The LoRaWAN Network: What Is It and Why Does It Fit Golf
LoRaWAN is a low powered, long range wide area and secure data transmitting network.
So, what is it really?
Think of it like a new age WiFi that connects devices to the internet.
The network powers and connects assets that would otherwise roam aimlessly throughout their existence without being connected for a greater purpose. These assets can be things like movable equipment, gas monitors, and fire detectors. The connection of these assets makes them part of the Internet of Things (IoT) realm, and therefore produce information that we can use to make better decisions. The concept is rooted in “Embedded Intelligence”, meaning some assets need an embedded device that is connected to the internet in order to pull out data and information of its activity.
LoRaWAN is the network that connects these devices together. Here is a visual representation of this below:
How does this apply in business terms?
In practical terms, imagine something the size of your cellphone (or smaller) being a GPS sensor that is powered by a “Verizon-like” network but with a stronger signal, delivered impeccable coverage, and required very little energy to power the device. Now, in this scenario, your device (the embedded intelligence device) is hooked up to a lawn mower (the “Thing” we want to track). With this embedded connection, we are now able to monitor activity on that lawn mower like active time, idle time, mowing patterns, fuel consumption and engine faults.
This breakdown may seem a bit rudimentary, but it explains the fundamental concepts that are needed to power an IoT connection. Here’s how that would look with the FAIRWAYiQ platform as an example:
It matters for several reasons that we’ll simplify:
Cellular network coverage is weak on the course.
Cell networks require nearby cellular towers. Golf courses typically sit in regions of a town or city far from towers therefore these networks provide little coverage on the course. This correlates to low network coverage and spotty service—a bad recipe for data collection and equipment monitoring.
Low energy consumption.
For years, the trialing of connecting devices to the internet in open spaces was energy consuming and unsustainable for practical business use. The LoRaWAN (Low Power, Long Range Wide Area Network) solution provides a low bit rate between devices and is expected to “solve the connectivity problem of tens of billions of devices in the next decade.”
When we say it’s cheap, what we really mean is its free. The only cost to a golf course is the hardware and setup. After that, LoRaWAN is free – no monthly plans.
LoRaWAN and the LoRa system was specifically created for wide and open spaces. It only seems fitting that its application creates a great possibility for Golf.