Experiences from Using LoRa and IEEE 802.15.4 for IoT-Enabled Classrooms

  • Lidia Pocero
  • Stelios Tsampas
  • Georgios MylonasEmail author
  • Dimitrios Amaxilatis
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11912)


Several networking technologies targeting the IoT application space currently compete within the smart city domain, both in outdoor and indoor deployments. However, up till now, there is no clear winner, and results from real-world deployments have only recently started to surface. In this paper, we present a comparative study of 2 popular IoT networking technologies, LoRa and IEEE 802.15.4, within the context of a research-oriented IoT deployment inside school buildings in Europe, targeting energy efficiency in education. We evaluate the actual performance of these two technologies in real-world settings, presenting a comparative study on the effect of parameters like the built environment, network quality, or data rate. Our results indicate that both technologies have their advantages, and while in certain cases both are perfectly adequate, in our use case LoRa exhibits a more robust behavior. Moreover, LoRa’s characteristics make it a very good choice for indoor IoT deployments such as in educational buildings, and especially in cases where there are low bandwidth requirements.


IoT LoRa IEEE 802.15.4 Educational buildings Real-world deployment LPWAN Evaluation 



This work has been supported by the EU research project “European Extreme Performing Big Data Stacks” (E2Data), funded by the European Commission under H2020 and contract number 780245, and the “Green Awareness In Action” (GAIA) project, funded by the European Commission and the EASME under H2020 and contract number 696029. This document reflects only the authors’ views and the EC and EASME are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.


  1. 1.
    Final draft ETSI EN 300 328 V2.2.1: Wideband transmission systems; Data transmission equipment operating in the 2,4 GHz band; Harmonised Standard for access to radio spectrum. Accessed 19 July 2019
  2. 2.
    GAIA project website. Accessed 19 July 2019
  3. 3.
    Grove-LoRa Radio 868 MHz. Accessed 19 July 2019
  4. 4.
    Semtech, sx1276/77/78/79 datasheet. Accessed 19 July 2019
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
    XBee/XBee-PRO S1 802.15.4 (Legacy) RF Modules User Guide. Accessed 19 July 2019
  7. 7.
    Narrowband - Internet of Things (NB-IoT). Accessed 4 Sept 2019
  8. 8.
    LG01-N Single Channel LoRa IoT Gateway. Accessed 19 July 2019
  9. 9.
    mksense, arduino xbee radio library. Accessed 19 July 2019
  10. 10.
    Arduino XBee library. Accessed July 2019
  11. 11.
    Alliance, L.: LoRaWan specification v1.1, p. 100 (2017)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Alliance, Z.: Zigbee specification document 053474r20, p. 622 (2012)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Amaxilatis, D., Akrivopoulos, O., Mylonas, G., Chatzigiannakis, I.: An IoT-based solution for monitoring a fleet of educational buildings focusing on energy efficiency. Sensors 17(10), 2296 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bouras, C., Kokkinos, V., Papachristos, N.: Performance evaluation of LoRaWan physical layer integration on IoT devices, pp. 1–4 (2018).
  15. 15.
    Carlsson, A., Kuzminykh, I., Franksson, R., Liljegren, A.: Measuring a LoRa network: performance, possibilities and limitations. In: Galinina, O., Andreev, S., Balandin, S., Koucheryavy, Y. (eds.) NEW2AN/ruSMART -2018. LNCS, vol. 11118, pp. 116–128. Springer, Cham (2018). Scholar
  16. 16.
    El Chall, R., Lahoud, S., El Helou, M.: LoRaWan network: radio propagation models and performance evaluation in various environments in Lebanon. IEEE Internet of Things J. PP, 1 (2019). Scholar
  17. 17.
    Haxhibeqiri, J., De Poorter, E., Moerman, I., Hoebeke, J.: A survey of LoRaWAN for IoT: from technology to application. Sensors 18(11) (2018). Scholar
  18. 18.
    Lavric, A., Popa, V.: A LoRaWAN: long range wide area networks study. In: 2017 International Conference on Electromechanical and Power Systems (SIELMEN), pp. 417–420 (2017)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lavric, A., Popa, V.: Performance evaluation of LoRaWan communication scalability in large-scale wireless sensor networks. Wirel. Commun. Mob. Comput. 2018, 1–9 (2018). Scholar
  20. 20.
    Marais, J., Malekian, R., Abu-Mahfouz, A.: Evaluating the LoRaWan protocol using a permanent outdoor testbed. IEEE Sens. J. PP, 1 (2019)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Mekki, K., Bajic, E., Chaxel, F., Meyer, F.: A comparative study of LPWAN technologies for large-scale IoT deployment. ICT Express 5(1), 1–7 (2019). Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pasolini, G., et al.: Smart city pilot projects using LoRa and IEEE802.15.4 technologies. Sensors 18, 1118 (2018). Scholar
  23. 23.
    Patel, D., Won, M.: Experimental study on low power wide area networks (LPWAN) for mobile internet of things. In: 2017 IEEE 85th Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC Spring), pp. 1–5, June 2017.
  24. 24.
    Pocero, L., Amaxilatis, D., Mylonas, G., Chatzigiannakis, I.: Open source IoT meter devices for smart and energy-efficient school buildings. HardwareX 1, 54–67 (2017). Scholar
  25. 25.
    Sinha, R.S., Wei, Y., Hwang, S.H.: A survey on LPWA technology: LoRa and NB-IoT. ICT Express 3(1), 14–21 (2017). Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Technology Institute and Press “Diophantus”PatrasGreece

Personalised recommendations