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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Multicast remote device management service for IoT endpoints

By Nick Flaherty

French IoT specialist Kerlink is demonstrating a new device-management service for simultaneously configuring and updating devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) via low power wide area networks (LPWAN). This is the final step to making it a significant IoT provider.
Device management (DM) of IoT-connected endpoints is a real challenge and vital for companies that increasingly depend on the IoT. With billions of sensors, accelerometers, actuators and other devices expected to be connected to the IoT in the future, remotely updating software and firmware securely, adding new functionality, installing applications, and configuring, monitoring or provisioning devices is key to maintaining the network performance.

Although Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks offer lower data rates than traditional cellular technologies, or have to follow specific duty-cycle limitations inherent in the unlicensed spectrum (ISM band), device management is a vital part of the services that will shortly be proposed for public or private operators to update their fleets of IoT devices that are connected to those networks.

“Secure, simultaneous, remote device management is a crucial function for our customers who want to continuously optimize, monetize and secure their connected devices,” said Yannick Delibie, Kerlink co-founder, CTIO, and CEO of its US subsidiary, Kerlink Inc. “This capability is the final major step in Kerlink’s complete network solution, which means our customers can count on us to take them from the drawing board to quickly monitoring, managing and scaling their connected devices, and permanently keep them operating at optimal performance from a central management interface.”

Kerlink plans to use IoTerop’s Lightweight M2M stack, known as IOWA, for customers’ actual device updates. This is a protocol developed by the Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) for device-and-service management, and is specifically designed for embedded resource constrained devices managed over a wide number of transport technologies.

The device-update service relies on the LoRaWAN specified multi-cast capability, which makes it possible to send large payloads to multiple devices in a LoRaWAN-connected node at the same time, and allows the devices to receive this update simultaneously and reliably, with no network congestion.

The system is being demonstrated with Kerlink’s standalone Wanesy Small Private Network (SPN) server installed in the company’s latest-generation Wirnet iFemtoCell 915 MHz indoor base station, and connected Wirgrid Reference Designs for energy meters, reading the device’s existing configuration and checking its current firmware version and scheduling the firmware download to ensure that the endpoint will temporary be in a listening and data-reception mode (class C - downlink) on a specific shared schedule (RX Windows).

Kerlink is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance and over the last 10 years has rolled out 70,000 installations with 260 clients. 

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