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LoRa Glossary

Activation By Personalisation (ABP): ABP is an activation mode connecting and End-Device to a LoRa network, where the required session keys are hardcoded on the End-Device. This method does not require a Join Procedure.

Activation Mode: The method by which an End-Device communicates with a network server to perform the activation process or Join Procedure.

Adaptive Data Rate (ADR): A LoRaWAN mechanism which controls the Spreading Factor, Bandwidth and Transmission power of an End-Device, for optimal communication efficiency.

AppEUI: See Join EUI

AppID: User defined identifier (name) of an application.

AppKey: Application key, used in OTAA activation method, encrypted, and used to derive the AppSKey.

AppSKey: Application Session Key, an encrypted key used to secure payloads.

Application: In the context of a LoRa Network an End-Device is registered to an application through which it’s data can be managed and integrated with other platforms.

Bandwidth: The usable spectrum of the radio frequency, this is determined by Region and Frequency Plan.

Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS): A method of radio frequency modulation where the signal sweeps across a frequency spectrum.

Data Rate (DR): An expression of Bandwidth and Spreading Factor.

DevAddr: The device address, a 32-bit identifier assigned by the Network at activation.

Device Class: LoRaWAN defines three classes of End-Device. All LoRaWAN devices implement Class A, some devices implement Class B or Class C as extensions of Class A.

  • Class A (Adaptive): Bi-directional communication between device and gateway. Uplink messages are sent at any time and followed by two short receive windows.
  • Class B (Beacon): This class includes scheduled receive windows for downlink communications.
  • Class C (Constant): This class maintains an open receive window, except when transmitting.

Duty Cycle: The percentage of time when a device is ‘busy’. For example, a device transmitting for 2, out of 10, time units will have a duty cycle of 20%.

Dwell Time: The time needed to transmit a message, often limited depending on region.

End-Device: A sensor or actuator configured with LoRaWAN communication.

EUI: Extended unique identifier

Frequency Plan: The channels and data rates which can be used determined by region.

Gateway: A device which connects LoRaWAN End Devices to a network through a backhaul connection such as Wi-Fi, Cellular or Ethernet.

Gateway EUI: A 64-bit extended unique identifier, specific to the device and usually provisioned by the device manufacturer.

Gateway ID: User defined identifier (name) of a gateway.

ISM Radio Band: Industrial, Scientific, Medical radio bands are licence free radio spectrums which can be used for low power, short range communication.

JoinEUI: Prior to LoRaWAN v1.1 known as ‘AppEUI’, this is a 64-bit unique identifier used to identify the Join Server during activation.

Join Procedure: When an End-Device, using OTAA method, communicates with a network server to perform the activation process.

Join Server: A component of a LoRaWAN server used to store and generate session keys.

LAN: Local Area Network

LoRa: Physical layer RF modulation utilising Chirp Spread Spectrum (CSS) for long range communication.

LoRaWAN: MAC layer protocol for low power wide area networks.

Over The Air Activation (OTAA): OTAA is an activation method which dynamically assigns network and application session keys for an End-Device using a Join Procedure, where a request and an acknowledgment are sent and received. This activation method is more secure and flexible than ABP and allows for device roaming.

Packet Forwarder: A gateway program that forwards packets to and from a LoRaWAN network.

Payload: A LoRaWAN packet.

Regional Parameters: LoRaWAN operates worldwide on an unlicensed spectrum (ISM radio band), however different parts of the world impose different operational restrictions. Limits on bandwidth, payload size and antenna power are all determined by geographic location.

Spreading Factor (SF): Also known as the sweep rate or chirp rate, is the transmission speed of a LoRaWAN message. The higher the spreading factor the slower the communication is. Increasing the SF increase the time it takes to send the message and needs more power. A lower spreading factor has shorter range and less time on air, better for the battery and the communication is faster, so the data rate is higher.

Time On Air: The length of time between the transmission of a signal and the signal being received.