NTT’s IoT Services for Sustainability supported by new LoRaWAN low power network

Japan’s NTT has launched IoT Services for Sustainability, a new stack of products designed to help businesses advance progress against global sustainability initiatives and make data-driven decisions to reduce their carbon footprint through the intelligent use of IoT connectivity. These products include OCR Meter Reading, Water Leak Management, Predictive Maintenance and Environmental Monitoring.

  • OCR Meter Reading is an on optical-based meter reader to provide near real-time data from any type of meter including water, electricity, and gas. The meter can also be used to read any type of gauge including pressure and temperature.
  • The Water Leak Management technology provides real-time, IoT-enabled protection against water damage for smart spaces projects.
  • The Predictive Maintenance platform collects data from sensors to create models that predict when events of interest might occur, including potential downtime, accidents or when something might need to be replaced.
  • The Environmental Monitoring technology uses sensors to identify the presence of pollutants in the air and water as well as tracking temperature and humidity.

NTT’s IoT Services for Sustainability stack incorporates an IT/OT integration and support. This helps organizations to quickly see the benefits of the technology across the entire business following deployment. Benefits include energy cost savings, faster reduction in emissions, advanced operational excellence, and better work enablement across the organization. The stack of products is also supported by NTT’s new LoRaWAN network, and its catalog of sensors to measure, monitor and collect data to drive sustainability objectives.

“IoT technologies are an essential tool in the global fight against climate change,” said Jeff Merritt, Head of Urban Transformation at the World Economic Forum. “We know what actions are needed to build a more sustainable future and have a robust suite of technologies available to help deliver this impact. As the world looks to accelerate the implementation of these solutions, organizations like NTT will have a critical role to play in helping companies and governments capitalize on this opportunity,” he added.

This announcement follows the appointment of two industry veterans to drive growth and momentum across NTT’s IoT and sustainability initiatives. Wireless industry leader Devin Yaung has been appointed as SVP of Group Enterprise IoT Products and Services, NTT, bringing over 25 years of technology experience focused on business transformation. Vicky Bullivant has also been appointed as SVP, Group Sustainability, NTT, Bullivant has 25 years of creating and delivering successful sustainability, social, climate and ESG strategies that underpin commercial objectives in fast-paced and evolving business environments.

Almost two-thirds (61.4%) of CEOs say they’re aligning business strategies to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Yet only 2 out of 5 businesses have the solutions needed to meet the organization’s immediate objectives,” said Devin Yaung, SVP of Group Enterprise IoT Products and Services.

“Therefore, it is more critical than ever to prioritize and deliver sustainability solutions for our enterprise customers. Our new stack of solutions will help organizations reach their sustainability goals and improve operations across their business, whether it is reducing waste from manufacturing defects or understanding the carbon footprint of their supply chain. The use of IoT will empower businesses to make decisions in real-time, streamlining processes and transforming the overall sustainability of their business. We’re proud to be announcing this offering at such a critical time, and we look forward to driving change alongside our clients to create a more sustainable future.”

About NTT Ltd.
NTT Ltd. is a leading, global technology services company. To help our clients achieve their digital transformation goals, we use our global capabilities, expertise, and full-stack technology services delivered through our integrated services platform. As their long-term strategic partner, we help them enhance customer and employee experience, transform their cloud strategy, modernize their networks and strengthen their cybersecurity. And across their transformation priorities, we automate their business processes and IT, drawing insights and analytics from their core business data. As a global ICT provider, we employ more than 50,000 people across 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries and regions. Together we enable the connected future.

Visit us at services.global.ntt

References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220502005090/en/NTT-Launches-IoT-Services-for-Sustainability

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/ntt-launches-iot-services-for-sustainability-projects–1422921

 

IEEE/SCU SoE Virtual Event: May 26, 2022- Critical Cybersecurity Issues for Cellular Networks (3G/4G, 5G), IoT, and Cloud Resident Data Centers

This virtual event on ZOOM will be from 10am-12pm PDT on May 26, 2022.  Registration information to be posted soon.

Session Abstract:

IEEE ComSoc and SCU School of Engineering (SoE) are thrilled to have three world class experts discuss the cybersecurity threats, mitigation methods and lessons learned from a data center attack. One speaker will also propose a new IT Security Architecture where control flips from the network core to the edge.

Each participant will provide a 15 to 20 minute talk which will be followed by a lively panel session with both pre-planned and ad hoc/ extemporaneous questions.  Audience members are encouraged to submit their questions in the chat and also to send them in advance to [email protected]

Below are descriptions of each talk along with the speaker’s bio:

Cybersecurity for Cellular Networks (3G/4G, 5G NSA and SA) and the IoT

Jimmy Jones, ZARIOT

Abstract:

Everyone agrees there is an urgent need for improved security in today’s cellular networks (3G/4G, 5G) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Jimmy will discuss the legacy problems of 3G/4G, migration to 5G and issues in roaming between cellular carriers as well as the impact of networks transitioning to support IoT.

Note: It’s important to know that 5G security, as specified by 3GPP (there are no ITU recommendations on 5G security), requires a 5G Stand Alone (SA) core network, very few of which have been deployed.  5G Non Stand Alone (NSA) networks are the norm, but they depend on a 4G-LTE infrastructure, including 4G security.

Cellular network security naturally leads into IoT security, since cellular networks (e.g. NB IoT, LTE-M, 5G) are often used for IoT connectivity.

It is estimated that by 2025 we will interact with an IoT device every 18 seconds, meaning our online experiences and physical lives will become indistinguishable. With this in mind it is as critical to improve IoT security as fastening a child’s seatbelt.

The real cost of a security breach or loss of service for a critical IoT device could be disastrous for a business of any size, yet it’s a cost seldom accurately calculated or forecasted by most enterprises at any stage of IoT deployment.  Gartner predicts Operational Technologies might be weaponized to cause physical harm or even kill within three years.

Jimmy will stress the importance of secure connectivity, but also explain the need to protect the full DNA of IoT (Device, Network and Applications) to truly secure the entire system.

Connectivity providers are a core component of IoT and have a responsibility to become part of the solution. A secure connectivity solution is essential, with strong cellular network standards/specifications and licensed spectrum the obvious starting point.

With cellular LPWANs (Low Power Wide Area Networks) outpacing unlicensed spectrum options (e.g. LoRa WAN, Sigfox) for the first time, Jimmy will stress the importance of secure connectivity and active collaboration across the entire IoT ecosystem. The premise is that the enterprise must know and protect its IoT DNA (Device, Network & Application) to truly be secure.

Questions from the audience:

I am open to try and answer anything you are interested in. Your questions will surely push me, so if you can let me know in advance (via email to Alan) that would be great!  It’s nice to be challenged a bit and have to think about something new.

One item of interest might be new specific IoT legislation that could protect devices and data in Europe, Asia, and the US ?

End Quote:

“For IoT to realize its potential it must secure and reliable making connectivity and secure by design policies the foundation of and successful project.  Success in digital transformation (especially where mission and business critical devices are concerned) requires not only optimal connectivity and maximal uptime, but also a secure channel and protection against all manner of cybersecurity threats. I’m excited to be part of the team bringing these two crucial pillars of IoT to enterprise. I hope we can demonstrate that security is an opportunity for business – not a burden.”

Biography:

Jimmy Jones is a telecoms cybersecurity expert and Head of Security at ZARIOT.  His experience in telecoms spans over twenty years, during which time he has built a thorough understanding of the industry working in diverse roles but all building from early engineering positions within major operators, such as WorldCom (now Verizon), and vendors including Nortel, Genband & Positive Technologies.

In 2005 Jimmy started to focus on telecom security, eventually transitioning completely in 2017 to work for a specialist cyber security vendor. He regularly presents at global telecom and IoT events, is often quoted by the tech media, and now brings all his industry experience to deliver agile and secure digital transformation with ZARIOT.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Title:  Flip the Security Control of the Internet                             

Colin Constable, The @ Company

The PROBLEM:

With the explosion of Internet connected devices and services carrying user data, do current IT architectures remain secure as they scale? The simple and scary answer is absolutely no, we need to rethink the whole stack. Data breaches are not acceptable and those who experience them pay a steep price.

Transport Layer Security (TLS) encrypts data sent over the Internet to ensure that eavesdroppers and hackers are unable to see the actual data being transmitted.  However, the Router needs meta data (the IP and Port) to make it work.  What meta data does the Data level Router have access to?

We need to discuss how to approach the problem and selectively discard, but learn from previous IT architectures so that we can build a more solid, secure IT infrastructure for the future.

Proposition:

I will provide a glimpse of a future security focused IT architecture.

  • We need to move most security control functionality to the edge of the network.
  • Cloud data center storage should be positioned as an encrypted cache with encryption keys at the edge.
  • No one set of keys or system admin can open all the encrypted data.

When data is shared edge to edge we need to be able to specify and authenticate the person, entity or thing that is sharing the data.  No one in the middle should be able to see data in the clear.

Issues with Encryption Keys:

  • IT and Data security increasingly rely on encryption; encryption relies on keys; who has them?
  • Is there really any point to VPN’s Firewalls and Network segmentation if data is encrypted?
  • We use keys for so many things TLS, SSH, IM, Email, but we never tend to think about the keys.
  • Do you own your keys? If not someone else can see your data!
  • What do we need to flip the way IT is architected?

Recommendations for Keys:

  • Keys should be cut at the edge and never go anywhere else.
  • You should be able to securely share keys along with the data being transmitted/received.
  • There needs to be a new way to think about identity on the Internet.

The above description should stimulate many questions from attendees during the panel discussion.

Biography:

Colin Constable’s passion is networking and security.  He was one of the founding members of the Jericho Forum in the 2000s. In 2007 at Credit Suisse, he published “Network Vision 2020,” which was seen by some as somewhat crazy at the time, but most of it is very relevant now. While at Juniper, Colin worked on network virtualization and modeling that blurred the boundaries between network and compute.  Colin is now the CTO of The @ Company, which has invented a new Internet protocol and built a platform that they believe will change not just networking and security, but society itself for the better.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The Anatomy of a Cloud Data Center Attack

Thomas Foerster, Nokia

Abstract:

Critical infrastructure (like a telecommunications network) is becoming more complex and reliant on networks of inter-connected devices. With the advent of 5G mobile networks, security threat vectors will expand. In particular, the exposure of new connected industries (Industry 4.0) and critical services (connected vehicular, smart cities etc.) widens the cybersecurity attack surface.

The telecommunication network is one of the targets of cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure, but it is not the only one. Transport, public sector services, energy sector and critical manufacturing industries are also vulnerable.

Cloud data centers provide the required computing resources, thus forming the backbone of a telecommunications network and becoming more important than ever.  We will discuss the anatomy of a recent cybersecurity attack at a cloud data center, review what happened and the lessons learned.

Questions:

  1. What are possible mitigation’s against social engineering cyber- attacks?

-Multifactor authentication (MFA)

-Education, awareness and training campaigns

  1. How to build trust using Operational Technology (OT) in a cloud data center?

Examples:

  • Access monitoring
  • Audits to international standards and benchmarks
  • Security monitoring
  • Playbooks with mitigation and response actions
  • Business continuity planning and testing

Recommendations to prevent or mitigate DC attacks:

  • Privileged Access Management across DC entities
  • Individual credentials for all user / device entities
  • MFA: One-Time Password (OTP) via text message or phone call considered being not secure 2-Factor Authentication anymore
  • Network and configuration audits considering NIST/ CIS/ GSMA NESAS
  • Regular vulnerability scans and keep network entities up to date
  • Tested playbooks to mitigate security emergencies
  • Business continuity planning and establish tested procedures

Biography:

Thomas Foerster is a senior product manager for Cybersecurity at Nokia. He has more than 25 years experiences in the telecommunications industry, has held various management positions within engineering and loves driving innovations. Thomas has dedicated his professional work for many years in product security and cybersecurity solutions.

Thomas holds a Master of Telecommunications Engineering from Beuth University of Applied Sciences, Berlin/ Germany.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Previous IEEE ComSoc/SCU SoE March 22, 2022 event: OpenRAN and Private 5G – New Opportunities and Challenges

Video is at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i7QUyhjxpzE

Wireless Logic’s Conexa network for global IoT has £2 million revenue target in 1st year

Global IoT connectivity platform provider Wireless Logic has launched a new carrier-grade mobile network called Conexa, built to provide connectivity for companies deploying IoT devices and applications worldwide.  Will this one succeed while early leader Sigfox failed (and is now in bankruptcy)?

The new cellular network will provide a single SIM for global deployments, offering a range of connectivity solutions, network control and security services for regional, national and global IoT deployments. It offers single and multi-network options, and commercial models for low and high data use.

Conexa provides a suite of connectivity solutions, network control and security services for global, national and regional deployments and is built over an ecosystem of leading mobile network operators (MNOs). It provides single or multi-network options and commercial models suited to both low and high data use according to application type.

“Mobile networks, and the infrastructure around them, were largely developed before the IoT existed, at a time when only the voice and data needs of people needed to be met,” said Oliver Tucker, Co-Founder and CEO, Wireless Logic.

“The IoT has particular requirements and for it to continue to grow, innovate and thrive, companies need a simple way to deploy and manage their solutions. That requires specific on-SIM, on-device and core network IoT services which is why Conexa is built for the IoT and aggregates the world’s best 4G, 5G and LPWAN radio networks.”

“This network has been built for enterprise businesses and those looking to roll out a global IoT deployment. Wireless Logic’s revenue target in year one is £2 million with rapid growth thereafter ahead of industry CAGR.”

Conexa is GSMA-certified and designed to meet the procurement, manufacturing, and logistics challenges that IoT companies face, providing flexible and scalable implementation, integration and day-to-day operation.

Advanced on-SIM applications, distributed networking, real time controls and cloud integration simplify deployments. Unique on-SIM control functions detect and initiate fail-over, as required, to alternative radio and core network infrastructure to protect mission critical applications.

Conexa enables robust, secure and scalable IoT solutions through:

  • Global coverage with a range of local connectivity solutions in key G20 markets and beyond, compliant with permanent roaming and data sovereignty regulations
  • Always-on connectivity through a dual redundant core network with automatic failover to ensure high-availability needs can be met
  • Tailored connectivity solutions according to lifecycle stages, from factory to field, with advanced remote provisioning of eSIM, iSIM and multi-IMSI SIMs, which also help take cost and complexity out of procurement, manufacturing and distribution processes through single product stock keeping units
  • Enhanced flexibility and resilience from on-SIM technologies and rules-based remote SIM provisioning
  • Security which can be enhanced through on-SIM security applications and network protection features including IMEI locking, white or blacklisting, and private APN and VPN
  • SIMPro, an industry leading management platform for SIM  and device management, diagnostics and intelligence that provide insight and control of deployments.

“We designed Conexa with flexibility, scalability and usability in mind – as these are fundamental requirements for IoT managers and device manufacturers. For the IoT to continue to grow, innovate and thrive, companies need a simpler way to deploy and manage their solutions. Conexa has been designed to do just that,” Tucker added.

References:

Introducing Conexa: Wireless Logic’s network for ‘things’

https://www.capacitymedia.com/article/29v8u5cukzmee8ebwgsg0/news/enterprise-iot-network-launches-with-2m-revenue-target

https://www.wirelesslogic.com/iot-solutions/

https://www.wirelesslogic.com/conexa

Juniper Research: Cellular IoT market expected to hit $61B by 2026

A new study from Juniper Research has found that the global value of the cellular IoT market will reach $61 billion by 2026; rising from $31 billion in 2022. It identified the growth of 5G and cellular LPWA (Low-power Wide Area) technologies as key to this 95% increase over the next four years.

The new study, Cellular IoT: Strategies, Opportunities & Market Forecasts 2022-2026, predicts that, LPWA solutions, such as NB-IoT and LTE-M, will be the fastest-growing cellular IoT technologies over the next four years. It anticipated that the low cost of both connectivity and hardware will drive adoption for remote monitoring in key verticals, such as agriculture, smart cities and manufacturing. In turn, LPWA connections are expected to grow 1,200% over the next four years.

The report urged operators to migrate IoT connections on legacy networks to networks that support LPWA technologies. It anticipated that demand from enterprises for low-cost monitoring technologies, enabled by LPWA networks, will increase as these legacy networks are shut off over the next four years.

Research co-author Charles Bowman commented: “Operators must educate users on the suitability of LPWA as a replacement technology for legacy networks. However, many IoT networks cannot solely rely on LPWA technologies. More comprehensive technologies, such as 5G, must underpin IoT network architectures and work in tandem with LPWA technologies to maximize the value of IoT services.”

5G to Generate $9 Billion for the IoT Market by 2026 (???):

The report predicted that 5G IoT services [1.] will generate $9 billion of revenue by 2026; rising from $800 million in 2021. This represents a growth of 1,000% over the next five years as 5G coverage expands and operators benefit from the increased number of 5G IoT connections. To capitalise on this growth, it recommended operators offer value-added services, such as network slicing and edge computing, to IoT users to maximise the value of 5G adoption.

Note 1.  We believe that premium 5G-based IoT services must use the ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) 5G use case for which the 3GPP spec URLLC in the RAN has yet to be completed.  Mission critical apps need ultra high reliability while real time control of IoT devices require ultra low latency. That won’t happen till the spec is complete, performance tested and implemented widely.  URLLC will also required a 5G SA core network to prioritize URLLC traffic ahead of eMBB data flows.

Premium 5G URLLC services are expected to command a higher price and therefore generate proportionally more revenue per connection.  However, they will likely still be in the early stages of deployment and uptake in 2026.

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

In contrast to Juniper’s bullish cellular IoT forecast, others have forecast non cellular LPWAs to be the big IoT connectivity winners.

  • Ericsson predicted in a November 2020 Mobility Report that by 2026, cellular will account for 5.9 billion of the expected 26.9 billion IoT connections.
  • Transforma Insights’ most recent forecast is for 19.9 billion IoT connections by 2026, with 3.2 billion of those being cellular connections.  That implies the majority of LPWAs will not be cellular based, e.g. LoRA WAN, Sigfox, others.

We agree with Nick Wood’s of telecom.com who concluded, “Juniper’s forecast implies that 5G is not about to make a meaningful contribution to operators’ IoT revenues any time soon.”

References:

https://www.juniperresearch.com/press/cellular-iot-market-value-to-exceed-61b-globally

Cellular IoT market expected to double by 2026

LoRa Alliance and OMS Group integrate smart metering standards which may result in massive scale for IoT

The integration of two smart metering standards by the LoRa Alliance and OMS Group is expected to reduce the cost and complexity of utilities’ smart meter programs. In addition, it will increase the return on investments for utilities’ smart meter projects.

OMS Group will provide its Open Metering System smart metering language for use on LoRa Alliance’s LoRaWAN specification. Proof of concepts conducted by the two organisations have proved the interoperability of the two standards on all levels, including data platforms and connected end devices on the same or different LoRaWAN networks, according to the companies.

Donna Moore, the CEO of the LoRa Alliance, said the combined use of the two standards “…is absolutely essential to achieving massive scale for the IoT.

“Given the large scale of their deployments, gas, water and electric utilities will achieve improved business value from implementing standards-backed technologies like LoRaWAN and OMS due to the interoperability and ease of deployment provided. LoRaWAN is already proven for networking smart utility applications, from metering, to leak detection, automated shut-off, and more.

“Using LoRaWAN with OMS is a game-changer for the European utility market that makes deployments simpler and more cost-effective, while ensuring the interoperability of legacy meters to maximize ROI.”

OMS Group’s Andreas Bolder, added that although utilities have in the past relied on the OMS specification to integrate and optimise acquisition, management, processing, storage and utilization of data from gas, heat, and water meters using a single system, “combining the benefits of the OMS language with those of LoRaWAN networking offers further standardisation of smart metering applications, increasing utilities’ readiness for IoT.”

Due to the integration of these standards, energy companies using OMS will take advantage of LoRaWAN’s standard capabilities including low power consumption, long-range, over-the-air firmware upgrades and deep indoor penetration.  The new specification also ensures interoperability with legacy OMS-based systems and frees utilities from the costly burden of deploying and maintaining radio network infrastructure by using existing LoRaWAN third-party networks.

The new specification has been developed jointly by members of the OMS Group and the LoRa Alliance including Birdz, Diehl Metering, Elvaco, Kamstrup, Mainlink, Minol-ZENNER-Group, and Semtech.

LoRa Alliance and the OMS Group will showcase their proof of concept (PoC) at Enlit Europe in Milan from 30 November to 02 December.

References:

LoRa Alliance® and OMS-Group Optimize Smart Utilities Transmissions with OMS Over LoRaWAN®

LoRa Alliance and OMS Group integrate smart metering standards

Phantom Space to build/launch 72 LEO satellites to deliver Ingenu’s RPMA IIoT payloads anywhere on earth

Earlier this week, IoT LP-WAN vendor Ingenu [1.] announced that it had signed an agreement with space transportation development and manufacturing company Phantom Space Corporation to build and launch 72 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites).  This new satellite constellation, named AFNIO, will allow Ingenu to offer satellite Internet connectivity anywhere on earth, focusing primarily on low power wide area network (LP-WAN) applications using Ingenu’s random phase multiple access (RPMA) [2.] technology. This LP-WAN uses the 2.4 GHz band, universally available as a continuous frequency around the world, and is already active in 50 terrestrial networks around the world.

Ingenu explained that the constellation’s initial focus will be on delivering connectivity for various large-scale public and enterprise customers, including smart grids; factories; agriculture; oil, gas, and mining; and asset tracking and logistics.  “We’ll be able to build and operate a system of satellites that makes it possible for us to offer people full end-to-end solutions anywhere on earth and complement existing customers’ terrestrial networks. Nothing of the sort has ever been done up until now,” explained Ingenu CEO Alvaro Gazzolo.

Note 1.  Ingenu was founded in 2008 to sell its inexpensive RPMA IoT network equipment running in the unlicensed 2.4GHz band. The company has suffered several setbacks over the years. In 2020 it installed a new CEO who declared the era of “Ingenu 2.0.” At the time, he touted new business opportunities all over the world, plans to launch RPMA-capable low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites, and a “pipeline of contract value” worth $2 billion.

Note 2.  RPMA has been deployed in more than 50 terrestrial networks over the past ten years, on 5 continents. Ingenu will bring its technology and expertise to develop the world’s largest space IIoT network dedicated to connectivity for machines.  However, Mike Dano of Light Reading states, ” the scale and scope of Ingenu’s operations are difficult to determine. The RPMA coverage map on the company’s website shows services in just a few dozen US cities and no international coverage locations, though Ingenu has touted operations using its technology in cities ranging from Santiago, Chile to Irene, South Africa. Further, several attempts to download white papers from the company’s website were unsuccessful.”  (This author had the same experience).

“Nonetheless, Ingenu CEO Alvaro Gazzolo said the company’s new LEO effort would allow it to provide services “anywhere on earth and complement existing customers’ terrestrial networks.” He said Ingenue counts 50 RPMA terrestrial networks across five continents.”

“Over the past couple of years we have been very busy developing our market strategy, that being a cloud-based platform which supports full end to end solutions in a wide variety of business verticals versus a connectivity model whereby the end users are required to take the responsibility of the end point devices and enabling them with our RPMA technology,” Ingenu’s William Schmidt wrote this week in response to questions from Light Reading. “Today Ingenu has a clean balance sheet and owns the most robust IoT technology currently deployed in the market, the RPMA technology. The AFNIO satellite system will dramatically add to the RPMA equation.”  Schmidt boasted that Ingenu now counts over 2.5 million RPMA-enabled devices around the world, and that the company has $5.5 billion of “pipeline revenues” over the next ten years.

Phantom will be responsible for developing the spacecraft buses, system integration and launch of all 72 spacecraft. The majority of the satellites are expected to launch on Phantom’s Daytona launch vehicle set to first launch in 2023.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Comment and Analysis:

LEO satellite constellations are becoming an increasingly prominent part of the telecoms ecosystem. But while a large part of this is due to the high-profile nature of SpaceX’s Starlink constellation, which is by far the largest project of this type, numerous other players have also been growing.

Ingenu’s journey somewhat mirrors that of UK-based LEO player OneWeb, which is currently in the process of expanding its own constellation to provide global coverage. OneWeb filed for bankruptcy in March 2020, but since then has recovered through a slew of rapid investment, initially from the UK government and Bharti Airtel, before adding additional funds from SoftBank and Hughes Network System among others.  OneWeb’s total investment now stands at over $2.4 billion, with the company expecting to have launched 648 satellites by the end of 2022.

Ingenu, while decidedly a terrestrial IoT player, was facing similar financial troubles back in 2017 as it struggled to expand its network in the US. By the summer of 2019, however, things were looking up, with Ingenu relaunching with a ‘2.0’ message about the suitability of its LPWAN tech for the industrial sector. At the time, the company said it had a $2 billion pipeline of contract value, with Gazzolo claiming they offered “the best IoT technology in the market today for the non-licensed spectrum”.

Now, with this satellite deal, Ingenu’s scope will be larger than ever.  A recent study released by Research and Markets found that the global LP-WAN market is expected to grow by 84.3% between 2021 and 2029, owing largely to the increasing adoption of IoT and M2M applications. Smart buildings currently account for around 28% of this market, but it is actually the utility sector that is likely to see the most rapid growth, expected to account for 23.3% of all LP-WAN applications by 2029.

References:

https://www.totaltele.com/511178/IoT-player-Ingenu-launching-72-LEO-satellites-for-global-coverage

https://www.spacedaily.com/reports/Phantom_Space_announces_agreement_to_build_and_launch_72_satellite_constellation_for_Ingenu_999.html

https://www.lightreading.com/iot/ingenu-kore-tout-movement-in-iot-industry/d/d-id/772497

https://www.lightreading.com/iot/iot-strategies/re-ingenu-an-iot-startup-is-born-yet-again/d/d-id/749264

RPMA

Connected Home IoT Technolgies and the EU TeamUp5G Project

by David Alejandro Urquiza Villalonga and Manuel José López Morales, researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Introduction:

The concept of the “connected home” has gained a lot of attention in the last decade as a means to improve various aspects of life.  Entertainment, security, energy and appliance control, and electronic health monitoring are just a few representative applications. Recently, the Internet of Things (IoT) has become increasingly important due to the COVID19 pandemic.  With most employees working from home, remote access tools are booming because they connect people with their machines and assets. They enable people to remotely communicate with machines and perform virtual inspections, remote diagnostics as well as remote support.  

Therefore, the development of a dynamic IoT environment that adapts to each individual’s needs is essential to provide an optimal productivity scenario.  In this article, we describe an intelligent platform which interconnects several sensors and actuators using an IoT approach to collect and process big volumes of data. The IoT system, combined with a powerful artificial intelligence (AI) tool, learns the user’s behavior and offers improved new services according to their preferences [1] [2].

In this context, applications related to home security, remote health monitoring, climate control and lighting, entertainment, smart sleep, and intelligent shopping have been developed. 

Challenges in IoT development and deployment:

There are several challenges to support massive IoT deployments providing connectivity for both cellular and non-cellular devices. New technologies with higher energy and spectral efficiency are required to enable smart device-to-device (D2D) communications with reduced connectivity costs [3]. The technical requirements to fulfill include:

• The interconnection of several sensors in an intelligent management platform according to a massive machine-type-communications (mMTC) approach. In this sense, new spectrum access techniques and energy-efficient technologies to support the operation of a large number of devices are required.
• Enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) communication to support video streaming for entertainment, remote working, and online teaching.
• Scalability: this will become an issue mainly in relations to generic consumers as the number of devices in operation rises.
• Dense and durable off-grid power sources: it would make a difference if power could be broadcasted wirelessly to smartphones and sensors from a distance.

Popular current smart home devices:

Some of the most popular smart home devices include the intelligent wireless speaker “Google Home” with a connected voice management system that interacts with the Google Assistant helping with music, calendar, news, traffic, etc. On the other hand, Amazon has developed its own intelligent devices, namely “Amazon Echo” (with Alexa) and “Amazon Echo Plus,” which includes a smart home Zigbee hub for easy setup and control of compatible smart home devices.

Far-field speech recognition is included in the  “Amazon Echo Spot,” which is designed with a smart alarm clock that can make video calls with a tiny 2.5-inch screen, or become a nursery camera. LifeSmart provides smart home solutions focusing on security, energy-saving, and bringing convenience to life with a complex network of automatic intercommunication devices that simplifies daily routines [4].

Renesas offers a wide variety of IoT solutions for security, comfiness, health, connectivity and others, for different sectors such as automotive, healthcare, industrial, and home appliances [5].

Supporting technologies for massive IoT deployment:

Nevertheless, many products offered by companies still provide IoT solutions that can be thought as of being in an infancy state. The underlying communication technologies have to increase their capabilities in order to overcome the challenging needs and provide an improvement to IoT solutions.

Therefore, new wireless communication technologies [including 5G (IMT 2020), WiFi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax), Bluetooth 5, etc.] will be combined with classical short range wireless technologies [such as ZigBee, NFC and others] and installed in homes and small business offices.  Low Power Wide Area Network  (LPWAN) technologies from cellular carriers are LTE-Cat M1 , narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) and LoRa/LoRaWAN.

Several studies reveal that higher frequencies are expected to be able to operate as complementary bands for the deployment of 5G networks with higher capacity. It is expected that millimeter wave (mmWave) ultra-dense small-cells supported by massive multiple-input multiple-output (mMIMO) will be able to offer the capabilities to interconnect multiple devices and to provide high-speed services even in indoor scenarios. These small-cells may be interconnected with each other and with the core network by means of a fiber optic connection or with a mmWave backhaul.

Editor’s Note:  Some wireless communications professionals believe that a 5G fixed wireless network, using massive multiple-input multiple-output (mMIMO) systems at millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies, will be able to offer high throughput and low latency to support many WiFi connected home devices.  Verizon’s 5G Home Internet is an example of this.

On the other hand, network densification is a promising technology to overcome many issues in mmWave systems such as blockage and short-range coverage that can significantly increase the capacity of the network. Therefore, Ultra-dense networks (UDN) compound by small cells (SCs) is also considered to have an important role in IoT connectivity.

In addition, a fundamental feature needed to support massive IoT is scalability on the device and the infrastructure sides which can be provided by 5G cellular networks. 5G systems will be able to offer connectivity to an extremely large number of low-cost, low-power, low-complexity devices, based on an evolution of the current LTE narrow band IoT (NB-IoT) [3].

New radio access technologies will also be required.  For example, cognitive radio (CR) to allocate bandwidth dynamically and to handle high interference levels. In addition, the big data processing capabilities for the AI learning and prediction process is supported only by 5G networks.

TeamUp5G Project:

TeamUp5G [6] is a European Training Network (ETN) in the frame of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (MSCA ITN) of the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 frameworkTeamUp5G’s EU funding adds up to 3.72 million Euros between 2019 and 2022.

TeamUp5G is currently working on the use cases, technical challenges, and solutions to facilitate the technical feasibility of ultra-dense small cell networks.

The research objectives of TeamUp5G are focused on solving three problems: (1) Interference Management, waveforms, and mMIMO, (2) Dynamic Spectrum Management and Optimisation, and (3) Energy Consumption Reduction. Among others, it can provide the technical solutions to make massive IoT Smart Home connectivity feasible. Some of their research results include [7] and [8].

Where in Europe is TeamUp5G:

What Is the TeamUp5G Project:

Image Credit:  TeamUp5G Project

In reference [7], the authors study a cognitive radio system with energy harvesting capabilities (CR-EH) to improve the spectral and energy efficiency according to the green communication paradigm. A novel optimal sensing policy to maximize detection performance of available spectrum and to protect primary users from interference is developed. The proposed scheme is based on the efficient use of harvested energy to implement spectrum sensing operations. Offline and online scheduling policies are derived with an optimal formulation based on convex optimization theory and Dynamic Programming (DP) algorithm, respectively. In addition, two heuristic solutions with low complexity are also proposed to dynamically manage the use of spectrum with high levels of energy efficiency which is essential for IoT deployment.

In reference [8], the authors demonstrated how scenarios with stringent conditions such as high mobility, high frequency selective, low SNR and short-packet communications can benefit from the use of non-coherent mMIMO. Non-coherent mMIMO avoids the need of channel state information (CSI) to extract the benefits of mMIMO. This avoids the waste of resources due to the overhead created by the orthogonal signals, which is more severe in scenarios with stringent conditions. These types of scenarios are very common in Home IoT, since low battery powered devices will be the most common, such as a variety of domestic sensors and actuators. Furthermore, in short-packet communications, the use of CSI is proportionally greater due to shorter useful data as also happens in Home IoT, in which many devices send short bursts of data from time to time, thus benefiting from the use of non-coherent communications.

Thus, it has been shown that new interference management techniques, energy harvesting, and non-coherent communications can overcome some of the technical challenges inherent in IoT networks for Smart Home applications.

Conclusions:

In this article, we have covered some aspects considered in IoT Smart Home 5G. We have first made an introduction with the basics of the use of IoT in homes, aided by 5G technology and AI. Secondly, we have presented some already existing solutions from companies such as Google, Amazon, LifeSmart, and Renesas, which work over legacy networks and thus do not extract all the potential benefits of 5G IoT Smart Home. We have continued stating the main technical challenges in IoT deployment. We have defined some technologies that will support the use of IoT at homes, including massive multiple-input multiple-output, millimeter waves, ultra dense networks, small cells, and cognitive radio. We have talked about the TeamUp5G project which partly focuses on the research of new solutions that can make the massive deployment of IoT Smart Home feasible.

From the perspective of the authors, the following decade will see an increase in the appearance of products based on the referenced  technologies, which will bring the concept of IoT Smart Home based on 5G closer to reality.

References:
[1] K. E. Skouby y P. Lynggaard, «Smart home and smart city solutions enabled by 5G, IoT, AAI and CoT services», en 2014 International Conference on Contemporary Computing and Informatics (IC3I), nov. 2014, pp. 874-878, doi: 10.1109/IC3I.2014.7019822.
[2] H. Uddin et al., «IoT for 5G/B5G Applications in Smart Homes, Smart Cities, Wearables and Connected Cars», en 2019 IEEE 24th International Workshop on Computer Aided Modeling and Design of Communication Links and Networks (CAMAD), sep. 2019, pp. 1-5, doi: 10.1109/CAMAD.2019.8858455.
[3] S. Ahmadi, 5G NR: Architecture, Technology, Implementation, and Operation of 3GPP New Radio Standards. Academic Press, 2019.
[4] https://iot.ilifesmart.com/
[5] https://www.renesas.com/us/en/solutions.html
[6] https://teamup5g.webs.tsc.uc3m.es/
[7] D. A. Urquiza-Villalonga, J. Torres-Gómez, y M. J. Fernández-Getino-García, «Optimal Sensing Policy for Energy Harvesting Cognitive Radio Systems», IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications, vol. 19, n.o 6, pp. 3826-3838, jun. 2020, doi: 10.1109/TWC.2020.2978818.
[8] M. J. Lopez-Morales, K. Chen-Hu and A. Garcia-Armada, “Differential Data-Aided Channel Estimation for Up-Link Massive SIMO-OFDM,” in IEEE Open Journal of the Communications Society, vol. 1, pp. 976-989, 2020, doi: 10.1109/OJCOMS.2020.3008634.

Empowering Low-Power Wide-Area Networks to Meet the IoT Challenge

by Swarun Kumar, PhD, Assistant Professor – Electrical and Computer Engineering,  Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)

Introduction:

The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly expanding to connect everyday objects in homes, office buildings, retail stores and factories, impacting sectors as diverse as manufacturing, agriculture and public governance.

While conversations around “5-G and beyond” traditionally focus on faster wireless networks, it is inevitable that the majority of devices connected to future cellular networks will be IoT endpoint.  This is primarily due to their sheer scale of deployment. Indeed, massive Machine Type Communications (mMTC) that seeks to connect billions of low-power IoT devices to the cellular network is a pivotal thrust of the 5G vision.  It is one of three 5G use cases for IMT 2020, the soon to be completed ITU st of standards for 5G radio (ITU-R) and non radio aspects (ITU-T).

Low-Power Wide-Area Networks (LP-WANs) are a leading approach to achieve this objective [1]. LP-WANs allow extremely low power devices connected by 10-year AA batteries to transmit at low speeds (few kbps) to cellular base stations as far as 10 kilometers away. 3GPP’s Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) is a leading LP-WAN technology being rapidly deployed for cellular networks.  It has been accepted by ITU-R WP5D as part of the IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT submissions from 3GPP, China, Korea, and TSDSI (India).  Other other LP-WAN technologies in the unlicensed bands such as LoRa and SIGFOX have also attained strong market traction.

WiTech Lab Project: Pushing the Limits of LP-WANS. Photo credit: Carnegie Mellon University

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

LP-WAN Performance Analysis:

In reality, there remains a large gap between the promised performance of LP-WANs in theory and their performance on the field, particularly in city environments. At Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), we have built a wide-area LP-WAN testbed in our campus and surrounding neighborhoods, spanning much of the City of Pittsburgh [2].

Our findings show that the range of LP-WANs is significantly impacted by large buildings and obstructions, to often less than a kilometer, providing performance significantly below the 10 kilometer performance advertised in more suburban and rural spaces. More problematic is that LP-WAN performance is further degraded by severe collisions between radios deployed at large scale as they are too energy-starved to coordinate prior to transmission. Further, even minor changes to configuration such as choice of transmit frequency can severely degrade device battery-life if not carefully explored and chosen.  That in and of itself is a battery-intensive task.

Across all these diverse challenges a common thread emerges – devices in LP-WANs are too simple and energy-starved to make complex Physical layer decisions that impact their performance, scalability and battery life.  That includes capabilities that have been taken for granted in the traditional mobile phone context.

Our work at the Emerging Wireless Technologies Lab (WiTech) lab at CMU has sought to build next-generation LP-WANs that obtain substantial improvements in range, scale and battery life. Our strategy has been to push complex Physical layer functionalities from the end-user devices to the base station infrastructure and the cloud.

We maintain that redirection of Physical layer functions benefits LP-WANs in three pivotal ways:

  • First, it frees low-power clients from the burden of signal processing, simplifying their design and reaping associated battery benefits.
  • Second, it allows advanced signal processing and machine learning to be implemented at the much more capable cloud in ways previously never possible at the clients, directly improving end-to-end system performance metrics such as range, scale and battery life.
  • Third, it creates the opportunity for programmability – allowing for new optimizations and new services such as location-tracking, sensing, data analytics and beyond to be implemented as software updates in the cloud rather than requiring the deployment of new hardware.

Our results on a 10 square kilometer testbed in the City of Pittsburgh [2] have demonstrated several benefits of our methodology over the years to tackle diverse and fundamental problems in LP-WANs, which have greatly improving scale (by 6x [4]), range (by 3x [1]) and battery life (by 3x [5]) when compared to the state-of-the-art.

Our research work has resulted in several publications [2,3,4,5] at top research venues, including two best paper award winners [2,3].

Expanding the Range Limits of LP-WANs:

Our approach is best understood by focussing our attention on a specific problem – how do we expand the range of LP-WANs particularly in urban settings where their range is extremely limited by buildings that heavily attenuate wireless signals?

The fundamental problem is that the LP-WAN signals from clients deep inside buildings are too weak to decode at any base station, even if within close proximity. Our solution relies on the multiplicity of LP-WAN gateways, specifically with the rapid deployment of femtocells in the cellular context, on street lamps and traffic lights and beyond.

We seek to transfer received signals across base stations to the cloud.  Those signals may be individually weak, yet can collectively be coherently combined at the cloud to result in a much stronger signal that can be decoded.

This principle closely mirrors the CloudRAN model which seeks to offload computation at the base stations to the cloud. Yet, a key problem remains in the low-power IoT context – how do base stations know which signals to ship to the cloud if an LP-WAN signal is too weak and noisy to be detected at any base station?

Simply transmitting all received signals to the cloud will be expensive in terms of backhaul bandwidth and immensely wasteful. Our scheme is to build a mechanism to make more intelligent predictions about the presence of weak LP-WAN signals buried underneath the noise at the base stations. We do this by looking for unique and telltale patterns in the noise that correspond to the signal structure of LP-WAN packets. Different from prior work that only looks for these patterns in the preamble (i.e. the beginning) of LP-WAN transmissions, our solution scans the entire packet resulting in greater accuracy.

We further improve our methodology by letting base stations collaboratively share news about packet detection. For instance, if a weak signal from a transmitter is detected by the base station, it alerts its neighbors to transmit signals received at about the same time to the cloud.

Our experiments revealed significant improvements in the range of LP-WANs by a factor of 3x through a wide-area demonstration at Pittsburgh. [That work received the best paper award at ACM/IEEE IPSN 2018 [2] – a major international conference.]

Scaling LP-WAN Deployments:

Beyond physical range, LP-WANs also need to perform at massive scale.  ITU has set lofty goals for mMTM communications of as many as a million devices per square kilometer. At these massive scales, LP-WAN devices are likely to interfere with each other rampantly, causing massive data loss.

In part, this is because inexpensive and battery-hungry devices traditionally do not take the classic “listen before you transmit” approach to take turns and therefore lack a mechanism to realize that they are producing interference.

Our solution to address this challenge of rampant interference in LP-WANs at scale turns the low cost of LP-WAN hardware to our advantage. Specifically, we observe that the transmissions from cheap LP-WAN devices often have unique imperfections, such as shifts in frequency or time, depending on hardware manufacturing defects. These defects can then be used as filters to separate signals from multiple devices that interfere with each other.

Given the traditionally narrow bandwidth of LP-WANs, this approach allows us to massively scale up the number of devices that can concurrently transmit. Our paper in SIGCOMM 2017 reports an overall 6-fold improvement in the scale of LP-WAN networks compared to the state-of-the-art.

Maximizing the Battery Life of LP-WAN Devices:

Perhaps the most important requirement of LP-WANs is the need to maximize battery-life. A key selling point of LP-WAN is the ten-year battery life that allows for most consumers of IoT devices to simply not worry about maintenance or recharging of batteries through the lifetime of the device.

Our research has shown that this battery-life cannot be taken for granted, even if the devices are installed statically at a fixed location for the duration of its life. For instance, our work in NSDI 2020 [5] has shown that carefully selecting the frequency of operation of a device can substantially improve the battery life of a device, by 230%, rather than choosing a default frequency.

We presented a method and mechanism to intelligently configure LP-WAN devices using intelligence at the cloud, without requiring any advanced computation at the devices themselves, barring the occasional transmission of a beacon packet. Our award-winning paper at IPSN 2020 [3] also showed how teams of individually wimpy LP-WAN devices can collectively convey useful information without draining the battery of each device significantly.

More importantly, such information can be conveyed very quickly within the duration of one LP-WAN packet to then be processed by machine learning algorithms running on cloud resident compute servers. We showed how such a system could have wide-ranging applications from diagnosis of faults in sensor networks to rapid and large-scale spatial tracking of wildfires.

The Future of IoT is in the services it enables:

While much of our research to date has focussed on delivering the energy consumption and communication performance that LP-WANs promise, we believe that LP-WANs can play a pivotal role in shaping the applications that IoT will enable in the future.

Imagine, a postage-stamp sized device that can be used to track the physical location of packages deployed anywhere in the world. Consider how swarms of IoT devices deployed in the city can collectively measure and model vibrations from earthquakes.

Future Work of CMU WiTech lab:

Funded by the prestigious CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, we at the CMU WiTech lab are currently working on intelligently processing LP-WAN signals in the cloud to take a step toward these applications and beyond. We are further devising mechanisms to improve the security and privacy of user data in a world where IoT devices are everywhere around you.

More broadly, we believe that next-generation cellular networks, beyond serving as communication pipes, have the potential to actively shape the applications of the future in the emerging IoT era.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

References:

[1] LPWAN to Application standardization within the IETF, Alan J Weissberger, 2019,
https://techblog.comsoc.org/category/lpwans/
[2] Charm: Exploiting Geographical Diversity Through Coherent Combining in Low-Power
Wide-Area Networks , Adwait Dongare, Revathy Narayanan, Akshay Gadre, Artur Balanuta,
Anh Luong, Swarun Kumar, Bob Iannucci, Anthony Rowe, IPSN 2018 (Best Paper Award)
[3] Quick (and Dirty) Aggregate Queries on Low-Power WANs, Akshay Gadre, Fan Yi, Anthony
Rowe, Bob Iannucci and Swarun Kumar, IPSN 2020 (Best Paper Award)
[4] Empowering Low-Power Wide Area Networks in Urban Settings , Rashad Eletreby, Diana
Zhang, Swarun Kumar, and Osman Yagan, SIGCOMM 2017
[5] Frequency Configuration for Low-Power Wide-Area Networks in a Heartbeat, Akshay Gadre,
Revathy Narayanan, Anh Luong, Swarun Kumar, Anthony Rowe and Bob Iannucci, NSDI 2020

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

About Swarun Kumar:

Swarun Kumar, PhD is an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s ECE department.  His research builds next-generation wireless network protocols and services. Swarun leads the Emerging Wireless Technologies (WiTech) lab at CMU.  He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER and Google Faculty Research awards.

Dr. Kumar received the George Sprowls Award for best Ph.D thesis in Computer Science at MIT and the President of India gold medal at IIT Madras.

Photo of Swarun Kumar, PhD and Assistant Professor at CMU

 

LPWAN to Application standardization within the IETF

By Juan Carlos Zuniga, Sigfox, IETF Internet Area Co-Chair, (edited by Alan J Weissberger)

Introduction:

Amongst the plethora of different Internet of Things (IoT) technologies [see Addendum], Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) [1] offer mature and well-established solutions for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Note 1.  A LPWAN is a type of wireless telecommunication wide area network designed to allow long range communications with low power consumption, low cost interface and a relatively low bit rate for the IIoT.  There are many types of LPWANs.  Some like LTE-M and NB-IoT use licensed spectrum, while others such as Sigfox and LoRaWAN use unlicensed spectrum.

LPWANs enables IoT systems to be designed for use cases that require devices to send small amounts of data periodically over often-remote networks that span many miles and use battery-powered devices that need to last many years.

LPWANs achieve those attributes by having the IoT devices (“things”) send only small packets of information periodically or even infrequently—status updates, reports, etc.—upon waking from an external trigger or at a preprogrammed time interval.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

In order to enable these IIoT connectivity solutions, a common standard is needed to allow the various types of LPWANs to communicate with applications using a common language.  For this to occur, each network must have the ability to connect to the Internet.  However, due to the severely restrictive nature of LPWANs, the abilities of Internet Protocols, specifically IPv6, cannot sufficiently meet the needs of these networks.

To overcome these issues, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) chartered the LPWAN working group (WG) in 2016 to identify common functionality needs across LPWANs and to standardize the protocols that could enable these functionalities across the various networks.

The goal of the IETF LPWAN WG is to converge the diverse LPWAN radio technologies toward a common hourglass model that will provide users with a standard management strategy across networks and enable common Internet-based services to the applications.

To achieve this goal, the IETF LPWAN WG has produced the Static Context Header Compression and Fragmentation (SCHC) [2] specification, an ultralightweight adaptation layer uniquely designed to support the extremely restricted communication resources of LPWAN technologies.

Note 2.  SCHC is expected to become a recognized acronym like several  other IETF protocols (e.g. HTTP, TCP, DHCP, DNS, IP, etc.).  Please see illustration below of SCHC Architecture.

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

SCHC will soon be published as a new IETF RFC.  Again, it’s objective is to achieve interoperability across the leading LPWANs, including Sigfox, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT and IEEE 802.15.4w(LPWA) [3].

Note 3.  IEEE 802.15.4w or LPWA

Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) extension to the IEEE Std 802.15.4 LECIM PHY layer to cover network cell radii of typically 10-15km in rural areas and deep in-building penetration in urban areas. It uses the LECIM FSK (Frequency Shift Keying) PHY modulation schemes with extensions to lower bit-rates (e.g. payload bit-rate typically < 30 kb/s). Additionally, it extends the frequency bands to additional sub-GHz unlicensed and licensed frequency bands to cover the market demand. For improved robustness in channels with high levels of interference, it defines mechanisms for the fragmented transmission of Forward Error Correction (FEC) code-words, as well as time and frequency patterns for the transmission of the fragments. Furthermore, it defines lower code rates of the FEC in addition to the K=7 R=1/2 convolutional code. Modifications to the Medium Access Control (MAC) layer, needed to support this PHY extension, are defined.

,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Why do LPWANs need their own interoperability standard?

The common characteristics of LPWANs include a power-optimized radio network, a simple star network topology, frame sizes in the order of tens of bytes transmitted a few times per day at ultra-low speeds, and a mostly upstream transmission pattern that allows devices to spend most of their time in sleep mode. These characteristics lead to ultra-long-range networks that allow for connected devices to have an extremely long battery life and be sold at a very low cost, enabling simple and scalable deployments.

LPWANs are especially well-suited for deployments in environments where battery recharging or swapping is not an option and where only a very low rate of data reporting is required. Also, LPWAN networks are fundamentally different than other networks, as they have been designed to handle infrequent message exchanges of payloads as small as approximately 10 bytes.

To manage these very specific constraints, the IETF has developed the SCHC adaptation layer, which is located between the network layer (e.g. IPv6) and the underlying LPWAN radio technology. SCHC comprises two independent sublayers – header compression and fragmentation – which are critical to meeting the specific characteristics of LPWANs.

The SCHC header compression sublayer has been tailored specifically for LPWAN technologies, and it is capable of compressing protocols such as IPv6, UDP and CoAP. It relies on the infrequent variability of LPWAN applications to define static contexts that are known a priori to both protocol end points.

The SCHC fragmentation sublayer, on the other hand, offers a generic approach to provide both data reliability and the capability of transmitting larger payload sizes over the extremely constrained LPWAN packet sizes and the extremely severe message rate limitations. Even though the fragmentation sublayer mechanisms have been designed to transport long IPv6 packets, they can equally be applied to non-IP data messages and payloads, as the functionality can be implemented independent of the header compression.

In order to be fully operational across LPWAN technologies, SCHC has been developed by the IETF under a generic and flexible approach that aims to address the common and unique requirements of these networks. The SCHC specification offers enough flexibility to optimize the parameter settings that need to be used over each LPWAN technology.

The IETF LPWAN WG is now working on the development of different SCHC profiles optimized for each individual LPWAN technology, including Sigfox, LoRaWAN, NB-IoT and IEEE 802.15.4w. Future work also includes definition of data models to represent the static contexts, as well as operation, administration and management (OAM) tools for LPWANs.

Here’s an illustration of the Sigfox SCHC:

…………………………………………………………………………………………………..

From the early stage IETF Sigfox SCHC profile spec:

The Static Context Header Compression (SCHC) specification describes a header compression scheme and a fragmentation functionality for Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technologies.
SCHC offers a great level of flexibility that can be tailored for different LPWAN technologies. 
The present (early stage) document provides the optimal parameters and modes of operation when SCHC is implemented over a Sigfox LPWAN.

………………………………………………………………………………..

Addendum –by Alan J Weissberger

IEEE definition of IoT:

“An IoT system is a network of networks where, typically, a massive number of objects, things, sensors or devices are connected through communications and information infrastructure to provide value-added services via intelligent intelligent data processing processing and management management for different different applications (e.g. smart cities, smart health, smart grid, smart home, smart transportation, and smart shopping).”
— IEEE Internet of Things Journal

IoT communications over LPWANs should be:
 Low cost,
 Low power,
 Long battery life duration,
 High number of connections,
 Low bitrate,
 Long range,
 Low processing capacity,
 Low storage capacity,
 Small size devices,
 Simple network architecture and protocols

Also see IETF draft RFC 8376  LPWAN Overview

……………………………………………………………………………………………….

Sigfox Network Characteristics:

 First LPWAN Technology
 The physical layer based on an Ultra-Narrow band wireless modulation
 Proprietary system
 Low throughput ( ~100 bps)
 Low power
 Extended range (up to 50 km)
 140 messages/day/device
 Subscription-based model
 Cloud platform with Sigfox –defined API for server access
 Roaming capability

………………………………………………………………………………………

References:

https://www.ackl.io/blog/ietf-standardization-working-group-enabling-ip-connectivity-over-lpwan

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2017/10/25/lora-wan-and-sigfox-lead-lpwans-interoperability-via-compression/

https://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-ietf-lpwan-schc-over-sigfox-00

 

2019 IoT World: Market Research from Ovum & Heavy Reading; LPWAN Market to be >$65 billion by 2025

I.  IoT World May 14, 2019 presentation by Alexandra Rehak, Practice Leader IoT, Ovum and Steve Bell,  Sr. Analyst, Heavy Reading.

Edited by Alan J Weissberger

Ovum Forecasts:

  • IoT devices will grow to 21.5bn by 2023, while revenue will nearly double to $860bn.
  • Key trends driving IoT evolution in 2019: enabling technologies, new business models, (industry) verticalization, big data & analytics, new tools, e.g. AI/ML.
  • Drivers for IoT deployment still focus on efficiency and customer
    experience, but many enterprises are looking for new revenue.  Top 4 IoT drivers are to improve: operation efficiency, customer engagement & experience, strategic decision making based on actionable insights, new revenue streams from value added products/services.
  • The biggest enterprise IoT challenge is data – how to secure it, how
    to derive analytics value from it, how to integrate it.  Top 3 barriers to enterprise IoT deployment: data security & privacy (has been top concern for last 10+ years), data analytics skills/data scientists, difficult to integrate with existing IT (and likely OT too), complexity of technical implementation (and systems integration).

Enabling Technologies:

 1.  LPWAN will be a key enabler for cheaper, massive scale IoT
connectivity – and 2019 will be the year it finally takes off (Alan has heard that for several years now!  However, NB-IoT and LoRa are growing very quickly in 2019.)

• <$1 per month connectivity

• <$10 modules

• Low bandwidth, long battery life, extended coverage characteristics

• Use cases: smart cities, consumer IoT, asset monitoring, environmental monitoring

•  NB-IoT, LTE-M, LoRa, Sigfox are the big four LP WANs

2.  5G enables enhanced IoT digital capabilities:

▪ High bandwidth services – eg UHD video
▪ Critical applications, which require low latency – e.g., autonomous driving, industrial applications (3GPP Release 16 and IMT 2020 approved standard)
▪ High bandwidth, low latency services – e.g., augmented reality
▪ Information intensive routines, which require low latency performance– eg smart advertising, True AI (is what we have today fake AI?)
▪ Services that can – but don’t readily – work over 4G, e.g., mobile video conferencing

3.  Edge and the IoT opportunity:

Virtualized services (including gateways and vCPE), FOG nodes, life cycle management, linking silos (systems and data), many different applications, data analytics, AI/ML/DL, threat intelligence, device management services, security credential management.

4. Blockchain is still early-stage as an IoT enabler, but promising use
cases are emerging

  • Authentication of devices joining IoT network
  • Supply chain management and verification
  • Smart grid microcontracts
  • Autonomous vehicles

Blockchain will not suit all IoT security and contract requirements.  That’s because it’s: Complex, heavy processing load, not yet fully commercialized, private blockchain space is fragmented, need for supporting regulatory/legal frameworks Autonomous vehicles.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Industrial IoT (IIoT):

It’s becoming a core focus for the market – and an important testbed for 5G. Requires ultra reliable and very low latency.

IIoT is moving beyond efficiency gains:
• IIoT will grow in importance in 2019
• Drivers: efficiency and margins, competitive positioning, ‘job lots of one’
• Challenges: IT/OT integration, security, traditional business models
• Applications: simple asset tracking/monitoring to complex propositions (predictive maintenance, digital twin, robotics, autonomy)
• IoT, 5G, and AI form virtuous circle for industrial sector and factory
campuses
Private LTE as another enabler (Steve Bell of Heavy Reading was very optimistic on this during the Thursday morning, May 17th round table discussion on 5G and LTE for IoT).  So is this author!

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

IoT value chain: evolution from ‘platform providers’ to ‘end-to-end
solution providers,’ simplifying the buying process.  An end-to-end solution requires: sensors/devices/hardware, connectivity, platform (connectivity and device control/management), applications, analytics, integration.

Value chain evolution is also driving IoT business model innovation, for both enterprises and providers.  For connectivity, this includes: flat rate IoT connectivity pricing (e.g. $5 per year), bundled IoT device connectivity, alternative IoT connectivity providers (e.g. Sigfox, Zigbee mesh, BT mesh, etc), private LTE (licensed frequencies so not contention for bandwidth as with WiFi).

…………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Summary and Recommendations:

  • Enabling IoT technologies: 5G, LPWAN, edge, blockchain – developing
    quickly – but shouldn’t be seen in isolation.
  • IoT data usage & security: Focus of customer concern – stronger support,
    simpler tools needed to deliver value through analytics, eventually AI.
  • Vertical strategies: Industries face significant disruption – understand
    how IoT will help your customer to transform and address these shifts.
  • New IoT business models: increasingly sophisticated – end customers
    very interested, but need help to understand them, manage risk.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

II.  LPWAN Market Forecast from Global Market Insights, Inc.

The LPWAN market is set to grow from its current market value of more than $1.5 billion (€1.3 billion) to over $65 billion (€58.2 billion) by 2025, according to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

Low power wide area network market growth is driven by the growing deployment of LPWA technologies, including LoRa, NB-IoT, and LTE-M, offering a wide range of connectivity options to enterprises. These technologies provide broader network coverage and better battery life to connect various devices. LPWAN networks are becoming very popular among enterprises to support various IoT use cases for verticals including healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, logistics, and utilities.

For instance, the rising penetration of Industrial IoT (IIoT) in the manufacturing industry has increased the demand for LPWA technologies, particularly NB-IoT and LTE-M, to enable reliable machine-to-machine communication. Industrial IoT connections are expected to increase nearly five times between 2016 and 2025, from 2.4 billion to around 14 billion connections.

By deploying LPWAN connections, manufacturing companies can increase their operational efficiencies to drive high productivity. Another factor fuelling the LPWAN market growth is increasing investments by companies in LPWAN technologies. For instance, in June 2017, Cisco contributed to a US$ 75 million Series D funding round for Actility, a LPWAN startup. Cisco’s investments in Actility enabled it to accelerate the development of IoT solutions.

The LPWAN platforms held a major market share of over 70% in 2018 owing to the deployment of various platforms, including NB-IoT, LoRaWAN, Sigfox, and LTE-M. Massive IoT deployments in various industry verticals, including utilities, manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare, has increased the demand for LPWAN platforms to support connected devices requiring low power consumption, long range, and low costs. Among all the platforms, LoRaWAN platforms held the highest market share of over 50% in 2018 as they use unlicensed spectrum and are best suited for applications that generate low traffic and require low-cost sensors.

In the services segment, the managed services segment is expected to hold low power wide area network market share of around over 30% in 2025. Managed services enable organisations to accelerate the deployment of LPWAN and reduce the time & expenses spent on training the IT staff. The on-premise deployment model is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 50% over the projected timeline. The demand for this deployment model will increase as it enables organisations to build & manage their own LPWAN for IoT-based applications.

 

References:

Ovum’s latest video on IoT with Alexandra Rehak: https://ovum.informa.com/products-and-services/research-services/internet-of-things

https://ovum.informa.com/resources/product-content/lpwan-tracker-update-lorawan-leads-live-network-deployments-iot002-000005

http://images.intelligence.informa.com/Web/InformaUKLimited/%7B1307c76d-8210-41e4-bec3-ff2db28b0403%7D_Research_Agenda_2019_-IoT.pdf

https://www.gminsights.com/industry-analysis/low-power-wide-area-network-lpwan-market

https://www.iot-now.com/2019/05/22/96056-low-power-wide-area-network-market-valued-us65bn-2025-gmi-report-says/