Packet Size on LoRa Networks - Structure of Network Pricing

There are several ways network providers could calculate packet size from a device causing differences in pricing structure.

  • Depending on the pay structure, some networks might round to the nearest whole number
  • It’s also possible to charge for the entire on-air packet, which is a suggestive 24 bytes long
    • Packets starts with a preamble and hardware layer LoRa header that is undocumented and generally not counted by networks (20.25 bytes)
    • 8 – 23 bytes of LoRaWAN header (depending on number of mac commands going up)
    • An optional port number (1 byte)
    • User payload for that port (11 bytes max in most restrictive regions)
    • 4 bytes of CRC
    • So the total size for an 11 byte payload, not including the initial preamble, is 8 + 1 + 11 + 4 = 24 bytes

How much data do the devices use per month?

This depends on a few factors:

  1. Device Type: the type of device affects how much data is sent and how often
  2. Device Setup: what is the device setup to do?
  3. Network: what is the minimum connection charge?
  • Keep in mind:

    • The minimum connection charge could have a massive effect on the data usage. Consider Helium. Helium provides connectivity through the purchase of data credits. Each data credit equals a 24 byte packet. Helium only calculates based on the payload itself but rounded up to the nearest data credit.
    • As a general rule of thumb you would expect to use 1 data credit on Helium for each uplink on the Oyster


The PDF attachments found below contain the payload structure for the different LoRaWAN devices. 

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