WG Review: IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan)

The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Fri, 30 September 2016 18:14 UTC

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From: The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org>
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Subject: WG Review: IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan)
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A new IETF WG has been proposed in the Internet Area. The IESG has not
made any determination yet. The following draft charter was submitted,
and is provided for informational purposes only. Please send your
comments to the IESG mailing list (iesg@ietf.org) by 2016-10-10.

IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan)
Current status: Proposed WG


Assigned Area Director:
  Suresh Krishnan <suresh.krishnan@ericsson.com>

Internet Area Directors:
  Terry Manderson <terry.manderson@icann.org>
  Suresh Krishnan <suresh.krishnan@ericsson.com>
Mailing list:
  Address: lp-wan@ietf.org
  To subscribe: https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/lp-wan
  Archive: http://www.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/lp-wan/

Charter: https://datatracker.ietf.org/doc/charter-ietf-lpwan/

A new generation of wireless technologies has emerged under the generic 
name of Low-Power Wide-Area (LPWA), with a number of common 
characteristics, which make these technologies unique and disruptive for 
Internet of Things applications. 

Those common traits include an optimized radio modulation, a star 
topology, frame sizes in the order of tens of bytes transmitted
a few times per day at ultra-low speeds and sometimes variable MTUs, 
and, though downstream may be supported, a mostly upstream transmission 
pattern that allows the devices to spend most of their time in low-
energy deep-sleep mode.

This enables a range of several kilometers and a long battery lifetime, 
possibly ten years operating on a single coin-cell. This also enables 
simple and scalable deployments with low-cost devices and thin 

Those benefits come at a price: the layer 2 frame formats are optimized 
and specific to each individual technology. There is no network layer 
and the application is often hard wired to the layer 2 frame format, 
leading to siloed deployments that must be managed, secured and operated 
individually. Migrating from one LPWA technology to another implies 
rebuilding the whole chain.

To unleash the full power of LPWA technologies and their ecosystems, 
there is a need to couple them with other ecosystems that will guarantee 
the inter-working by introducing a network layer, and enable common 
components for management and security, as well as shared application 
profiles. The IETF can contribute by providing IPv6 connectivity, and 
propose technologies to secure the operations and manage the devices and 
their gateways.

The Working Group will focus on enabling IPv6 connectivity over the 
following selection of Low-Power Wide-Area technologies: SIGFOX, LoRa, 

These technologies present similar characteristics of rare and widely 
unbalanced over-the-air transmissions, with little capability to alter 
the frame formats to accommodate this work, which makes it so that 
existing IETF work (6lo) cannot be trivially applied.

The Working Group will leverage cross-participation with the associated 
set of stakeholders to ensure that the work taking place corresponds to 
real demands and that the proposed solutions are indeed applicable. 

The group will produce informational work describing LPWA
technologies and their needs as well as new standard work to optimize 
IPv6-based communications to the end device

The group will:

1. Produce an Informational document describing and relating some 
selected LPWA technologies. This work will document the common 
characteristics and highlight actual needs that the IETF could serve; 
but it is not intended to provide a competitive analysis. It is expected 
that the information contained therein originates from and is reviewed 
by people who work on the respective LPWA technologies.

2. Produce a Standards Track document to enable the compression and 
fragmentation of a CoAP/UDP/IPv6 packet over LPWA networks. This will be 
achieved through stateful mechanisms, specifically designed for star 
topology and severely constrained links. The work will include the 
definition of generic data models to describe the compression and 
fragmentation contexts. This work may also include to define technology-
specific adaptations of the generic compression/fragmentation mechanism 
wherever necessary.

  Nov 2016 - Adopt LPWAN specifications as WG item
  Dec 2016 - Adopt IP/UDP compression and fragmentation mechanism as a WG
  Jan 2017 - Adopt  CoAP compression mechanism as a WG item
  Apr 2017 - Submit LPWAN specification to the IESG for publication as an
Informational Document 
  May 2017 - Submit IP/UDP compression and fragmentation mechanism to the
IESG for publication as a Proposed Standard
  Jul 2017 - Submit CoAP compression mechanism to the IESG for
publication as a Proposed Standard