Low power radio connectivity – delivered through the SIGFOX network and Arqiva
SIGFOX is the UK’s newest network providing low-cost and low power connectivity for IoT applications. The Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) enables batteries and equipment to last longer, avoiding the cost and inconvenience of replacing devices. This massively expands the range of Internet of Things devices that can be connected, increasing the benefits to consumers and businesses alike. SIGFOX will now allow large scale IoT applications previously limited by cost to become a reality.
- Significantly lower total costs, including modems/equipment
- Lower power consumption of connected devices – so that batteries and devices last longer, saving the cost and inconvenience of replacing them
- SIGFOX Ready devices connect out-of-the-box within SIGFOX-connected areas
In partnership with Arqiva, SIGFOX is rolling out across major conurbations and is live today in 11 UK cities. Within these areas, users can now enjoy the ability to send messages from SIGFOX-ready devices and to then access the data in the SIGFOX backend or via an API. Users will have access to enabling technology – for example SIGFOX certified modems – as well as support for organisations that want to develop new devices.
Brought to you by Wireless Logic
Wireless Logic is now Arqiva’s first UK reseller of SIGFOX low power, wide area connectivity. Both organisations are working together to introduce SIGFOX connectivity and solutions to Wireless Logic’s extensive customer base, as a further enhancement to our award-winning existing portfolio of connectivity and IoT offerings.
Typical IoT applications
Inside commercial buildings, across cities and in people’s homes – from smoke alarms to facilities management control, in-home health monitoring to social care visit control, car park bay monitoring to street lights, SIGFOX connectivity is suitable for a broad range of IoT applications.
The use cases for connected devices have, in some cases, been limited by the cost and energy consumption related to connectivity. Users can now connect low cost objects in large volume and not have to worry about things like whether or not the end users will be able to change the batteries regularly. That makes a real difference in practical terms.
Costs per connected device
Connectivity costs are highly competitive. Equally important, modem/device costs are low, reducing total costs.
SIGFOX network across the UK and the World
SIGFOX provides a common platform that supports roaming of devices across networks. The following cities illustrated are now live. In conjunction with Arqiva, the SIGFOX network will eventually be nationwide.
SIGFOX can be found in the following countries:
SIGFOX plans to rollout networks across around 60 countries within five years.
Technology and service providers are already using SIGFOX technology
Chipset and communications module providers such as:
- Silicon Labs – chipsets
- Texas Instruments – chipsets
- Telit – modules
- Avnet Memec/Telecom Design – modules
SIGFOX - At a glance
- SIGFOX is a telecommunication network, dedicated to the Internet of Things
- It is an operated network, meaning you do not have to handle any installation or maintenance operations
- SIGFOX is seamless and out-of-the box, allowing users to forget about communication and keep focused on the core of your project
- It is a LPWA (Low-Power Wide-Area) network, currently deployed in Western Europe, San Francisco, and with ongoing tests in South America & Asia
- The SIGFOX platform allows a bidirectional communication, both from and to the device.
The communication is always initiated by the device
- The SIGFOX network is designed for small messages sent every now and then. It is not appropriate for high-bandwidth usages (multimedia, permanent broadcast)
- Its focus on energy efficiency allows users to build connected devices able to last years on a standard battery
SIGFOX’s clever stuff… the Technology
- The SIGFOX network operates on sub-GHz frequencies, on ISM bands: 868MHz in Europe/ETSI and 902MHz in the US/FCC. OFCOM provides UK-specific regulation
- SIGFOX uses an Ultra-Narrow Band (UNB) modulation, which is key to its ability to provide a scalable & high-capacity network
- With a 162dB budget link SIGFOX enables long range communications, with much longer reach than GSM
- There is no negotiation between the device and a receiving station. The device simply emits in the available frequency band (+/- its own frequency shift). The signal is detected by the closest base stations, decoded & forwarded to the network back-end. De-duplication and other protocol operations are handled by the network itself.
Messages are then forwarded to a user’s application, and made accessible using SIGFOX’s API
- Each message is authenticated using a hash mechanism and a private key specific to the device. This offers a great protection against replay attacks
- The SIGFOX radio protocol also offers a great resistance to interferers
- Up to 12 bytes per message
- Up to 140 messages per day
Message size: You can send up to 12 bytes (96 bits) per message. The protocol metadata already includes a timestamp & the device unique id.
Number of messages: The maximum number of messages that can be sent each day is 140. This limitation is introduced, in part, to comply with regulations. The European regulation governing the 868MHz band enforces a transmission duty cycle of 1%.
A unique device is therefore not allowed to emit more than 1% of the time each hour and since emission of a message can take up to 6 seconds, this allows up to 6 messages per hour.
SIGFOX makes its IP available at no cost to silicon and module vendors. This strategy has encouraged leading silicon and module vendors to integrate SIGFOX into their existing assets, giving solution enablers a wide choice of very competitively priced components.
SIGFOX enables bi-directional as well as mono-directional communications and can co-exist with other communication protocols, both short and long range.
High energy consumption has been a major obstacle with regards to unleashing the potential of the Internet of Things, which is why one of the key elements of the SIGFOX strategy is to continue to push the boundaries for energy consumption.
The increasing number of M2M and Internet of Things solutions calls for better interoperability solutions, which can only come through standardisation. As the first Internet of Things operator, SIGFOX has taken a lead in this process through the foundation of dedicated standardisation groups within recognized standards bodies such as ETSI and others.
Who is Arqiva?
Arqiva provides innovative and secure communications and broadcast technology. As the leader in mobile masts and small cells infrastructure, and one of the leaders in WiFi, Arqiva is extending the reach of mobile communications across the UK. Customers include major UK and international broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, Turner Broadcasting, Sky plc; the independent radio groups; major telco providers including the UK’s four mobile network operators; and retail, leisure, energy and water companies.
For more information, news and insights from Arqiva, go to www.arqiva.com