WBA publishes IoT device roaming guidelines

Telecom Asia staff writer
24 May 2018
Daily News

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has published a white paper which identifies its Wireless Roaming Intermediary eXchange (WRIX) specification as a way to help IoT devices to seamlessly “talk” to each other when they travel across borders and onto new networks.

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 WRIX specification”, said the industry organization.

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 specifications.

“Using the WRIX specification as a guideline for roaming, organizations can prepare their networks to facilitate simple, seamless and secure IoT connectivity for their users,” the WBA said.

The report highlights several areas where WRIX can 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 and enable automatic security for new deployment scenarios.
  • Using the WRIX framework as best practice to address the issue of identity and authentication between security domains.
  • Expanding the current WRIX definitions and specifications to include LoRa Alliance and MulteFire Alliance roaming support, to allow other IoT use cases to be supported.
  • For IoT technology that was built from the ground up, and therefore, involves a specific assessment on interwork possibilities, the WBA outlines collaboration opportunities.

“Cross-network device roaming is becoming increasingly important to fulfil the vast scalability requirements of the IoT. Yet deploying IoT roaming services is no easy feat, and the process will take several years,” said Tiago Rodrigues, general manager of the WBA.

“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.”

The WBA said it will conduct trials on the new framework with its members, using the experience acquired with previous end-to-end interoperability trials such as Next Generation Hotspot (NGH).

The alliance is also in discussions with the LoRa Alliance, the MulteFire Alliance, and eduroam about the development of a roaming framework for specific IoT technologies similar to that of Wi-Fi roaming.

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