Once upon a time long range deployments depended on things like the SIM 900 GSM/GPRS modem. These days though there are various LPWAN (low-power wide-area network) radio protocols available. For an idea of where LPWAN fits into the range of wireless technology protocols see the following image:
Many of the boards we’ve looked at use the Semtech SX1276 Long Modem mounted onto a RFM95W LoRa Module. Adafruit have a breakout board with the module on: Adafruit RFM95W LoRa Radio Transceiver Breakout - 868 or 915 MHz - RadioFruit which might be used with something like the Arduino Pro Mini.
For LoRaWAN while the LoRa bit is in the SX1276, the WAN bit has to run in software on the development board microcontroller. For Arduino this is typically the Arduino-LMIC library, but note that this isn’t a full LoRaWAN stack.
We also have an Arduino MKR WAN 1300 for people to see.
The main boards we will be using for the Year of IoT though will be:
Adafruit Feather M0 with RFM95 LoRa Radio - 900MHz - RadioFruit board which can be used with both the Arduino IDE and CircuitPython.
The development boards all use Grove connectors to allow for ease of use, a plethora of sensors using these connectors are available from places like Seed Studio.
We’ve also found a feather compatible breakout board with Grove connectors the Seeed Studio Grove Starter Kit for Particle Mesh.