LoRaWAN® network architecture is deployed in a star-of-stars topology in which gateways relay messages between end-devices and a central network server. The gateways are connected to the network server via standard IP connections and act as a transparent bridge, simply converting RF packets to IP packets and vice versa. The wireless communication takes advantage of the Long Range characteristics of the LoRaÒ physical layer, allowing a single-hop link between the end-device and one or many gateways. All modes are capable of bi-directional communication, and there is support for multicast addressing groups to make efficient use of spectrum during tasks such as Firmware Over-The-Air (FOTA) upgrades or other mass distribution messages.
The specification defines the device-to-infrastructure (LoRa®) physical layer parameters & (LoRaWAN®) protocol and so provides seamless interoperability between manufacturers, as demonstrated via the device certification program. While the specification defines the technical implementation, it does not define any commercial model or type of deployment (public, shared, private, enterprise) and so offers the industry the freedom to innovate and differentiate how it is used. The LoRaWAN® specification is developed and maintained by the LoRa Alliance®: an open association of collaborating members.