The advent and exponential growth of Internet-of-Things applications has highlighted the limitations of existing wireless access technologies.
IoT deployments frequently require the usage of mobile, battery-powered devices that need to communicate little data, normally just updates related to a state (“open” or “closed”) or a measurement (such as temperature, humidity, power/water/gas usage, noise level …), while covering large areas.
Existing wireless communication protocols (such as ZigBee, Wireless HART, Wireless-MBus …) are a good fit for localized deployments, where all nodes reside in a confined area, as their power consumption is compatible with IoT applications. However, these technologies are not suitable for large-scale deployments covering a metropolitan area or even larger due to their limited range and lack of support for device mobility.
Cellular networks are excellent at covering large geographical areas and supporting mobility; however, they have been designed and optimized for providing maximum throughput and security, at the expense of cost, complexity and power-consumption. These characteristics do not translate well to IoT-applications, where these parameters need to remain as low as possible, whereas the required data throughput is very low.
Building on the strengths of these two types of networks, SigFox has created a new, innovative wireless communication protocol that provides all the benefits and none of the drawbacks of its predecessors: excellent range and security, very low power consumption, low complexity and total control of ownership. This is accomplished by employing an Ultra Narrow Band wireless technology, operating in the 868MHz license-free ISM band, resulting in a long-range communication, with very low energy consumption, while maintaining a simple and scalable star-based cell infrastructure.
The Low Power Wide Access technology designed by SigFox addresses the growing market of Internet-of-Things applications and their particular requirements. It is the ideal solution for any connected-application requiring simplicity-of-use, a contained cost and low energy consumption, with the added benefits of excellent security, scalability and support for mobility.