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Buy An Organizationally Unique Identifier

What is an Organizationally Unique Identifier?

Each LoRaWAN Network Server (LNS) on the Helium Network is managed using an Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI). This registers the LNS with the network and manages the devAddrs, Data Credits, and routes for device traffic.

Pricing

The minimum cost to deploy an LNS to the Helium Network is $935 USD. This cost is divided into three parts.

The cost of an OUI is US$100. This is a one-time fee.

DevAddrs are issued in blocks of 8 and cost US$100 per devAddr for a total of $800. DevAddrs are also purchased as a one-time fee. DevAddrs are only required if a NetID is not already obtained from the LoRa Alliance.

A minimum of 35,000,000 Data Credits ($35 USD) must be held in the escrow account associated with the OUI. DC are consumed in proportion to the network traffic transfered1. If the DC balance drops below 35M, device traffic to the routes associated with the OUI will halt.

ItemFee
OUI$100
DevAddr$100 × 8 ($800)
Data Credit Minimum$35

Purchasing OUI and devAddr Slab

Currently, the purchasing of OUIs and devAddrs must be done by contacting the Helium Foundation. In the future, these registrations will be self-service.

As an alternate to purchasing a devAddr slab, it is also an option to obtain a NetID from the LoRa Alliance and use it in a roaming configuration. An OUI and data credits are required in either scenario.

Before purchasing an OUI and devAddr slab, create the following:

  • Helium wallet
  • OUI owner key pair
  • OUI delegate key pair

The steps provided below outline how to create a Helium wallet and OUI owner and delegate key pairs.

  1. Create Helium Wallet in Solana Format
  2. Convert Solana Formatted Public Key to Legacy Helium Format
  3. Install The Config Service CLI
  4. Generate OUI Keys
  5. Submit For Purchasing

Create Helium Wallet in Solana Format

To create a Helium wallet, you can follow the guide for creating a new Helium Account.

In doing so, a Helium wallet will be generated with key pairs in the native Solana format.

Convert Solana Formatted Public Key to Legacy Helium Format

The OUI configuration process currently leverages public keys in a format from the legacy Helium L1 blockchain. To convert a Solana public key into the legacy format, use the conversion tool below.

In using the tool, simply paste your Helium wallet public key in the Solana format into the top "Enter Helium or Solana Wallet Address" field and copy the result from the "Helium Address" field.

This value will be the Helium wallet public key in the legacy format required for purchasing an OUI.

Install The Config Service CLI

The Helium Config Service CLI will be used to generate the key pairs used for the OUI. Run the following commands to pull & build the config service CLI:

Copy the latest source code from GitHub.
git clone https://github.com/helium/helium-config-service-cli.git

To build the copied code, the Rust compiler must be installed.

Install the Rust toolchain.
curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh
Add Rust to path.
source "$HOME/.cargo/env"

Add the protobuf library which will be used during the compile process.

Install protobuf (Mac)
brew update && brew install protobuf
install protobuf (Ubuntu)
sudo apt update && sudo apt install protobuf-compiler

With the build toolchain installed, compile the CLI.

Enter the directory and compile the CLI
cd helium-config-service-cli && cargo build --release

The built binary file helium-config-service-cli can be found under target/release/ inside the helium-config-service-cli directory.

Now that we have the CLI binary, let's put a copy in the local bin folder for simplicity's sake. Just copy helium-config-service-cli into /usr/local/bin. Files added to the bin folder will automatically be available to your command line.

sudo cp target/release/helium-config-service-cli /usr/local/bin/

Generate OUI Keys

Generate the key pairs you'll be using to authenticate your interactions with the config service. These keys are implemented such that only you can create/modify/delete routes.

After this step you will have at least two keys:

  • Delegate Key Pair: The delegate key is actively used to create and manage routes. In case it is ever compromised, it can be updated using the owner key. Note that an OUI can have multiple delegate key pairs. Guidance on how to manage delegate key pairs can be found in the advanced configuration.

  • Owner Key Pair: The owner key is irreplaceable and should be kept safe, secure, and private at all times. If lost or compromised, you could lose your OUI. The owner key pair is used for delegate key management.

Run the generate key pair command twice. First for the owner key pair and second for the delegate key pair. Name the files accordingly.

Generate key pair
helium-config-service-cli env generate-keypair ~/<key file name>.bin

Run helium-config-service-cli env generate-keypair <key file name>.bin to generate a file called <key file name>.bin.

Print out the public key of the key pair by running:

helium-config-service-cli env info --keypair <key file name>.bin
Example response from the info command highlighting the key pair.
{
"arguments": {
"config_host": "unset",
"key_type_from_keypair": "ed25519",
"keypair": "/Users/me/test.bin",
"max_copies": null,
"net_id": null,
"oui": null,
"public_key_from_keypair": "13eY9uE5fjMzKC7PZ1nsDigiyurhXhV3bbj8pxbD2KtQTSC1ZHP"
},
{/* env vars will be discussed later */}
}

The .bin files should be kept safe and never shared. The public key of these key pairs is the only part that should be shared.

Submit For Purchasing

Direct purchase of OUIs and devAddrs are not currently available on-chain. Send an email to hello@helium.foundation containing the following information.

  • The Helium wallet address
  • The public key of your owner key pair
  • The public key of your delegate key pair
  • The number of devAddrs you want

Once you receive your OUI, the next step is to fund it. There are several options in the Fund an OUI guide.

Share The LNS With The Community

  • Add the LNS to the 'Well Known' list.
    Helium operates as a permissionless network, which means it is possible to leverage the network with complete anonymity. In the interest of making the network more transparent, an LNS can be added to the Well Known list.

    This list is leveraged in labeling OUIs with a human-readable name on public Helium Foundation dashboards and other community-run dashboards. Consider adding your LNS to this resource.

  • Add the LNS to the public providers page.
    If the OUI is being used for publicly accessible operations, let the community know that business is open! Add the LNS to the Find an LNS Provider page.


DevAddr Explained

Device addresses or DevAddr are assigned to a device by the LNS during the join procedure as defined in the LoRaWAN 1.0.3 Specification. A device, defined by (AppEUI, DevEUI), can be allocated any of the devAddrs owned by the OUI. It is even possible to multiplex many devices on the same DevAddr at the same time, using the Message Integrity Check (MIC) to disambiguate.

DevAddrs purchased through the methods outlined above are issued under the Helium Foundation's NetID, 0x00003C, which was assigned on May 2, 2023, as part of the Helium Foundation's membership in the LoRa Alliance.

NetID (hex)NetID (decimal)NwkID (bits)DevAddr Subnet
0x00003C606b'11110078000000/7

Customers using their own netID don't need devAddrs from the Helium Foundation. Those with their own netID assigned by the LoRa Alliance should implement roaming to allow their devices to use the Helium Network.

Multiplexing With DevAddrs

Multiplexing in LoRaWAN, specifically DevAddr multiplexing, refers to the process where multiple devices share the same device address (DevAddr). It's a way to manage the limited available range of DevAddrs and allows more devices to join the network.

If using ChirpStack, it randomly assigns a DevAddr at join or re-join to the device from the available range and then multiplexes each DevAddr as needed. The ChirpStack platform does this through the assignment of the Network Session Key.

In the event of DevAddr collisions, i.e., when two or more devices have the same DevAddr, the network server (LNS) uses a technique called a Message Integrity Code (MIC) check computation to identify the real device behind each data packet.

The computational overhead of these MIC checks is not heavy in most scenarios, these are checks designed to be performed on low-power devices. However, in high-traffic scenarios, it may be best to attribute a larger set of DevAddrs rather than allocate additional compute.

How many DeviceAddr are needed?

An allocation of 8 devAddrs is enough for all operators to get started and scale their services. The demands of devices usually won't become apparent until tens of thousands of frequently uplinking devices are onboarded. The need for more devAddr depends on a few factors:

  1. Number of devices.
  2. Frequency of uplink.
  3. Number of copies of a message received.
  4. LNS system specs.

More devAddrs can be allocated at any time, and LNSs generally accommodate non-sequential ranges.

Footnotes

  1. Data Credits and IoT network traffic explained.