As I continue my quest to the Lo.RaWAN I am looking over some tutorials on how to setup a Raspberry Pi Lo.RaWAN gateway so far I found these:

Also I have searched information regarding the topology and I found this link: http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/wireless/lora/lorawan-network-architecture.php

While I was studying the information provided in links, I noticed that they need something called "Network Server" that either can be your own implementation such as: https://github.com/brocaar/loraserver or provided as a service such as https://www.thethingsnetwork.org.

So far I understood that the network server actually does the network management through the gateways.

But I cannot understand why is needed a "network server", I mean why do I need a service to manage the Lo.RaWAN network using a special server?

In other words cannot figure out the reason why the Designers of Lo.RaWAN thought: "OK let the gateway send the trafic into a Network Server"

  • You've already said you can run your own "Network Server" so there is no reason why you can't run this on the pi
    – hardillb
    Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 19:58
  • But I cannot understand why is needed either if is running on the pi or not. Commented Mar 13, 2018 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


It wouldn't be much of a Wide Area Network (WAN) if you just had a single gateway.

While you can certainly have nodes report into a single gateway, the more expansive schemes (for example, The Things Network) let multiple gateways coordinate through traditional Internet links, either by all reporting up to a single server or better yet into a network of cooperating servers.

This means the network can extended beyond the radio horizon of a single gateway, and instead be the union of the radio horizons of all the gateways cooperating in the network.

For something like The Things Network, that means a bunch of bubbles, often clustered in specific areas, but collectively scattered all around the world (though the frequencies authorized for use do differ by region).

So in the end the question of "is it needed" comes down to "what do you want to do?" If a single gateway meets your needs and you can run whatever needs to interact with nodes on that gateway's computer or on clients that connect to it, then no, you don't need another server. But if you want to leverage multiple gateways, you'll need some sort of server infrastructure to help them collaborate.

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