The LoRa Alliance unleashes its latest technical specifications to kick off the organization’s 9th All Members Meeting (AMM). New features in the latest specification releases include roaming and separation of backend nodes, which will enable IoT devices to connect to and move between LPWANs around the world. This supports large-scale deployments and enables new global services such as cargo tracking. Such features are critical in the Alliance’s mission to standardize LPWANs globally and drive widespread adoption of the LoRaWAN protocol as the de facto standard for IoT connectivity.
The Alliance has officially announced the availability of the following specifications:
- LoRaWAN 1.1 with support for handover roaming, and Class B and security enhancements
- LoRaWAN Backend Interfaces 1.0 with support for decomposing the network into interoperable nodes, as required for inter-vendor roaming
- LoRaWAN 1.1 Regional Parameters rev. A, which describes region-specific radio parameters for LoRaWAN 1.1 end-devices
Enhancements available in these specifications offer important functionality improvements for users in terms of interoperability and network reach. Specifically, support for roaming will allow for large-scale deployments, since vendors will know that their LoRaWAN protocol-based products could potentially operate worldwide.
At the same time, the new backend specification provides the protocols that interconnect servers with distinct roles––such as controlling the MAC layer, end-point authentication, or applications––behind the scenes in the core network. Separating these servers allows an open choice of vendors for each element of the value chain, empowering the ecosystem.
The latest LoRaWAN 1.1 Specification provides the following:
- Support for handover roaming, which allows transferring control of the end-device from one LoRaWAN network to another. Earlier versions of this specification can already be used for passive roaming, which is transparent to the end-device.
- Bidirectional end-devices with scheduled receive slots (Class B) are part of the specification enhancements and are now officially supported.
- Enhancements for additional security hardening.
In order to support heterogeneous deployments and not force a globally coordinated upgrade, both LoRaWAN 1.1 end-devices and networks will support backward compatibility to interoperate with their LoRaWAN 1.0.x legacy peers.
New LoRaWAN Backend Interfaces 1.0 specification:
- Has the ability to break down the network into network server (NS), join server (JS) and application server (AS).
- Enables roaming for both LoRaWAN 1.0.x (passive roaming only) and LoRaWAN 1.1 networks (both passive and handover roaming).
- Identifies the entity that stores end-device credentials (including root keys) as JS. It can be separated from networks and administered by an entity independent of the networks that the end-device may be using. This allows networks to offload the authentication procedure to a dedicated system, which can also be operated by a third party. This third-party JS also enables an end-device to be manufactured without having to be personalized for the networks it may eventually be connecting to.
For information, contact the LoRa Alliance.