Fine-grained database of radio availability
Neul has conducted a detailed survey of the United Kingdom and so knows which of numerous 8-MHz channels are available for use without interfering with digital television broadcasts down to 100 meter square units of the country.
Such a network would cost about $50 million to roll out across U.K. achieving 97 to 98 percent coverage and will be cellular in nature, with a similar granularity to a mobile phone network, or about 6,000 cells. But Neul won't be building the network. Indeed, James Collier, CEO of Neul, said the telecommunications companies would be Neul's customers, without revealing with which companies Neul might be in discussions.
A leading application is set to be smart metering, particularly as this is mandated to happen by government. However, Neul executives have identified some 70 applications that could make use of its data rate, latency tolerant M2M network. These could range from transportation and asset tracking to electronic point-of-sale, to home-based healthcare and diagnostic monitoring.
Neulnet hardware is being developed around the Weightless standard created by Neul engineers. Weightless is designed to be asymmetric with energy-efficient simple terminal chipsets and smart basestation devices. Neul is working with industry leaders to develop Weightless into an open, royalty-free standard, and will make the specification available to companies interested in developing M2M products through membership of the Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG). Clearly Collier is looking to leverage experience gained at CSR working on Bluetooth and is following a similar model.
The standard uses adaptive frequency hopping between 8-MHz channels and a variety of modulation schemes to allow the optimum use of spectrum under different circumstances. Data rates can vary between 10-kbit/s up to 16-Mbit/s delivered at 10-km from the basestation mast. This allows both M2M communications but also local broadband delivery.