Radiocrafts AS, a leading provider of RF modules today presented a long range LPWAN solution for IoT applications based on an ultra-narrowband radio at 169 MHz.
Radiocrafts offer a solution that covers 40 km2 in a real urban range test with a 169 MHz RF module (RC1701HP-MBUS4), showing the benefits of an ultra-narrowband 169 MHz star network for LPWAN applications.
Many range tests in the wireless industry takes advantage of high rise mountains, warm air balloons and similar, achieving very impressive range numbers. This is a way to show relative performance between different technologies, but has little in common with the actual range that can be achieved in a real life use case.
Radiocrafts has issued an Application Note, AN021, to provide real data that can be used for real use cases at 868 and 169 MHz. Three cases are shown, an indoor building, a mountain peak to peak (rural) and a real city (urban environment). As expected, the mountain peak to peak (Line of Sight) shows very good range data and the indoor building shows that the indoor performance has little in common with the line of sight measurement.
A very interesting measurement is the 169 MHz case with standard antennas and a commercially available RF module from Radiocrafts that shows that 3.5 km distance is achieved in a downtown Oslo measurement. This means that a 169 MHz star network with low cost components can be used to cover a 40 km2 circular area in a downtown environment with a very basic star network.
The range advantage of 169 MHz and the fact that it is license free in Europe makes it an ideal alternative to other LPWAN solutions for IoT applications. The low complexity of a 169 MHz network based on Radiocrafts RF modules makes it very easy to set-up with a very competitive cost.