Enabling roaming across heterogeneous IoT wireless networks: LoRaWAN meets 5G

Elena M. Torroglosa-Garcia, Jose M. Alcaraz Calero, Jorge Bernal Bernabe, Antonia Skarmeta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
69 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the latest research efforts to foster mobility and roaming in heterogeneous Low Power Wide Area Networks (LP-WANs) networks, handover roaming of Internet of Things (IoT) devices is not a success mainly due to fragmentation and difficulties to establish trust across different network domains as well as the lack of interoperability of different LP-WANs wireless protocols. To cope with this issue, this paper proposes a novel handover roaming mechanism for Low Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) protocol that relies on the trusted 5G network to perform IoT device’s authentication and key management, thereby extending the mobility and roaming capabilities of LoRaWAN to global scale. The proposal enables interoperability between 5G network and LoRaWAN, whereby multi Radio Access Technologies IoT (multi-RAT IoT) devices can exploit both technologies interchangeably, thereby fostering novel IoT mobility and roaming use cases for LP-WANs not experimented so far. Two integration approaches for LoRaWAN and 5G have been proposed, either assuming 5G spectrum connectivity with standard 5G authentication or performing 5G authentication over the LoRaWAN network. The solution has been deployed, implemented and validated in a real and integrated 5G-LoRaWAN testbed, showing its feasibility and security viability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103164-103180
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Access
Early online date28 May 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 May 2020


  • 5G mobile communication
  • LoRaWAN
  • Internet of Things
  • roaming
  • authentication


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