The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has published a white paper on IoT device interoperability and roaming.
The paper, IoT Interoperability: Dynamic Roaming, investigates how – with between 20 and 30 billion connected devices coming online by 2020, by different estimates – there is an urgent need for interoperability to allow IoT devices to roam across networks.
The white paper addresses the ways in which devices could roam at scale without intervention. It focuses on the steps necessary for IoT devices to connect to different networks, successfully authenticate themselves, and enable functions such as accounting and billing, while also considering the potential security and scalability concerns.
WRIX and clicks
The aim of the paper is to “provide a framework for IoT roaming, demonstrating the value and opportunities to enhance the functionality for existing technologies with the use of the WBA’s Wireless Roaming Intermediary eXchange (WRIX) specification”, says the organisation.
It outlines how WRIX – the use of modular specifications to facilitate roaming between operators – could be used across the IoT market to help establish best practices and standards for developing each device’s roaming specifications.
“Using the WRIX specification as a guideline for roaming, organisations can prepare their networks to facilitate simple, seamless, and secure IoT connectivity for their users,” says the WBA.
The report highlights several areas where WRIX could be used, or enhanced, to address the immediate challenge of massive scalability. These include:
Adding RADSEC capabilities to the WRIX framework to enhance the security of IoT applications, while enabling automatic security and authentication in new deployment scenarios.
Expanding the current WRIX definitions and specifications to include LoRa Alliance and MulteFire Alliance roaming support, to allow the support of other IoT use cases.
“Cross-network device roaming is becoming increasingly important to fulfil the vast scalability requirements of the IoT,” said Tiago Rodrigues, general manager of the WBA. “Yet deploying IoT roaming services is no easy feat, and the process will take several years.
“The industry must work together, which is why the WBA is advocating the use of WRIX to provide industry-wide standards for service providers. Having identified several areas where the framework can be enhanced, the WBA is now working to evolve WRIX to increase its capabilities, longevity, and industry value to support IoT roaming use cases.”