LoRa Alliance Includes IPv6 Over LoRaWAN

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Acklio, a French developer, was instrumental in incorporating Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) support for end-to-end connections in LoRaWAN low power wide area networks (LPWAN). With the increase in Internet of Things connections, the previous IPv4 protocol has run out of addresses (IoT). Moving to IPv6 broadens LoRaWAN’s addressable IoT market to include internet-based standards required for smart electricity metering as well as new applications in smart buildings, industries, logistics, and homes.

The LoRa Alliance’s new IPv6 adaptation layer accelerates the development of secure and interoperable applications over LoRaWAN and builds on the alliance’s commitment to usability. IP-based solutions, such as those used in enterprise and industrial applications, can now be transmitted over LoRaWAN and easily integrated with cloud infrastructures. This enables developers to quickly enable internet-based applications while reducing time-to-market and total cost of ownership.

The active collaboration of LoRa Alliance members in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) to specify the Static Context Header Compression (SCHC) and fragmentation techniques, which makes transport of IP packets over LoRaWAN very efficient, is credited with the successful development of IPv6 Over LoRaWAN. The LoRa Alliance IPv6 over LoRaWAN Task Force then incorporated the SCHC specification (RFC 90111) into the LoRaWAN standard.

Acklio SCHC IPv6 development

Acklio, a LoRa Alliance member company, made significant contributions to enabling IPv6 over LoRaWAN and was instrumental in the development of the SCHC technology for LoRaWAN. SCHC takes advantage of the predictable nature of IoT traffic and avoids network entity synchronisation. As a result, the volume of data carried over networks is significantly reduced, enabling support for IPv6 and associated upper application layer communications over LoRaWAN.

As a result, SCHC can transform a LoRaWAN end-device into a native IPv6 device that can be addressed from any Internet-based application. It preserves the legacy application environment from device to application for multi-connection deployments or to densify or modernise existing M2M solutions with LoRaWAN.

DLMS/COSEM for smart metering is the first application for SCHC for IPv6. It was created as part of the liaison between the LoRa Alliance and the DLMS User Association to address the requirement for electric utilities to use IP-based standards. IPv6 over LoRaWAN has many additional applications, including monitoring internet networking equipment, reading RFID labels, and IP-based smart home applications, among others.

Because the IPv6 Internet stack is now available, a developer can use any of the numerous existing IP/UDP-based services to deploy interoperable and end-to-end secure solutions over LoRaWAN with little to no modification. Message queues with MQTT-SN, SCADA systems based on Modbus and DNP3, device management with LwM2M or CORECONF, building asset management with BACnet or KNX, or telemetry and secure smart metre management with DLMS are just a few of the IP/UDP versions that are currently running the backbone of industry and enterprise solutions.

Acklio provides the reference SCHC implementation for any globally launched scalable project. It offers an industry-grade off-the-shelf modular software suite approved by key market players and field-validated by utilities to operators, device manufacturers, and solution integrators.

It has launched a developer programme with access to the Acklio Cloud platform, SCHC embedded library with reference designs for various target environments, Turnkey example applications for a smooth onboarding, and full technical documentation.