Welcome to the KPN LoRa forum. An overview

  • 23 March 2018
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Welcome to the KPN LoRa forum! If you are new to (KPN) LoRa then this is the place to start. For the more experienced users this post can be used as an overview.


The first thing to look at is the General overview of LoRa and LoRaWAN. This explains the basic concept of the LoRa network and once you are acquainted with it, a good next step is to look into the KPN implementation of LoRaWAN. As you might already have noticed, this technology comprises a lot of terminology, for which one can refer to the The LoRa Dictionary & Definitions post.

It should be noted that this forum serves both users of the free LoRa developer portal and contracted users of the ThingPark platform. This means that certain specific aspects or topics on this forum might not completely apply to your situation. On top of that, the same goes for customers that are contracted via a reseller (SIMPoint).
The response on questions posted on this forum is based on best effort. For KPN's contracted customers, the IoT Service desk is available regarding urgent incidents or questions. For customers that are connected via SIMPoint, there questions should be adressed at the Servicedesk of SIMPoint. SIMPoint basically manages your devices for you in the ThingPark environment and therefore they should be contacted when you have questions regarding the devices you have registered with them.

KPN LoRa: the basics

In the communication between end-devices and gateways each bit of information is encoded in multiple chirps. The relation between the bit and chirp rate is expressed in the Spreading Factor (SF), which varies from SF7 to SF12 and can be managed by the Adaptive Data Rate algorithm. The Spreading Factor (SF), Time on Air and (Adaptive) Data Rate topic elaborates on these subjects and the LoRaWAN channels topic describes the frequencies of the KPN LoRa channels used.
LoRaWAN devices can be used to send and receive both Uplink and Downlink messages as long as they comply to the Duty cycle regulations.
LoRa devices communicate by broadcasting the signal to every Gateway in the vicinity. The Network server collects the messages from all Gateways and it determines the gateway that had the best reception, the Last Best Gateway (LBG). For downlink messages, the LBG is selected to send the dowlink message. The antenna design is a crucial aspect in the performance of LoRa devices.

The LoRaWAN protocol offers two layers of security implemented using the AES128 algorithm. The KPN LoRa network forwards the data from an End-Device to the Application Server of the customer with an HHTPS POST API call to the specified Application Server, formatted as XML or JSON.

Before provisioning a device on the KPN LoRa network, ensure that you have a certified device, in order to ensure the proper device behaviour.
Next, determine which of the three Device Classes applies to your use case.

In order for the data of the End-Device to be sent to the correct Endpoint, an Application Server and corresponding AS Routing Profile should be provisioned. Once this is done you are all set to connect your device to the KPN LoRa network. Connecting a device to the network can be done either via Over-The-Air-Activation (OTAA) or Activation-By-Personalisation, however, ABP is no longer allowed for commercial use on our network (it is only applicable to certain devices in the developer portal).

Features of the (KPN) LoRa network

A unique feature of the KPN LoRa network is the ability to track assets using Geolocation. This feature is based on information from the network and it does thus not require additional battery power from the device.

Currently, Roaming with network operators in other countries is in the development phase. This means that as an operator, we are testing with this feature but it is not yet available. Once it comes available this will of course be communicated to our users.

Hardware Security Module (HSM)
Another new feature in the KPN LoRa network is the use of a Hardware Security Module (HSM). This feature adds another layer of security to the service and once it becomes available this will be communicated to our users.

Manuals, how-to's and FAQ

If you are enthousiastic about using LoRa, then here are two topics to get you started:
On top of that the KPN LoRa om Van Raam fietsen te traceren topic describes a use case for the Geolocation service.
The IoT Academy is an institution that offers IoT workshops. If you want some hands-on experience with LoRa you could follow one of these workshops, during which you will develop your own IoT Application with a Marvin developer board.

If you get stuck along the way make sure to look at the LoRa | Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the LoRaWAN best practices topics, which could help you along.

Finally, if you have any questions to which you cannot find the answer on this forum, feel free ta ask! Open a topic (by hitting the ‘Stel uw vraag’ button) and we will be happy to provide you with an answer (based on best-effort response). It is also encouraged to open a topic to share your project. Others might give useful feedback and/or might be inspired.

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