Assessing a Methodology for Evaluating the Latency of IPv6 with SCHC Compression in LoRaWAN Deployments

Sensors (Basel). 2023 Feb 22;23(5):2407. doi: 10.3390/s23052407.


The Internet of Things (IoT) approach relies on the use of the Internet Protocol (IP) as a pervasive network protocol. IP acts as a "glue" for interconnecting end devices (on the field side) and end users, leveraging on very diverse lower-level and upper-level protocols. The need for scalability would suggest the adoption of IPv6, but the large overhead and payloads do not match with the constraints dictated by common wireless solutions. For this reason, compression strategies have been proposed to avoid redundant information in the IPv6 header and to provide fragmentation and reassembly of long messages. For example, the Static Context Header Compression (SCHC) protocol has been recently referenced by the LoRa Alliance as a standard IPv6 compression scheme for LoRaWAN-based applications. In this way, IoT end points can seamlessly share an end-to-end IP link. However, implementation details are out of the specifications' scope. For this reason, formal test procedures for comparing solutions from different providers are important. In this paper, a test method for assessing architectural delays of real-world deployments of SCHC-over-LoRaWAN implementations is presented. The original proposal includes a mapping phase, for identifying information flows, and a subsequent evaluation phase, in which flows are timestamped and time-related metrics are computed. The proposed strategy has been tested in different use cases involving LoRaWAN backends deployed all around the world. The feasibility of the proposed approach has been tested by measuring the end-to-end latency of IPv6 data in sample use cases, obtaining a delay of less than 1 s. However, the main result is the demonstration that the suggested methodology permits a comparison of the behavior of IPv6 with SCHC-over-LoRaWAN, allowing the optimization of choices and parameters during deployment and commissioning of both infrastructure components and software.

Keywords: IoT; LoRaWAN; SCHC.