Well, I'm glad that the posting got some traction and some very interesting ideas were shared. While the bits and pieces of information were all out there, your argument helped drawing some conclusions.
- LoRa is NOT an option for HA. alexsh1 explained one scenario and I'm actually using LoRa (not LoRaWAN) in my building, but both cases make use of LoRa only because it's a new cool technology. @alexsh1 your friend could properly cover his home with 2G/3G signal either for free, by asking the provider to improve the coverage in that area, or by buying a GSM repeater. And I could ask a neighbor to share his WiFi connection so an ESP8266 module could do the job.
- The protocol addresses very specific segments where a great urban coverage is required and for that to happen no node should exceed a radio power of over 100mW.
There is another case where everything was traded off for the sake of range, the ham radio JT65 protocol. I was able to successfully transmit a signal from Romania to Brazil using 5W RF power and a 1m diameter magnetic loop antenna. It's great for long distance, narrow bandwidth (200Hz wide channel), low power but it sends data at a "whooping" speed of 13 characters per 50 sec, during which it draws about 1.8A from a 12V battery (21.6Wh).
- My original idea of LoRa <-> RFM69/RF24 is not feasible unless, some serious downsampling is involved, as buffering the raw data before sending it out is really useless because LoRa doesn't have a serious overhead that would be addressed by concatenating larger chunks of data in a single packets.
So at the end of the day, it really leaves us with a couple of applicable scenarios when taking public LoRaWAN meshes into consideration. Smart meters and perhaps security devices which only have to send a daily keepalive ping and if ever needed, tripped sensor alerts, provided that they would be immune to jammers. I'm not taking into consideration the close range stations where a daily 30s air time would suffice, because this defeats the purpose of LongRange. Other than that I see no real use of LoRaWAN, but feel free to share your ideas, perhaps I'm missing something.
And after apparently trashing both LoRa and LoRaWAN I will only say that I can barely wait to get myself a LoRaWAN gateway and set it up in my area