Frequently Asked Questions


If a licensed network decides to assign ‘local’ or ‘private’ device EUI then it is not possible to support movement between networks.

If this is the case, then devices should be indicated as ‘private’ in the usage report. In this case, the usage will not be covered on any other LoRaWAN network.

Yes. The first time a device appears in the usage log of a licensed network, that device will be invoiced and covered for one year of service on any licensed network.

The first licensed network to record usage of the device is charged. No other network will be charged within a calendar year. 

Semtech levies a small annual fee for each LoRaWAN device to cover enabling the location service and coordinating global free movement of devices.

Each licensed network operator is required to submit a list of active devices within their network each month. Semtech aggregates all the usage data across all licensed networks word-wide and invoices each licensed network operator (via the licensee who would normally be the system integrator or the network server provider). Each licensee has the option to list a device as ‘on service’ in the network server provider). Each licensee has the option to list a device as ‘on service’ in starting period for the service for any device will be the first month that it appears in a usage list or as ‘on service’.

The usage fee covers a calendar year of world-wide service and any device that is already paid on one network will not be invoiced on any other network. For devices that are not listed as ‘on service’ within any licensed network then, the first time a device appears in the usage report of a licensed network, that licensed network will be invoiced and cover world-wide usage for a calendar year.

In the Class B principle, the latency is not defined by the number of nodes, but by the latency that the node requests to the network. If it negotiates 32 seconds with the network, then on average, it will be listening to the network every 32 seconds. When the load increases for Class B on a specific gateway, the impact is not delay but potentially overhearing of more than 1 device on a defined “meeting point”, in other words if the gateway is out of time slots, it may assign the same time slot to multiple devices. This would cause these devices to lengthen their listening time (and therefore consume more energy), even when the “other” device is interrogated. This impact is mild obviously, on the basis that network actuation is meant to be scarce (a few times per day typically).

It is region specific. For EU863-870, the maximum application payload length is:

  • 51 bytes at SF12 / 125 kHz (lowest data rate)
  • 51 bytes at SF11 / 125 kHz
  • 51 bytes at SF10 / 125 kHz
  • 115 bytes at SF9 / 125 kHz
  • 222 bytes at SF8 / 125 kHz
  • 222 bytes at SF7 / 125 kHz
  • 222 bytes at SF7 / 250 kHz
  • 222 bytes at FSK / 50 kpbs

ADR stands for Adaptive Data Rate. The ADR feature is used to adapt and optimize the following parameters of a static end-device:

  • Data rate,
  • Tx power level,
  • Channel mask,
  • The number of repetitions for each uplink message.

The end-device decides to enable ADR. Once ADR is requested by the end-device, the network can optimize the end-device’s data rate, Tx power, channel mask and the number of repetitions for each uplink message. 

Commissioning (or on-boarding) an end-device on a network is the process of securely transferring to the network server data base and to the device:

  • The end-device’s DevAddr.
  • The end-device’s Network Session Key (NwkSKey) and Application Session Key (AppSKey).
  • To which destination (IP addr of the application server) the end-device’s uplink frames should be routed.
  • The end-device’s important characteristics (class , type, short description).

This happens only once: at the end-device life start

It is region specific. For EU863-870, it  is from 250 bps to 11 kbps with LoRa® modulation and up to 50 kbps in FSK modulation mode.

No. ADR does not override the frequency channel but enable the use of the pre-configured channels through a channel mask. 

The maximum number of uplink channels is dependent on the PHY band in use. PHY bands like the European one handle a maximum of 16 channels. 3 default channels which can't be modified + 13 channels which can be created/deleted/enabled/disabled. PHY bands like the US915 handles a maximum of 72 channels. They exist all the time but can be enabled/disabled according to the local regulator rules. PHY bands like the CN470 handles a maximum of 96 channels. They exist all the time but can be enabled/disabled according to the local regulator rules. The channels are defined as described below. Channel frequency between 100 MHz and 1.67 GHz in 100 Hz steps. Data rate range (min. and max.)

The LoRa® modulation is the PHY, and LoRaWAN is a MAC protocol for a high capacity long range and low power star network that the LoRa Alliance™ is standardizing for Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN). The LoRaWAN protocol is optimized for low cost, battery operated sensors and includes different classes of nodes to optimize the tradeoff between network latency and battery lifetime. It is fully bi-directional and was architected by security experts to ensure reliability and safety. The architecture of LoRaWAN was also designed to easily locate mobile objects for asset tracking, which is one of the fastest growing volume applications for Internet of Things (IoT). LoRaWAN is being deployed for nationwide networks by major telecom operators, and the LoRa Alliance is standardizing LoRaWAN to make sure the different nationwide networks are interoperable. 

LoRaWAN is designed to provide Low Power Wide Area Networks with features specifically needed to support low-cost, mobile, secure bi-directional communication for Internet of Things (IoT), machine-to-machine (M2M), and smart city, and industrial applications. It is optimized for low power consumption and to support large networks with millions and millions of devices. It has innovative features, supports redundant operation, location, low-cost, low-power and can even run on energy harvesting technologies enabling the mobility and ease of use to Internet of Things.

To see a short introduction about the LoRa Alliance go here.


The specification document describes the LoRaWAN network protocol, this can be downloaded from here.


The LoRa Alliance is committed to interoperability, quality of the network as well as the end-points. LoRa Alliance member products are available throughout the eco-system. The LoRa Alliance Certified program leverages the expertise of industries and certification groups around the world and their expertize to ensure the vision of the alliance is maintained .

Members benefits of such a program are:

  • Certified Product
  • Interoperability testing
  • Use of LoRa Alliance Certified logo
  • Product listing on the Alliance website
  • Product promotion in Alliance collateral
  • Inclusion in Alliance product demonstrations

Types of Certification

LoRa Alliance Certified Product program ensures that product meet national frequency regulations as well as the LoRaWAN required and optional features to ensure interoperability and compliance.

LoRa Alliance Compliant Platform program ensure LoRaWAN interoperability and compliance of network infrastructure, components and offerings according to national frequency regulations and the alliance specification.

Authorized Test Service Providers and certification process

Only LoRa Alliance authorized test houses may perform testing for the alliance certified program. Applicable national conformity test reports and registrations are supplied together with the LoRa Alliance conformity report to the Alliance Certification body before receiving the right of Certified product or Certified platform.

LoRaWAN uses primarily the 125kHz BW setting, but other proprietary protocols can utilize other BW settings. Changing the BW, SF, and CR changes the link budget and time on air, which results in a battery lifetime versus range tradeoff.

Please use the LoRa Modem Calculator to evaluate the tradeoffs. 

ADR is a method where the actual data rate is adjusted to ensure reliable packet delivery, optimal network performance, and scale for capacity. For example, nodes close to the gateway will use a higher data rate (shorter time on air) and a lower output power.

Only Nodes that are at the very edge of the link budget will use the lowest data rate and highest output power.

The ADR method can accommodate changes in the network infrastructure and support varying path loss.

To maximize both battery life of end-devices and overall network capacity, the LoRa network infrastructure manages the data rate and RF output for each end node individually by implementing ADR. 

LoRaWAN data rates range for LoRa between 0.3kbps to 11kbps and one GFSK data rate at 50kbps for Europe.

In North America, the minimum data rate is 0.9kbps due to FCC limitations.

To maximize both battery life of the end-devices and overall network capacity, the LoRaWAN network server is managing the data rate and RF output for each end-device individually by means of an adaptive data rate (ADR) algorithm.

The ADR is critical for a high performance network, and it enables scalability.

A network can be deployed with a minimal investment in infrastructure and as capacity is needed, more gateways can be deployed and the ADR will shift the data rates higher, which will scale the network capacity by 6-8x.

With all international networks, total uniqueness in the identity of the devices connected is a key requirement. Device EUI should be assigned from the IEEE unique database.