The three new specifications support and standardize firmware updates over the air (FUOTA) – a capability, says the organization, that is unique to LoRaWAN among low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs). The ability to update devices remotely is critical for the IoT, where many sensors are in remote or difficult locations to reach but may require updating, says the organization, and the new specifications allow the LoRa Alliance ecosystem to perform FUOTA in a standardized way.
Along with the specification announcement, the organization also reported significant growth in deployments and certification, with an increase of more than 50% in the number of LoRaWAN-certified products compared to this time last year.
“Continued development of standard specifications for the LoRaWAN protocol is key to enabling interoperability between end-device providers and network providers,” says Donna Moore, CEO & Chairwoman of the LoRa Alliance. “The new specifications showcase how our members collaborate to continuously advance LoRaWAN. The rapid uptick of LoRaWAN-Certified products validates that the market stands behind the need for IoT devices that deliver a proof of quality.”
The three new specifications include the LoRaWAN Application Layer Clock Synchronization Specification v1.0.0; LoRaWAN Remote Multicast Setup Specification v1.0.0; and LoRaWAN Fragmented Data Block Transport Specification v1.0.0. Together, the new specifications enable FUOTA, says the organization, however, three separate specifications have been issued because each can be used independently.
For example, remote multicast setup protocol can be used standalone to send messages to a group of end devices, while fragmentation can be used on its own to send a large file to a single end-device (unicast). And time synchronization also can be used as a standalone capability.
Security – a strong focus of this development effort – is addressed in the Multicast and Fragmentation specifications. For multicast, the protocol has a means to securely deliver a cryptographic key to the group of end devices, while in fragmentation, a section is dedicated to file integrity and authentication recommendations.