REGISTER | LOGIN
Breaking News
News & Analysis

IoT Metro Network Race Is On

Sigfox plans narrowband U.S., satellite nets
12/12/2014 06:00 AM EST
23 comments
NO RATINGS
Page 1 / 3 Next >
More Related Links
View Comments: Newest First | Oldest First | Threaded View
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
emeryray02
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
emeryray02   12/17/2014 8:21:13 AM
NO RATINGS
I certainly agree that most customers will not care "how" a network works. Perhaps the EE Times audience is different though.

My point was more that with small payload, unacknowledged, mostly uplink only capabilty there are a large number of IoT applications that won't be a good fit for Sigfox.

Don't get me wrong, Link Labs has tremendous respect for Sigfox for creating the market that we are now serving. 

If you're seriously about exploring partnerships, please do get in touch. I think our technology is much better suited for US deployment, and there's no reason to be direct competitors, as I've mentioned to Luke D.

 

emeryray02
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
emeryray02   12/16/2014 11:17:39 AM
NO RATINGS
Thomas- I would very much like to connect. Please email me: brian.ray@link-labs.com

thomasnicholls
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
thomasnicholls   12/15/2014 5:26:37 PM
NO RATINGS
I thought I should clarify the 500km distance since there seems to be a debate on this subject.

We obviously do not do our network planning based on 500km distances from devices to cells, but these distances can sometimes be achieved in the cases where well designed devices are placed in locations where they can be picked up at great distances. Aka, well placed and well designed outdoor devices.

Without going into details, the key is the link budget: how to achieve the greatest distance possible, taking energy consumption and obstacles into account. This is something we focus greatly on at SIGFOX since this is the key to enabling the largest amount of use cases for the IoT.

At the end of the day, what interests our customers is not how the network actually provides the coverage, but simply that with the longest battery life possible and at the lowest cost possible, you can get out-of-the-box small-message connectivity. So the key is in providing subscription based, easy-to-use connectivity, and that is what we now provide in a territory covering more than one million square kilometers.

Thomas

Anand.Yaligar
User Rank
Author
Re: IoT on LTE
Anand.Yaligar   12/15/2014 8:03:08 AM
NO RATINGS
"And with fees as low as $1/year, even with the estimated 25 billion IOT devices in 2020 of which lets estimate maybe half will use local networks, the revenues are still far small from the estimated LTE revenues in 2020 which are globally between $600-990 billion. So wireless carriers don't really have a decent motivation to compete here."

@Alex: I agree with you. The real problem here is really having consumers to fall inside the network perimeter and pay an annual fees for having to use the IOT, but at the same time it is also true that most consumers won't like a hefty price tag for using the IOT.

Anand.Yaligar
User Rank
Author
Re: 500km
Anand.Yaligar   12/15/2014 7:57:25 AM
NO RATINGS
IOT networks are increasing, and also the width of a network diameter, so that more and more urban areas fall inside IOT networks.

sw guy
User Rank
Author
500km
sw guy   12/15/2014 7:38:41 AM
NO RATINGS
If I understand correctly, 500km is not the range between 2 station, but the extension of their bigger network. Quite different.

rick merritt
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
rick merritt   12/14/2014 9:53:37 PM
NO RATINGS
@emeryray02  Nice tech analysis, Brian Ray. Thanks for jumping on!

 

alex_m1
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
alex_m1   12/14/2014 9:08:12 AM
NO RATINGS
@brian , thanks for the detailed answer.

 

thomasnicholls
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
thomasnicholls   12/13/2014 7:59:17 PM
NO RATINGS
Hi Brian,

SIGFOX is already FCC certified. The US roll-out is starting very shortly. Always open to collaboration discussions, so please feel free to ping us.

Best,

Thomas

emeryray02
User Rank
Author
Re: Wi-Fi on 900 MHz
emeryray02   12/13/2014 1:32:14 PM
NO RATINGS
Apologies in advance if this comes off as an "anti-Sigfox" commerical, but as the big guy in the space, little guys like us have to exploit their weaknesses. :-)

Sigfox is not using a spread spectrum technology, it's actually just very low rate BPSK (100 bps). Nothing revolutionary there. They have a large multi-channel receiver/basestation that achieves good sensitivity to a bunch of these narrow BPSK channels. The issue they have run into in the US is that the maximum dwell time under FCC part 15 in any channel <500 kHz is 400 ms. This is not enough time for Sigfox to transmit even their little 12 byte packet. They are in the process of reworking their protocol to support FCC frequency hopping requirements. 

I'm of the opinion that they will run into FCC problems eventually since there is a part 15 requirement that transmitters and receivers "hop together." If they are just monitoring a bunch of channels and reassembling hopped messages, the FCC may not say they are fufilling the requirement that the transmitter and the receiver have matched output/input bandwidths and "hop together." 

In my opinion the weaknesses of Sigfox are:

1) No message acknowledgements. So even for the subset of IOT applications which are "uplink only," (and 12 bytes at that), they will have to employ a send-it-three-times-and-pray method of making sure messages get through. The reason they can't acknowledge is that their link is asymetric (assuming they use their downlink, which they do not right now). More below on how LL solves that problem.

2) One class of service only. 12 bytes, random access, period. If they do impliment a downlink/acknowledgement the receiver won't be listening when it is transmitting the acknowledgement. Pure "aloha" protocols like this don't have great capacity. 12 bytes is enough for *some* little sensors, but it's pretty limiting.

3) No method for command/control. If you have this big network investment, customers are going to want applications that involve sending messages down, like demand response, security, valve control, etc. etc. Sigfox has no method for this.

At Link Labs, we have been focusing on achieving a symetrical link at the endpoint, so we can implement a synchronous protocol, which has a much higher capacity. We also have a pretty cool way of acknowledging an arbitrary number of endpoints in every frame. At our lowest datarate, we achieve more than -140 dBm sensitivity on the endpoint. Cha-ching.

Finally, Link Labs has a business model where users can implement this technology now in smaller networks themselves, with the hope that one day enough wide-area coverage will exist to transition over to. 

Whistle (the dog GPS company) really screwed up when they "trusted" SIGFOX to deploy their network fast enough to support their new product. Now Whistle has taken thousands of pre-orders, and the SIGFOX network is still in vaporware phase. 

I could *probably* write a book at this point on this space, but I better get back to my weekend.

I'm happy to talk to anyone who will listen about Link Labs (or Sigfox), just let me know!

brian.ray@link-labs.com

CEO and Founder of Link Labs

 

Page 1 / 3   >   >>
Like Us on Facebook
EE Times on Twitter
EE Times Twitter Feed