LoRa™ =Long Range wireless data telemetry and relates to a radical VHF/UHF 2-way wireless spread spectrum data modulation approach that has recently been developed & trademarked (™) by Semtech - a long established (1960) US multinational electronics firm. Refer => http://www.semtech.com/
The technology behind LoRa™ was developed by Cycleo, a French company acquired by Semtech in 2012. LoRa™ is proprietary, but it appears to use some sort of "simpler" CSS (Chirp Spread Spectrum) pulsed FM "sweeping frequency" modulation rather than DSSS (Direct Sequence SS) or FHSS (Frequency Hopping SS).
Semtech's web site mentions that "LoRa™ technology offers a 20dB link budget advantage compared to existing solutions, which significantly extends the range of any application while delivering the lowest current consumption to maximize battery life."
Claimed ranges are typically x10 that of regular UHF wireless data systems. Yes -compared with regular narrow band data setups LoRa™ gives 100s of metres rather than 10s, several 1000m rather than mere 100s. Magic !
LoRa™ is somewhat complicated,as it uses terms and requires settings likely unfamiliar to many "normal" users. Pleasingly however it's been found possible to verify claims with simple setups - here using paired UK sourced US$3 PICAXE micros as the controllers. PICAXEs are near ideal for such trials as they're programmed in high level interpreted BASIC & any execution speed overheads are incidental for the s-l-o-w LORA™ data !Refer  => www.picaxe.com
In recent decades, & aided by cheap PC processing,diverse smart digital modes have been developed (especially by radio hams) for lower frequency HF (3-30MHz) work where bandwidth is precious. (Bandwidth hungry spread spectrum modulation is usually illegal on these lower frequencies). Some modes can span oceans with low power (a few Watts) but are slow & need sophisticated PC software for encoding/decoding, along with very sensitive comms. receivers and significant antenna. Refer  => http://hfradio.org.uk/html/digital_modes.html
Semtech's VHF/UHF SX127x LoRa™ RF ICs however house almost everything within a smart thumb nail sized ~US$4 chip!
Semtech makes several RF IC variations, with the SX1278 being lower UHF frequency slanted to suit 433 MHz ISM band users. Higher freq. 800-900 MHz offerings appeal for more professional work, although at these near 1GHz frequencies reduced RF punch and signal path absorption may be an issue. Sub GHz frequencies however have lower noise, legally higher transmit power & more compact high gain antenna that may offset this.
As well as LoRa™.modulation (shown pictured), SX127x transceiver modules can also produce FSK, GFSK, MSK, GMSK, ASK/OOK and even FM tone signals (Morse Code !) to suit legacy systems. Refer Semtech datasheets (131 pages!)  => www.semtech.com/images/datasheet/sx1276.pdf
Note: HOPERF, a long established Chinese wireless data firm, offer LoRa™ modules with a "'7 a side" RF96/97/98 IC that seems akin to Semtech's SX127x. It's unknown however if these are just an Asian LoRa™ 2nd sourcing...