Current forecasts predict that the Industrial Internet of Things will account for about 10 billion devices by 2020. Simultaneously, unlicensed low-power wide area networks are gaining momentum due to their low cost, low power, and long range characteristics, which are suitable for many IIoT applications, in addition to the usage of unlicensed bands. In this article, a solution is proposed to seamlessly integrate LoRaWAN, an open and standardized LPWAN technology, with 4G/5G mobile networks, thus allowing mobile network operators to reutilize their current infrastructures. This proposal is transparent to LoRaWAN end devices and to the EPC, since only the LoRaWAN gateway needs to be modified. The gateway acts as an evolved Node B from the core network perspective, implementing part of the eNB protocol stack. All data packets transported over the core network are both encrypted and integrity protected, hence achieving end-toend security. As a proof of concept, this solution has been implemented and validated with an open source EPC.
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