An Analysis of How to Deploy Low Power WAN IoT Using HFC and Fiber Network Infrastructure (2019)

By Patricio Sebastian Latini, CASA Systems

In the last few years the telecommunications world has been focused on developing and deploying specific, viable IoT infrastructure as well as IoT-based business and use cases.

However, most of the deployments are done in an OTT (Over-The-Top) manner over existing internet connections. This is in large part due to the network agnostic nature of many consumer IoT applications. IoT applications directly connect to their IoT providers through open internet connections, giving multiple subriber operators (MSOs) the traffic load, but cutting them out of any control of the quality of the service and also its revenues.

This paper analyzes the main alternatives of Low Power WAN (LPWAN) IoT native protocols such as running over unlicensed spectrum compared to mobile based protocols such as LTE-M and NB-IOT using a typical MSO infrastructure as their support.

A detailed analysis of RF footprint for both alternatives is presented by using the existing infrastructure of the MSOs to support physical mounting, powering and network backhauling by either using in-home or out-of-home alternatives. This analysis focuses on the positioning of LoRa WAN access points in key positions of the hybrid fiber coax (HFC)/fiber network in order to effectively serve remote sensors in different types of scenarios of device densities, such as dense urban and suburban.

A backhauling analysis is presented showing the key elements to properly support the most important key performance indicators (KPIs) of IoT networks such as packet loss, latency and bandwidth over DOCSIS® transport.

Lastly a security and network transport layer model is presented in order to properly support thousands of remote access points/small cells without the necessity of dedicated managed transport networks. The use of internet security (IPSEC) protocol is analyzed together with the requirements for the tunnel termination requirements for supporting the mentioned topology.

The resulting conclusions will allow the cable operators to better understand how the different LP-WAN protocols behave at the RF level in certain configurations that are well aligned and resource efficient with current HFC-fiber infrastructure deployments in MSOs. This understanding may help MSOs better plan for LP-WAN network deployments.

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