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Wireless networks such as WiFi and Bluetooth are designed to work well even when many separately owned and managed networks overlap physically. For example, an apartment building full of personal WiFi routers just works, although this can lead to performance issues.

LoRaWAN is not really designed for this kind of robustness. From What is LoRaWAN?:

You may have heard that LoRaWAN isn’t a great fit for customer-deployed (aka private network) solutions, which is true today... It is a better fit for public, wide-area networks, because with LoRaWAN, all of the channels are tuned to the same frequencies, and it’s better to have only one network operating in a single area in order to avoid collision problems.

The article goes on to explain alternatives, but my question is about LoRaWAN itself. It appears that simply setting up a new LoRaWan network in proximity to, or overlapping another can degrade the performance of each. Assuming that is true, what can be done - if anything - to minimize degradation short of cooperation/coordination?

Of course I'm a strong advocate of cooperation and coordination, but sometimes it's not an easily available option. Are there features within LoRaWAN that allow for (or at least help facilitate) detection and avoidance of performance degradation due to adjacent or overlapping networks?

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One of the design assumptions of LoRaWAN is that multiple gateways are all listening to the same nodes. The only way to add the type of coordination you're talking about would be to add frequency hopping.

Link Labs and Haystack are two companies providing frequency hopped versions of LoRa.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ OK, I've read further, hopping is a channel change after every integer number of symbols and it's well described in the standard and individual product documentation. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – uhoh
    Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 5:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ I've asked this follow-up question about SEMTECH's plan for Picocells. \$\endgroup\$
    – uhoh
    Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 8:57

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