Long-range (LoRa) technology is most widely used for enabling low-power wide area networks (WANs) on unlicensed frequency bands. Despite its modest data rates, it provides extensive coverage for low-power devices, making it an ideal communication system for many internet of things (IoT) applications. In general, LoRa is considered as the physical layer, whereas LoRaWAN is the medium access control (MAC) layer of the LoRa stack that adopts a star topology to enable communication between multiple end devices (EDs) and the network gateway. The chirp spread spectrum modulation deals with LoRa signal interference and ensures long-range communication. At the same time, the adaptive data rate mechanism allows EDs to dynamically alter some LoRa features, such as the spreading factor (SF), code rate, and carrier frequency to address the time variance of communication conditions in dense networks. Despite the high LoRa connectivity demand, LoRa signals interference and concurrent transmission collisions are major limitations. Therefore, to enhance LoRaWAN capacity, the LoRa Alliance released many LoRaWAN versions, and the research community has provided numerous solutions to develop scalable LoRaWAN technology. Hence, we thoroughly examine LoRaWAN scalability challenges and state-of-the-art solutions in both the physical and MAC layers. These solutions primarily rely on SF, logical, and frequency channel assignment, whereas others propose new network topologies or implement signal processing schemes to cancel the interference and allow LoRaWAN to connect more EDs efficiently. A summary of the existing solutions in the literature is provided at the end of the paper, describing the advantages and disadvantages of each solution and suggesting possible enhancements as future research directions.
Bibliographical noteKAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2023-05-19
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering