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I'm currently facing setbacks in finding available LoRaWAN gateways for the project in Lagos. It seems that there are no active gateways on The Things Network, and local network providers don't have much information about LoRa. Upon further investigation, I discovered that Nigeria's frequency spectrum regulations only allow unlicensed communication in the standard WiFi bands of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. This explains why I couldn't find any active LoRaWAN gateways.
Obtaining a license for a standard LoRa frequency band isn't currently feasible for me due to time and budget constraints. So I needed a new plan for connecting the loggers to the internet. Taking a closer look at the standard Lora modules helped me figure out how to proceed.
To overcome the LoRaWAN problem, I decided to utilize mini PCIe LoRa radio modules, which can be seamlessly integrated into custom designs. I examined the pinouts and discovered the SPI and I2C pins used for communication with an application board. My plan is to design a GSM module matching the LoRa module's pinout and interface it with my air-quality sensor board via the PCIe connection. This design allows for a seamless switch to a standard LoRa module in the future, ensuring hardware-level flexibility.
Follow Ahmed's weekly progress in developing the Interactive Air Quality Map 2.0 across Lagos.