If you’ve ever wondered about how LoRaWAN is working within a city in reality, continue reading.
After spending almost a year as a Smart City Expert for my hometown I almost instantly decided to switch positions after I got familiar with LoRa solutions, as I saw great potential in this technology.
After doing some research on the net, I barely found any public articles about LoRaWANs already installed. So we decided to test it ourselves in our small smart city, Debrecen, situated in the eastern part of Hungary.
Debrecen is Hungary’s second largest city with more than 200.000 people living on a 461.25 km2 total area. In the city center you find beautifully designed buildings from the 18th,19th and early 20th century, which are 20 meters tall at most. After WWII, in the communist era many blocks of flats were constructed around the city center, which are still not very high, but they make up a very dense concrete jungle, which can be tricky for LoRa devices to communicate.
As for the tallest buildings, the well-known Great Church is only the runner-up with its towers reaching up for 61 meters. The winner of the height competition is the so called “tower of hell” next to the railway station with its 22 floors and 75 meters height.
The Great Church in the city center
About the LoRa Gateway
Thank to a fruitful cooperation of LORIOT.io, ChipCAD, ZANE systems and the Faculty of Engineering, University of Debrecen a Kerlink gateway had been installed on the Top of Dormitary Borsos József, connected to LORIOT.io‘s network. This building is app. 30 meters high and it is situated near the city center north-east from it.
About the LoRa GPS Device
For our test we used our own developed LoRa GPS tracker, zTrack which is equipped with an built-in 0 dBi antenna.
the zTrack Mini, a rechargeable LoRa GPS tracker
And here you can see the LoRa coverage in Debrecen, data is collected in the last three months.
Our test show the LoRaWAN works as designed, despite the high density of concrete blocks of flats. With only one LoRA Gateway installed, which actually can serve up to 40.000 LoRa devices, we managed to cover app. 70% of the city (461 km2). This percentage would be easily increased close to 100%, if there were four gateways installed in the right places of the city.