. Although it can tempting to dive in to the awesomeness of the LoRaWAN technology. Testing your business model might be the best first step now. There is a ton of documentation for startups and corporates on how to test the market. Do that first!

  • 5

  • Design your use case

    So your have secured the funding, tested the market or you are highly confident of releasing something that makes sense. Take this process one step further by designing the final solution. In almost all the cases, it is not smart to iterate from the initial prototype but start from scratch with the tools and design for production. Just making it work is not enough. Make yourself aware on how the technical capabilities of LoRaWAN relates to key driver in your business case.

    For example if your use case depends highly on the low power part, make sure you will incorporate this in the design aspect. Draft the realistic scenarios on how this will work in the field taking into account the different SF levels depending on the placement of gateways.

    This is just one of the example. There will be many such cases. So again, make sure you grasp the broad scope of LoRaWAN’s capabilities and how it influences your business case.

    There are many companies that can help with this part. Acknowledging the fact that getting started with LoRaWAN products and “getting finished” are two very different concepts which require different competences and in the end will save you a lot of time and money.
    Get inspired on our Marketplace

  • 6

  • Decide on buy/build strategy by exploring the market with existing hardware products

    Scan the market for existing products that may suit your requirements. You might want to do this earlier in the process as these details will have a huge pay off at a later stage. You can check out a list of devices available here:
    Go to The Things Network Marketplace

  • 7

  • Choose an IoT platform or build a dedicated app

    Depending on your use case, you need to know what to do with the data and what kind of platform would be suitable for this. There is a wide range of products available, from open source and fully serviced alternatives to integrations with the commonly used platforms in the market.
    Check our marketplace

  • 8

  • Design UI/UX

    How is the data presented and what interface is going to be exposed to the user. Are you going to integrate it in an existing ERP system or are you providing your own UI.

  • 9

  • Choose deployment strategy. Cloud, on-premise or on-site

    The key strength of LoRaWAN is that you can build the network yourself and there is a great offering by LoRaWAN network operators around the world. This creates another build or buy decision that you have to make. There are many things to take into consideration. The most notable is that the energy efficiency of a LoRaWAN node is highly dependent to the distance from the gateway. Although the networks are interoperable, your node and business case will not be the same in every scenario of the network configuration.
    Take your pick on our Docs

  • 10

  • Check for vendor lock-in risks

    Do a good assessment on your long term risks with regards to vendor lock-ins. By nature LoRaWAN compliant products are interoperable across networks. But there are vendors around, that will not grant you access to all pieces of the technology stack creating lock-ins to their services.
    See our Docs

  • 11

  • Assess privacy and security compliance

    Check the regulation for your area of operation with regards to privacy while building this into your design. Also check if your security and key management is according to the local regulation.

Prepare
to scale.

Set up your production environment by launching a seperate LoRaWAN cluster for complete control over Quality of Service and security.

Opt in to network collaboration allowing your devices to run across The Things Network.

    12

  • Decide key management strategy

    LoRaWAN allows you to manage your own keys by running your own join server. A LoRaWAN specified interface allows you to take control over your root keys and building a chain of trust that is compliant with your business requirements. This gives you a choice whether you want to depend on a third party for your security.
    See our Docs

  • 13

  • Decide on peering strategy

    If you decide to build your own network you can choose to collaborate with other networks. LoRaWAN allows for peering network traffic like on a regular network. Because there is end to end encryption embedded in the protocol, secure routing over public network is possible and this can bring huge benefits and efficiency in network deployments.

  • 14

  • Check the maintainability

    Do a final assessment on what to do when things break. It doesn’t always go as planned so always a good idea to better be prepared for the the worse case.

  • 15

  • Setup distribution

    Any LoRaWAN application involves a piece of hardware that needs to be physically shipped and deployed. There is a wide range of distribution providers and resellers in the electronics world that can do this without any hassles. Don’t forget to take the stock in to your business case.

Run in
production.

Run your LoRaWAN applications in production on a secure infrastructure with low maintenance costs while maintaining full control over your devices.

    16

  • Start manufacturing

    Select your manufacturer. Off-shore, near-shore or in your home country. Many have failed in this part. There is a correlation between costs and quality. So be well advised while engaging with a manufacturing partner.

  • 17

  • Upgrade software

    The product is never finished. Build a strategy that allows you to update the firmware over the air.