Device not connecting to my LoRaWAN gateway when others are connected

QUESTION: Why is my new LoRaWAN device not connecting to the gateway when other devices connected just fine?

ANSWER: LoRaWAN devices and device network are build on the concept of an open network architecture. Unlike with Wifi or other wireless mesh technologies, devices do not connect with the gateways.

  • The gateways act only as data forwarders to the LoRa servers whose security credentials they possess.

  • Communication from any device broadcasting on the correct LoRaWAN frequency will be received by your gateway.

  • Communication received by the gateway that does not possess the correct security credentials will be discarded by your gateway.

  • The gateway will forward data from 3rd party LoRaWAN devices that are also registered with 3rd party applications on TTN, Loriot, and other open IoT providers.

  • Data from your device may not always get through to your LoRa server via the same gateway. Most low-cost 8-channel gateways may become saturated with wireless data traffic. It is wise to create an overlapping network with multiple gateways to minimize these communication problems.

  • If a gateway is over saturated with traffic, it will reject any new join requests from new devices, as it has to adhere to strict government broadcast frequency regulations and broadcast duty cycles.

  • For private LoRaWAN networks, the above also holds. Private network gateways just have security credentials from a private LoRa server. Gateways can still receive data from 3rd party devices which operate on the same LoRaWAN frequency but will discard and not forward the data to the private LoRa server for processing.