The patented LoRa (Long Range) wireless IoT communication protocol is owned by Semtech. LoRa uses unlicensed radio frequency bands such as 169 MHz, 433 MHz, 868 MHz (Europe) and 915 MHz (North America). It enables very-long-range transmissions, and can transmit over 10 km in rural areas with low power consumption.
LoRa is a proprietary technology, patented by a private company. This puts it in a different perspective, and may limit use-cases where the users of the system do not want a technology lock-in with a closed standard. In many aspects, the basic features of LoRa are comparable with SigFox, such as the small data payloads. However, it offers a better bandwidth, one that is more in the mid-range, plus considerably better latency. The overlap with SigFox, while visible in certain requirements, is not as considerable as it may appear as this closed standard is what really sets it apart from the rest of the technologies, rather than any specific feature.
LoRa allows for an inexpensive, long-range connectivity for IoT devices in rural, remote and offshore industries. They are typically used in mining sectors, for natural resource management, renewable energy, transcontinental logistics, and in supply chain management.