ITU approves LoRaWan as global standard

  • December 15, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has officially 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’s telecommunication standardisation sector (ITU-T), the ITU’s standardisation expert group for IoT, smart cities and communities.

“LoRaWan was developed as an open standard from the very beginning, which was recognised by the LPWAN community and demonstrated by its rapid global adoption as the LPWAN for IoT,” said Donna Moore, CEO of the LoRa Alliance. “We undertook this endeavour with ITU-T to have LoRaWan formally documented as an international standard by an independent authority because of our commitment to openness and standardisation, 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 recognised standard and sets the stage for even more growth.”

The LoRa Alliance has been engaged with the ITU throughout much of 2021 to complete its qualification process. The ITU’s study groups assemble experts from around the world to develop international standards, known as ITU-T Recommendations, 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,” said Bilel Jamoussi, chief of study groups for the ITU-T. “Collaboration among standardisation communities continues to grow in importance alongside the accelerating digital transformation underway across our economies. We see strong commitment to building synergies among standardisation efforts in the 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 the ITU shares with the LoRa Alliance.”

The LoRa Alliance is an open, non-profit association formed in 2015. Its members collaborate and share expertise to develop and promote the LoRaWan standard for secure, carrier-grade IoT LPWAN connectivity. LoRaWan has been deployed by more than 155 major mobile network operators globally, and connectivity is available in more than 170 countries.

The ITU is the United Nations agency for information and communication technologies.

The LoRa Alliance has enhanced and expanded its LoRaWan NetID programme. The changes will increase access to NetID licences for LoRa Alliance members and non-members, which should in turn accelerate global roaming deployments.