Sunday, August 23, 2015

LoRa Network Server

When asking what is LoRa, you may get several different answer. One thinks it's  essentially the LoRa modulation, giving the extraordinary radio performance. Other one says it's the LoRaWAN protocol, as that is the only well specified part of the system. Third one may consider it's all about the Network Server where all the network management functionality is implemented.

LoRa network architecture. Source: Semtech .
In LoRa networks, especially when considering public network approach, the Network Server plays central role. Gateway is intended to be a simple packet forwarder and thus being inexpensive part of the system. At the moment there are three network server providers:
Actility is perhaps the leading supplier with most commercial deployments in place at the moment. Espotel recently joined Actility's certification program in order to ensure end-devices are compatible with the ThinkPark back-end.

LoRaWAN certification acknowledged by the LoRa Alliance guarantees interoperability of end-devices with any gateway manufacturer. However, LoRa Alliance  does not specify the interface towards Network Server, thus it is implementation specific. That's why different back-end providers may have their own certification programs, like Actility does.

Kerlink outdoor gateway and LoRaMote test device with IMST LoRa module
as part of ThinkPark certification program content.
The test network is very easy to set up. The supplied gateway is pre-configured to ThingPark and requires no user configuration at deployment, just blug & play. Power-over-Ethernet with provided power injector makes cable installation easy. Only internet connectivity is required. There also exists variant with cellular data modem instead of Ethernet.

Screenshot of ThingPark DeviceManager web interface.
Edit 2015-8-26:
According to the feedback I have received, there are several other Network service providers emerged, including Lace, Loriot, Senetco, and The Things Network. I consider that as positive sign, meaning there are many parties who believe in LoRa technology. The ecosystem is stronger all the time.


  1. There is one more network server provider:
    It has a community network offer (you share your gateways and you can use other's gateways) or private offer.

  2. In the US Senet also provides LoRa network management services -

  3. Link Labs ( has added full LoRa server support to their offering.

  4. is a LoRa server provider which has further developed the IBM solution to an own product.

  5. What are the key pros and cons of Actility vs. Loriot for public LoRa network deployment?

    It is quite a challenge deciding upon a LoRa network provider since the market is becoming quite saturated by now. It seems that IBM has stopped development of their LSRC LoRa project by now as far as I understand.

  6. IBM stopped LoRa project 2 years ago, the IBM engineer who developed the network server left the company and started Loriot.

    The LoRaWAN specification was created by semtech, IBM and Actility.

    I recommend you to use Loriot but if you want to try all, there are many more:

    Other new comercial servers are
    - ResIoT
    - Sertone
    Other open source servers are:
    Test server:
    MNO servers:
    - orange
    - KPN
    - objenious

  7. and IoT-X

  8. Thanks for your reply. Is there any specific reason you point to Loriot over let's say Actility, which provides an end-to-end solution?

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