ITU Recognizes LoRaWAN as International Low-Power Wide-Area Networking Standard

By RFID Journal

The LoRa Alliance reports that the United Nations' specialized agency for information and communication technologies has formally recognized the technology as a new standard.

The  LoRa Alliance, an association of companies backing the open LoRaWAN standard for Internet of Things (IoT)-based low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs), has announced that the  International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized United Nations agency for information and communication technologies, has approved LoRaWAN as a standard. The standard is titled Recommendation ITU-T Y.4480, "Low-power protocol for wide-area wireless networks," and is under the responsibility of Study Group 20 of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T), an standardization expert group for the IoT and smart cities and communities.

The LoRa Alliance, an open, nonprofit association, is among the largest alliances in the technology sector and was launched in 2015. Its members collaborate and share expertise to develop and promote the LoRaWAN standard, the de facto global standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity. LoRaWAN addresses a range of fixed and mobile IoT applications, the organization reports, and a LoRaWAN certification program was established to guarantee that devices can perform as specified. The LoRaWAN standard has been deployed by more than 155 mobile network operators globally to date, and connectivity is available in more than 170 countries, with continual expansion.

"LoRaWAN was developed as an open standard from the very beginning, which was recognized by the LPWAN community and demonstrated by its rapid global adoption as the LPWAN for IoT," said Donna Moore, the LoRa Alliance's CEO and chairwoman, in a prepared statement. "We undertook this endeavor with ITU-T to have LoRaWAN formally documented as an international standard by an independent authority because of our commitment to openness and standardization–which are critical to achieving the interoperability needed for massive scaling. The transposition as an ITU-T Recommendation validates the market's decision to adopt LoRaWAN as an internationally recognized standard and sets the stage for even more growth."

According to the LoRa Alliance, the organization has been engaged with ITU throughout much of 2021 to complete its qualification process. ​​​​​​​​ITU-T's study groups assemble experts from around the world to develop international standards, which act as defining elements in the global infrastructure of ICTs.

"I would like to applaud ITU members and the LoRa Alliance for their work together in paving the way for this significant agreement," added Bilel Jamoussi, the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau's chief of study groups, in the prepared statement. "Collaboration among standardization communities continues to grow in importance alongside the accelerating digital transformation underway across our economies. We see strong commitment to building synergies among standardization efforts in ITU's work for the Internet of Things and smart cities and communities, and the approval of this new international standard demonstrates that this is a commitment that ITU shares with the LoRa Alliance."