Skoltech-based NTI Competence Centre has developed a new open standard for the Internet of things, OpenUNB


The competence centre of the NTI — Technologies for Wireless Communications and the Internet of Things — in Skoltech, with the participation of the Technical Committee — Cyber-Physical Systems, has developed a draft preliminary national standard (PNS); the Protocol for wireless data transmission for high-capacity networks based on ultra-narrowband radio signal modulation (OpenUNB, Open Ultra-Narrowband). A public discussion of the document started today based on the Technical Committee.

The OpenUNB standard makes it possible to organize radio channels between a large number of transmitting information devices and network gateways. One of the most promising areas of its use is “smart” metering devices for housing and communal services.

Today, this segment includes several domestic and international manufacturers that offer their unique radio communication protocols for transmitting data on the consumption of water, gas or electricity by end-users or for receiving commands from a central control system. However, a significant barrier to the development of this market is that these protocols are incompatible with each other — this creates severe difficulties in building complex accounting and control systems in the housing and communal services using equipment from different suppliers, and entails additional costs for management companies to acquire base stations and other specialized radio equipment.

In most countries of the world, this problem is solved by the introduction of a single open national communication standard, which is used to one degree or another by all manufacturers. The OpenUNB standard, developed by the NTI Skoltech Competence Centre, makes it easy to integrate smart meters into a single system.

Dmitry Lakontsev, Head of the NTI Competence Centre for Wireless Technologies and the Internet of Things
Open radio protocols are today becoming an essential element of IoT systems. Business cases in the field of the Internet of things are often low-margin, so it is crucial to make connecting end devices, for example, smart meters, to the network as cheap as possible. Our Competence Centre has decided to develop an open domestic standard UNB, which belongs to the niche of ultra-narrowband class protocols.

The OpenUNB standard requires a minimum amount of energy to send one bit of information. According to the results of preliminary tests, now it is one of the most energy-saving protocols, which is critically important for IoT systems in housing and communal services since usually meters only receive energy from a built-in battery of limited capacity, which lasts only a few years of continuous operation.

OpenUNB makes it possible to work both in the licensed and unlicensed ranges, which significantly increases the flexibility of systems built on its basis. While, for example, the Swift XNB closed protocol is focused on the use of exclusively allocated licensed frequencies, guaranteeing the absence of other devices operating in this range.

An advantage of the standard is also the high reliability of signal transmission in ultra-narrow channels at frequencies of about 868 MHz. Besides, OpenUNB uses authoritative encryption algorithms, which guarantees resistance to cyber-attacks and protection from data transmission to third parties - the document is harmonized with both the Grasshopper national encryption standard and the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) international encryption standards.

Nikita Utkin, the Head of RVC Programs, Chairman of the Cyber-Physical Systems TC
Earlier, we already participated in developing our Russian standard for data transmission for the Internet of things NB-Fi, and in adapting the widespread international LoRaWAN standard, in each case initiating a full-scale discussion of documents by the expert community. OpenUNB is a universal open standard, absolutely ready for practical use. With its appearance, we will be one step closer to creating a full-fledged ecosystem of the regulation of the Internet of things in Russia.

The draft OpenUNB standard is presented for public comment, which will last for three months. The corresponding notice is posted on the website After that, the draft standard will be submitted for approval to the Technical Committee 194 Cyber-physical systems and submitted for approval to Rosstandart.


About the Technical Committee — Cyber-Physical Systems

Technical Committee 194 — Cyber-Physical Systems was created based on RVC in 2017. The collegial body acts as a platform for the development of the digital economy and NTI through the development of digital technology standards for new promising markets. The Committee unites leading scientific and public organizations, technology companies, non-profit organizations of hardware and software developers. Among its participants — Gazprom Neft, Rostelecom, Angstrem-T, RUSSOFT, MSTU named after N.E. Bauman, HSE, Moscow State University, etc.

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