Tag Archives: LPWAN

I held the first $1 Sigfox IoT device !

This was 2 years ago during the first Sigfox connect event: Christophe Fourtet was on stage opening a letter and this action was firing a Sigfox message. He was announcing Admiral Ivory service. He was announcing $0.20 solution able to communicate on the Sigfox network. Since this date, the Admiral Ivory service has just been a strategic vision proposed by Sigfox for a future low cost IoT, far from the device maker day to day reality. Far from the minimum $10-$15 devices we currently produce coming with its $2-$5 yearly subscription fee.

Could we imagine, this two years old vision will be the next semester reality ?

Being in relation with the Sigfox lab, I’m back with some really good news about making this vision becoming a reality, let see how it is going to be possible.

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Sigfox monarch

Sigfox Monarch service is a free global service allowing to determine the zone where a device is located.

By zone location I mean RC (Radio Configuration zone). It basically defines the European Zone (RC1) or the North American Zone (RC2)…

Thank to this technology a world-wide device, having no GPS to get its location, is able to determine its radio configuration and the associated frequencies to use for transmissions.

This service is covering most of the airports and ports around the world to support the existing customer use-cases like Louis-Vuiton tracker and Safecube container tracking.

It would be great if this service could, in the future, be also used to broadcast/multicast information to devices. It could be used to get time from the network and later be also used to transport custom data to the group of devices. But currently it does not transport any data.

In this post I propose to detail the Monarch technology and then, in a second post to see how to use it with the first released devkit from Unabiz supporting Sigfox Monarch.

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LPWAN is not red ocean market

LPWAN stands for Low Power Wide Area Networks. These technologies are the heart of the innovative IoT technologies. They are allowing sensors / devices to work and communicate for years with really small power requirements. They are enabling long range communication, allowing low costs networks. The first coming on the market was Sigfox with a commercial offer in 2013. After that, a first country-wide LoRaWan public network was deployed in 2016. 3GPP technologies, LTE-M and NB-IoT are completing the panel of solutions with large deployments starting in years 2017-2018.

All along the technology emergence journey, the most frequent question was to find the one going to eat the others. Regarding the market size and the involved money, the communication strategy for the telecoms industry was to consider it and make it a red ocean. The consequences on adoption were not without delaying the customer projects and the IoT market growth.

Blue Ocean strategy is coming from a book written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne. Basically it’s about the way you build your business. In red ocean (fishes are fighting each others and blood makes the color) you design your product for targeting the exact same use-cases and clients than competition. You have a frontal competition. In a blue ocean (peaceful) you design your product’s strength based on competition weakness. You create a complementary product on the market. You make different customers satisfied.

Six years from now the first networks was opened. Now that all the technological solutions are proven, I can clearly confirm a blue ocean for all these LPWAN technologies. Actors should switch to blue ocean strategy to accelerate #IoT business and accelerate profit acquisition.

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The Things Indoor Gateway (TTIG)

The Things Indoor Gateway (TTIG) has been announced and distributed during the TheThings conference 2019. Since it was impossible to get some, victim of its success (and the little initial stock). From mid-august it is now possible to get some and I’ve bought one as soon as possible.

The Things Indoor Gateway is a low cost (70€ – 90€), 8 channels (EU868 full gateway), LoRaWan gateway running on TheThingsNetwork. You can’t expect a large coverage with a such solution to be used for city wide network but it will be perfect for covering a large house or a small building where you want to deploy LoRaWan sensors.

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How to transfer pictures over Sigfox network ?

Yesterday in a communication around Securitas Direct deal a small phrase has waked up all the Sigfox community:

Announcing in a certain way the arrival of 600Bps support for Europe (this is already the North American standard speed) to support the picture transfer over the LPWAn network. That said, even at 600Bps it’s a bit complex to transfer a picture… let’s see what we can do with this:

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Getting started with ST Murata LoRaWan board

ST Micro-Electronics is providing a development board with a Murata CMWX1ZZABZ-091 chip. This device is a module containing a STM32L0 chip (192Kb of Flash / 20Kb of RAM) associated with a Semtech SX1276 radio chip. This module can be used as a SoC for developing LoRaWan IoT devices. The Semtech chip is also capable of Sigfox. This module is a bit expensive but it is actually the one allowing LoRaWan and Sigfox communication in any of the RCZ zones.

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The Sigfox Micro Base Station test

The Sigfox Micro basestation has been announced during the last Sigfox Connect event in Berlin. The base-station allow to extend the Sigfox public network, at low price, for your private location.

This post is detailing my experience with the micro base-station and the field test I’ve made on an industrial site.

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Send Sigfox messages with STM32 + S2LP

STM32 solution for using Sigfox is actually one of the best offer on the market has the solution is powerful, low consumption and allows global coverage with the use of the last Sigfox library versions including Monarq, Bubble… Different module providers are actually designing solutions based on this platform.

In this post we are going to see how to configure the STM32 platform, starting from a STM32L053 devkit plus a S2LP extension. Using a eclipse/gcc environment. The environment installation is described in this post about installing Eclipse for STM32.

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