This last monday I had the chance to meet the two Sigfox founders Ludovic Le-Moan and Christophe Fourtet during a really nice day at Labege (SigFox headquarter) with other Sigfox ambassadors.
From the meeting we had with the founders I retained some of the Sigfox strategical guide line:
Scalability – this is the major point raised during our discussions : the network must be able to scale and all what has been designed in the radio protocol & technology, as in the cloud architecture was for scalability.
Thanks to this initial design no big change are expected in the radio solution in the coming years. It has already been designed for future.
In regard to this scalability strategy we have also meet the team operating the network. I’ve seen a really nice Network Operation Center, well equiped and with about 40 people involved. It has been fun for me as in my daily job I’m managing internal inter-application communication of a large company. The volume of data we are proceeding every day is quite similar as of now but Sigfox is well more equiped than I am and better prepared for scaling 😉
Reliability – The ISM band will continue to have more and more noise on it coming from all the coming radio device using it. Sigfox design has been made to ensure a long term capacity to support this evolution. Ultra narrow band is actually the best and secure way to continue to communicate over noisy environment also protecting this common good by limiting the spectral usage.
Simplicity – Sigfox has been made to be simple to use with no parameters to tune the radio or the protocol. Everything is defined to ensure a good quality in the communications. This spirit will be kept in the future but potentially we will have the capability to tweak some of the parameters. We could imagine to limit the repetition time for frame with lower criticality. This will save power or send more frame per hour. We could imagine to get higher speed. Why not having more downlink ? Larger payload ?
New comer in the Sigfox ecosystem : the Wisol FM20R1.
Wisol have already changed the Sigfox module world by providing a solution based on the OnSemi design for transmitting on Sigfox network for about 2$. Now they are back with a full SoC solution for a really competitive price estimated under 15$. This solution is providing SigFox, GPS, Wifi, NFC, RF and includes an accelerometer.
In many occasion some of my Sigfox prototypes has been in movement with difficulties to emit ; many source can cause this but basically from discussions with specialists speed is not a close friend of Sigfox technology.
As a quick test is always better than a long theorical discussion, tonight, I took my car and made some tests.
This post details the test of Sigfox running in a car at different speed.
New episode of my LPWAn post series, this time, about the network architecture and the role of the network kernel.
The network architecture is different than a classical IP communication from client to server: the LPWAn architecture is based on a kernel network allowing the protocol transformation from the Sigfox / LoRaWan world to the IP-Internet world.
In the LPWAn protocol the addressing is limited to one device address only to reduce the frame size and as a consequence all the frame have to be captured by a central system: the network kernel. It will route the message correctly to the end user application based on device association made on registration.
This post is related to a french video (as usual) and detailed in the following part of this post.
Sigfox has announced end of last week the opening of the device Geo-location service. This solution allows to get the location of a device based on its radio signal.
Different announced has been made in this domain by Sigfox and its competitors LoRaWan. The technics in place are not the same and the Sigfox solution is based on BigData.
From the beginning Sigfox was returning a device location based on the signal measured by the different base-stations. This location was previously rounded to the nearest lat/lng degree. This information has a precision of 100km x 150km basically. Even if it was not possible to locate a device precisely, i was interesting to know in what country corner it was located.
With the service launched in February 2017 Sigfox is moving to a more precise location based on radio signal, according to different discussions I had the precision goes from a couple of meters to some kilometers depending on situation, data already gathered at this position, number of antennas …
The RF 868MHz is a public bandwidth European Low Power Networks (LPWAN) as Sigfox and LoRaWan are using for communicating.
This bandwidth is regulated by different norms like ERC-REC-70-3E in Europe and have national norms in relation. In France ARCEP 2014-1263 seems to be the last one validated in the JO on the 30th of January 2015. The following video is a second episode of my VLOG on LPWan technologies. As usual, the video is in French but this post will give you a overview in english.
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