LPWAN GAP Analysis

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Network Working Group                                        A. Minaburo
Internet-Draft                                                    Acklio
Intended status: Informational                                L. Toutain
Expires: December 25, 2016     Institut MINES TELECOM ; TELECOM Bretagne
                                                           June 23, 2016

                           LPWAN GAP Analysis


   Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) are different technologies
   covering different applications based on long range, low bandwidth
   and low power operation.  The use of IETF protocols in the LPWAN
   technologies should contribute to the deployment of a wide number of
   applications in an open and standard environment where actual
   technologies will be able to communicate.  This document makes a
   survey of the principal characteristics of these technologies and
   covers a cross layer analysis on how to adapt and use the actual IETF
   protocols, but also the gaps for the integration of the IETF protocol
   stack in the LPWAN technologies.

Status of This Memo

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   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of

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   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
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1.  Introduction

   LPWAN (Low-Power Wide Area Network) technologies are a kind of
   constrained and challenged networks [RFC7228].  They can operate in
   license or license-exempt bands to provide connectivity to a vast
   number of battery-powered devices requiring limited communications.
   If the existing pilot deployments have shown the huge potential and
   the industrial interest in their capabilities, the loose coupling
   with the Internet makes the device management and network operation
   complex.  More importantly, LPWAN devices are, as of today, with no
   IP capabilities.  The goal is to adapt IETF defined protocols,
   addressing schemes and naming spaces to this constrained environment.

2.  Problem Statement

   The LPWANs are large-scale constrained networks in the sense of
   [RFC7228] with the following characteristics:

   o  very small frame payload as low as 12 bytes.  Typical traffic
      patterns are composed of a large majority of frames with payload
      size around 15 bytes and a small minority of up to 100 byte
      frames.  Some nodes will exchange less than 10 frames per day.

   o  very low bandwidth, most LPWAN technologies offer a throughput
      between 50 bit/s to 250 kbit/s, with a duty cycle of 0.1% to 10%
      on some ISM bands.

   o  high packet loss, which can be the result of bad transmission
      conditions or collisions between nodes.

   o  variable MTU for a link depending on the used L2 modulation.

   o  highly asymmetric and in some cases unidirectional links.

   o  ultra dense networks with thousands to tens of thousands of nodes.

   o  different modulations and radio channels.

   o  sleepy nodes to preserve energy.

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   In the terminology of [RFC7228], these characteristics put LP-WANs
   into the "challenged network" category where the IP connectivity has
   to be redefined or modified.  Therefore, LP-WANs need to be
   considered as a separate class of networks.  The intrinsic
   characteristics, current usages and architectures will allow the
   group to make and justify the design choices.  Some of the desired
   properties are:
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