The OpenUNB Standard

Open UNB (Open Ultra-Narrowband) is a wireless data transfer protocol for high-capacity networks based on ultra-narrowband communications

Long-distance Ambient Monitoring

Monitoring over long distances with minimal costs for equipment and operation in the absence of an external power source

Limited-reception Ambient Monitoring

Monitoring at locations with natural/artificial barriers (reinforced concrete walls, underground objects, mines, etc.)


“Tourist intranet” where GSM coverage is not available, providing SOS calls, travel alerts & hiker tracking


Data collection in densely populated areas and hard-to-reach or closed places that do not have access to external energy sources

Current stage of development of the OpenUNB Standard

At the moment, the OpenUNB standard has already been finalised based on the feedback received from the public hearings. However, the process did not stop there. The next stage is to check it by specialised working groups and bring it in line with the requirements of Rosstandart and TC 194. After all, compliance with the stringent requirements and procedures of Technical Committee No. 194 “Cyber-physical systems” (TC 194) and the Federal Agency for Technical Regulation and Metrology (Rosstandart) Is a guarantee of a quality national preliminary standard.

When all checks are complete and comments have been made, the OpenUNB standard will again be available to a wider audience. We hope this happens soon!

However, we are not standing still. Technology partnerships are being actively developed so that future protocol users can quickly build a network based on inexpensive and affordable components. You can see the progress on the news page.

OpenUNB – The Ideal LPWAN System

Low cost of the
terminal device (OU)
Prolonged operation
per single charge
Large coverage area at a low gateway cost
Reliability & safety
of information delivery
High throughput
of the gateway
of the system

“Ultra-robust and energy efficient network for the unlicensed band, based on a fully open protocol – an achievement of NTI and Skoltech.”

— Dmitry Lakontsev, Head of the Skoltech NTI Competence Center for Wireless and Internet of Things Technologies

OpenUNB Characteristics

Low endpoint cost

The OpenUNB protocol is designed so that a wide variety of mainstream radio chips from the world’s leading manufacturers can be used in endpoints. Thus the price of the terminal devices is significantly lower than for LoRaWAN (which uses expensive and unique chips from Semtech) and NB-IoT (which makes use of far more complex and expensive chips, and is comparable to SigFox.

Low gateway cost

The OpenUNB gateway receiver is implemented on the basic principles of digital radio (SDR) using modern digital signal processing methods. The receiver uses available components from the world’s leading manufacturers. In terms of price, the OpenUNB gateway is comparable to the LoRaWAN gateway and is much cheaper than NB-IoT.

Long range

OpenUNB uses ultra-narrowband modulation with modern anti-jamming coding methods, which ensures the gateway coverage area far exceeds (at least doubles) the range of LoRaWAN and is comparable to that of SigFox.

High throughput

The OpenUNB protocol uses narrow-band (UNB) signals in the 100 or 200 kHz band, which provides a gateway throughput similar to SigFox and more than an order of magnitude higher than the LoRaWAN gateway throughput.

High energy efficiency

The OpenUNB protocol contains the minimum required overhead (up to 3.3 times more efficient than SigFox with regards to this parameter). When calculated for the same coverage area, our technology allows at least 3 times more battery consumption than LoRaWAN, and even better performance compared to NB-IoT.

High noise immunity

Due to the use of the most modern methods of noise-immune signal coding in OpenUNB (the protocol uses the polar code used in the latest versions of the 5G cellular communication standard), high levels of protection against natural and artificially created interference in the air have been achieved, which provides the necessary communication range in an unlicensed frequency range in real operating conditions.

Information security

A key element of security in OpenUNB is a dynamic coding system that protects the transmission of a device’s address on a network. For all competing LPWAN systems (except NB-IoT), the device address in the network is transmitted in clear text, which creates security risks due to the ability to analyze the activity of sensors over the air by their identifier and the ability to manipulate messages. To protect information, the OpenUNB protocol uses a sequence of three encryption keys, a session key that changes automatically and a message counter.