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

The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org> Mon, 16 March 2020 23:00 UTC

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From: The IESG <iesg-secretary@ietf.org>
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Subject: WG Action: Rechartered IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan)
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The IPv6 over Low Power Wide-Area Networks (lpwan) WG in the Internet Area of
the IETF has been rechartered. For additional information, please contact the
Area Directors or the WG Chairs.

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

Chairs:
  Alexander Pelov <a@ackl.io>
  Pascal Thubert <pthubert@cisco.com>

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

Internet Area Directors:
  Suresh Krishnan <suresh@kaloom.com>
  Éric Vyncke <evyncke@cisco.com>

Mailing list:
  Address: lp-wan@ietf.org
  To subscribe: https://www.ietf.org/mailman/listinfo/lp-wan
  Archive: https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/browse/lp-wan/

Group page: https://datatracker.ietf.org/group/lpwan/

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 infrastructures.

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.

There is a need to allow an integration of different LPWAN technologies in
order to couple them with their related ecosystems. This 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, WI-SUN and
NB-IOT. These technologies will be used as the baseline technologies for
future work.

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, including users and SDOs working on the baseline
technologies, to ensure that the work taking place corresponds to real
demands and that the proposed solutions are indeed applicable.

The group has produced documents providing an overview of the baseline LPWA
technologies (RFC8376) as well as a document specifying a Generic Framework
for Static Context Header Compression and Fragmentation (SCHC), which
provides both a header compression mechanism and an optional fragmentation
mechanism (RFC8724). The group will continue to produce new standards track
work to optimize IPv6-based communications to the end devices.

The group will:

1. Perform SCHC Maintenance, including enabling SCHC mechanisms for Upper
layer Protocols.

2. Produce Standard Track documents to apply SCHC IPv6/UDP over the baseline
technologies.

3. Produce a Standards Track document to define the generic data models to
formalize the compression and fragmentation contexts for LPWANs.

4. Produce a Standards Track document to enable  operations, administration
and maintenance (OAM) to the LPWAN device, including support for delayed or
proxied liveness verification (Ping).

Milestones:

  May 2020 - Perform SCHC Maintenance, including enabling SCHC mechanisms for
  Upper layer Protocols

  Dec 2020 - Produce Standard Track documents to apply SCHC IPv6/UDP over the
  baseline technologies

  Feb 2021 - Produce a Standards Track document to define the generic data
  models to formalize the compression and fragmentation contexts for LPWANs

  Jul 2021 - Produce a Standards Track document to enable  operations,
  administration and maintenance (OAM) to the LPWAN device, including support
  for delayed or proxied liveness verification (Ping)