Mobile IoT (LPWA) Roaming

Mobile IoT (LPWA) Roaming enables a mobile subscriber to LTE-M or NB-IoT networks to seamlessly connect their IoT devices, and access associated IoT services, across several countries and/or mobile networks, using the SIM from the same service provider, also when the IoT devices move outside the geographical coverage area of their home network. Mobile IoT (LPWA) Roaming is technically enabled by inter-operator mobility management, authentication and billing procedures. Establishing roaming between network operators is based on the commercial terms contained in dedicated roaming agreements.

Benefits of Mobile IoT (LPWA) Roaming

Mobile IoT (LTE-M & NB-IoT) are the only true LPWA Roaming networks. As part of the Global Cellular Network family its offers the same benefits of security, billing and control through a SIM that you get with 2G/3G/4G/5G. Mobile IoT is the only standard for LPWAN defined in 3GPP. It is not proprietary and only operates in licenced spectrum, something to be aware of when roaming because without notice, unlicensed spectrum can be used in other countries for other purposes without notice.

Backed by the worlds leading Mobile Networks with over 40 years operational experience managing 10 billion connections, you can be sure you have the best quality and service that you need for your roaming IoT Solution.

Mobile IoT (LPWA) Features in Roaming

NB-IoT Features in Roaming

Deployment Band(s) Frequency bands of LPWA technology and associated deployment method. (These are InBand, GuardBand or StandAlone).
IP Roaming IP version support for inbound roamers (IPv4, IPv6 and/or Dual-stack)
RRC Activity Timer Timer controlling how long a Mobile IoT device is held in connected mode. Important from a battery consumption perspective as most of power consumption occurs during connected mode
Non-IP Roaming Support of Non-IP data delivery (NIDD) for inbound roamers. Non-IP data can be transferred back to your home network via the Service Capability Exposure Function (SCEF). The delivery of this data to the customer’s application server can be via a REST API or a message protocol such as MQTT. Alternatively, non-IP data is transferred back to the customer’s application server via the Packet Gateway. Delivery of this data to the customer’s application server is then via UDP encapsulation and may also use dedicated backhaul (e.g. IPSec).
Data Transport via Control Plane Support of IP data delivery for inbound roamers over the Control Plane
Data Transport via User Plane Support of IP data delivery for inbound roamers using the User Plane and IP.
Release Assistance Indication Release Assistance Indication enables IoT applications to reduce device power consumption. It allows a Mobile IoT device to drop to idle mode as soon as it has finished sending data rather than remaining in connected mode until the expiration of the base station’s RRC Activity Timer.
Power Saving Mode Power Saving Mode helps devices save battery power and achieve longer battery lives by allowing a device to enter a “deep-sleep ”. Whilst in “deep sleep”, the Mobile IoT device is unreachable.
Data Packet Buffering for PSM A mobile IoT device is unreachable when it is in “deep sleep”. When the Mobile IoT device awakens, a mobile IoT network supporting data packet buffering will forward data packets it had temporarily held for that Mobile IoT device whilst it was unreachable. If data packet buffering is enabled in a Mobile IoT network, the maximum number and size of the buffered packets is determined by each Mobile Network Operator.
Long Periodic Tracking Area Update Long Periodic Tracking Area Update is used in conjunction with PSM. The periodic tracking area update timer (T3412) determines how long a Mobile IoT device can remain in idle or deep sleep mode before it must reconnect and send a Tracking Area Update message to the base station.
Extended Discontinous Reception (eDRX) Extended Discontinuous Reception can be used by IoT devices to reduce power consumption. eDRX can be used without PSM or in conjunction with PSM to obtain additional power saving. By momentarily switching off the receive section of the radio chipset for a brief period, Mobile IoT devices are able to save power.
Data Packet Buffering for eDRX Similar to data packet buffering for PSM, a Mobile IoT network supporting data packet packet buffering for eDRX will temporarily hold data packets for the brief period the Mobile IoT device has switched it’s receiver off to reduce energy consumption. If data packet buffering is enabled in a Mobile IoT network, the maximum number and size of the buffered packets is determined by each Mobile Network Operator.
SMS Support Native support for Mobile terminating and Mobile originating SMS services on NB-IoT.
UE Power Classes The 3GPP Mobile IoT standards define several transmit power classes. Power classes with lower output power may allow a Mobile IoT device to reduce battery energy consumption although the lower power output may impact the distance the device may be located from a base station.
CE Levels / Coverage Enhancement Mobile IoT devices are able to operate using different Coverage Enhancement levels which provide the ability for a Mobile IoT device to work in locations where regular mobile devices may not have coverage.
GTP-IDLE Timer on IPX Firewall When a Mobile IoT device roams onto another network, a GTP tunnel is established between the home and visited networks to carry data between the Mobile IoT device in the visited network and it’s home network. It is common for timers to be used in IPX firewalls between mobile operators to determine how long the GTP tunnel remains open and how long the device may remain inactive without losing this connection. For example, the value of this timer is critical for the efficient use of the PSM feature when roaming otherwise the Mobile IoT device may awaken from it’s deep sleep to find the GTP tunnel has been disconnected.

LTE-M Features in Roaming

Deployment Band(s) Frequency bands of LPWA technology
IP Roaming IP version support for inbound roamers (IPv4, IPv6 and/or Dual-stack)
RRC Activity Timer Timer controlling how long a Mobile IoT device is held in connected mode. Important from a battery consumption perspective as most of power consumption occurs during connected mode.
Data Transport via Control Plane Support of IP data delivery for inbound roamers over the Control Plane
Data Transport via User Plane Support of IP data delivery for inbound roamers using the User Plane and IP.
Release Assistance Indication Release Assistance Indication enables IoT applications to reduce device power consumption. It allows a Mobile IoT device to drop to idle mode as soon as it has finished sending data rather than remaining in connected mode until the expiration of the base station’s RRC Activity Timer.
Power Saving Mode Power Saving Mode helps devices save battery power and achieve longer battery lives by allowing a device to enter a “deep-sleep ”. Whilst in “deep sleep”, the Mobile IoT device is unreachable.
Data Packet Buffering for PSM A mobile IoT device is unreachable when it is in “deep sleep”. When the Mobile IoT device awakens, a mobile IoT network supporting data packet buffering will forward data packets it had temporarily held for that Mobile IoT device whilst it was unreachable. If data packet buffering is enabled in a Mobile IoT network, the maximum number and size of the buffered packets is determined by each Mobile Network Operator.
Long Periodic Tracking Area Update Long Periodic Tracking Area Update is used in conjunction with PSM. The periodic tracking area update timer (T3412) determines how long a Mobile IoT device can remain in idle or deep sleep mode before it must reconnect and send a Tracking Area Update message to the base station.
Extended Discontinuous Reception (eDRX) Extended Discontinuous Reception can be used by IoT devices to reduce power consumption. eDRX can be used without PSM or in conjunction with PSM to obtain additional power saving. By momentarily switching off the receive section of the radio chipset for a brief period, Mobile IoT devices are able to save power.
Data Packet Buffering for eDRX Similar to data packet buffering for PSM, a Mobile IoT network supporting data packet packet buffering for eDRX will temporarily hold data packets for the brief period the Mobile IoT device has switched it’s receiver off to reduce energy consumption. If data packet buffering is enabled in a Mobile IoT network, the maximum number and size of the buffered packets is determined by each Mobile Network Operator.
SMS Support Native support for Mobile terminating and Mobile originating SMS services on LTE-M.
UE Power Classes The 3GPP Mobile IoT standards define several transmit power classes. Power classes with lower output power may allow a Mobile IoT device to reduce battery energy consumption although the lower power output may impact the distance the device may be located from a base station.
Voice Support (VoLTE) Support of VoLTE service over LTE-M for inbound roamers with an IMS subscription
CE Levels / Coverage Enhancement Mobile IoT devices are able to operate using different Coverage Enhancement levels which provide the ability for a Mobile IoT device to work in locations where regular mobile devices may not have coverage.
GTP-IDLE Timer on IPX Firewall When a Mobile IoT device roams onto another network, a GTP tunnel is established between the home and visited networks to carry data between the Mobile IoT device in the visited network and it’s home network. It is common for timers to be used in IPX firewalls between mobile operators to determine how long the GTP tunnel remains open and how long the device may remain inactive without losing this connection. For example, the value of this timer is critical for the efficient use of the PSM feature when roaming otherwise the Mobile IoT device may awaken from it’s deep sleep to find the GTP tunnel has been disconnected.

For additional information about coverage, please visit:

Mobile IoT Deployment MapMobile IoT Commercial Launches

Wholesales Agreements and Solutions (WAS) Group

The Wholesale Agreements and Solutions Group (WAS) is responsible for Operator-to-Operator and Operator-to-Hub interoperability (including Interworking and Roaming) providing GSMA members with a consistent, reliable service for members to offer their customers.

The Wholesale Agreements and Solutions Group (WAS) develops roaming and interconnect agreement templates and wholesale charging principles. Additionally, WAS supports GSMA programs and projects with the development of roaming and interconnect agreement templates and wholesale charging principles that are unique to the needs of these efforts, as appropriate.

For more information, please visit: https://www.gsma.com/aboutus/workinggroups/wholesale-agreements-and-solutions-group or InfoCentre2 https://infocentre2.gsma.com/gp/wg/WA

Mobile IoT (LPWA) Roaming Announcements

Enquiry

If you would like more information on Mobile IoT (LPWA) Roaming or about Wholesale Agreements and Solutions (WAS) Group, please contact iot@gsma.com.

Resources & Additional Information

LTE-M Deployment Guide (v3)NB-IoT Deployment Guide (v3)

LTE-M Logo SetNB-IoT Logo Set