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What would be the most appropriate LPWAN technologies for environmental monitoring in a remote area, given the following:

  • The monitoring system would be made up of 3 to 10 nodes located within a circular (star) pattern with a diameter of at least 5 km.
  • Each node sends data on a minute's basis.
  • The location is a rural/forested area on hilly terrain in Slovenia (southern central Europe)
  • The nodes should be energy efficient, however there is a possibility of connecting a central node (gateway) to mains power and the internet using Ethernet.

I am mostly looking into the following technologies:

  • GPRS (coverage in the area is not ideal, high energy consumption, sunsetting technology)
  • NB-IoT (not yet adopted by network carriers, unknown date)
  • Sigfox (no coverage, possibility of deploying a Micro Base Station)
  • Ingenu (most promising technology, no info on coverage or local base station possibilities)
  • LoRaWAN (no coverage, possibility of deploying a gateway)
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I did a case study on LoRaWAN in 2015. Since then the community is continuously growing. The case study was about installing one Gateway in our city.

I find it one of the best solution because

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Be aware that with LoRaWAN (and others ISM technologies), you have to follow the local regulation about duty cycle as you will use ISM radio band.

If you are at a distance of around 5km, you may need to use a large spreading factor meaning you will spread the data on air, and so use more airtime.

In Europe, you have (basically) 1% of air time allow. See this acticle

So to be able to send every minutes, you payload must be very short or you must use a smaller spreading factor, to comply with regulation. To get a idea you can is this spreadsheet

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