The development of Internet of Things technology that supports Smart City is not just talking about broadband access with high-speed internet.

Low-power and low-speed actuator sensor devices but very portable and inexpensive, can be installed anywhere with a very long battery life (ubiiti), is a new trend that is developing very rapidly with the term LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network).

It is predicted that there will be 20-30 billion IoT devices (besides smartphones, tablets and computers) installed in 2020.

Its implementation in Smart City is very extensive. Programmable street lights on, off, intensity, and conditions; meters in clean water, gas and electricity installations that can communicate both ways transmit status and control usage.

Then, Smart Grid which increases energy efficiency and reliability; traffic lights that adaptively adjust to traffic conditions; garbage trucks that monitor the position and contents; early information on weather, accidents and disasters; transparency of information from and to the community; and much more as wide as the imagination of the city manager.

At present, developing and competing various standards with different business models. Sigfox and LoRa, for example, develop closed but tested technologies that are efficient and reach markets in Europe and America. NB-IoT is the LPWAN standard of the cellular industry alliance and IEEE 802.15.4 is a more open international standard.


Sigfox technology with its proprietary standard, uses the Ultra Narrow Band Radio frequency to communicate (around 200 kHz in the working frequency of ISM 868 MHz or 902 MHz depending on the country) with each 100 Hz wide data packet that is transferred at 100 or 600 bps depending on location using modulation of DNPSK and GFSK.

Here, Sigfox technology is based on a star topology where the Mini BTS is able to reach distances of up to 30-50 km (outside the city) or 3-10 km (within the city) with the capacity of the IoT devices that are connected very high. It was reported that to cover 81% of France with 90% of the population only needed less than 1600 mini BTS.

Sigfox as a global operator opens its technology to be produced by anyone but its network is still controlled and controlled. Currently the Sigfox network has reached more than 30 countries in Europe, America and Australia with a center in France.


LoRaWAN (Long Range Wide Area Network) has a technological concept similar to Sigfox and uses the working frequency of the sub Giga Hertz in the ISM (Industry, Science, Medical) band.

LoRa also uses a star configuration and its BTS is able to reach thousands of devices in the range of 2-5 km (in the city) or 15 km (outside the city) with data speeds of 0.3 – 50 kbps.

A very significant difference compared to Sigfox is that although LoRa uses the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, there are proprietary features in the production of its chipsets with Semtech as the sole producer.

However, the implementation of technology, applications and networks was opened to members of the LoRa alliance to be developed as needed.


Narrow Band – IoT (NB-IoT) is the GSMA Alliance’s answer to the emergence of technology and the need for Low Power Wide Area Networks as part of IoT.

This technology guarantees a product with a strength of + 20dB, can be connected with 1000 devices, uses 200 kHz bandwidth, maximum data speeds of 250 kbps, latency is 1.6-10s, and batteries can last for 10 years.

Different from other technological approaches that use unlicenced frequency spectrum, NB-IoT uses paid frequency spectrum owned by cellular operators so as to maximize assets while ensuring that the quality of service and safety are the best according to cellular industry standards.

IEEE 802.15.4

The IEEE 802.15.4 standard as an international standard, intends to offer a basic layer (physical and MAC) for Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) technology that focuses on low-power and high-speed but massive and scattered devices even though there was no telecommunications infrastructure before.

Devices that support IEEE 802.15.4 can use one of three operating frequency bands (868/915/2450 MHz). This standard supports a more reliable star and mesh configuration plus channel hopping technology to avoid interference.

One of the variants, IEEE 802.15.4g is a Wireless – Smart Utility Network (Wi-SUN) working group that prepares standards for very large-scale device control applications such as Smartgrid networks that can support networks spread across diverse geographies with millions of end devices.

Other standardization

Apart from the above, there are many other standards with different uses. What is interesting is the development of the 6LoWPAN standard, a concise version of IPv6 designed to fit into the standard IEEE 802.15.4 data package a 127 bytes.

This is done with header compression, fragmentation and rearrangement, and the use of stateless configurations so that the device can automatically generate its own address.

6LoWPAN is an interesting solution because the system does not need to set up an additional gateway to be able to communicate with the internet.

LoRa, Wi-SUN, Zigbee IP, Bluetooth Smart, and Thread began and have used it in their latest standards where the last three standards are low power device standards for Smart Home / Smart Building.

Security and Regulation Issues

With such a high surge of devices connected to the internet, various reports of cyber attacks have taken place utilizing this IoT device.

Admittedly, the 128-bit encryption standard as the IoT industry standard is feared several times the hacker can penetrate. Therefore, regular assessments, monitors and security updates are mandatory for the system manager.

Standards are the lower limit of the device’s ability to continue to operate with other devices despite different vendors, and hackers are always looking for the weakest point of the system to enter the attack.

For the government, this issue is very important to be considered and managed. In addition, the need for frequency allocation in the ISM and 2.4GHz bands is the basis for the development of IoT which should be supported by widening the band.

The issue of TKDN and the placement of servers in the country is also another important issue to regulate. The latter is government support for the implementation of IPv6 as the main internet resource.

The increasing use of IPv6 will encourage the need for human resources to master the technology. In accordance with the mandate of the Vice President above: technology is only a tool, people are in control.

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