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Sigfox Opens Radio Specifications for Connected IoT

By Shrey Fadia

To celebrate the 8th World Radio Day earlier this week, and with the support of UNESCO, Sigfox publicly released the specifications of its radio protocol for connected objects.

The company provides a global Zero Generation (0G) network supporting billions of low-power Internet-connected devices.

Making this specification publicly available enables anyone to build their own Sigfox object, making open source implementations easier, and unlocks innovation among object developers.

With the open specification, developers won’t have to ask Sigfox for permission to make an object and connect it to Sigfox’s network. To connect, developers will only have to register their object on the Sigfox network to benefit from it. Because the Sigfox protocol is object-centric, developers have more freedom to build and scale their solutions.

Christophe Fourtet, co-founder of Sigfox says, "The opening of the specification has always been part of Sigfox’s ambition and we’re excited for the thousands of new use cases that will emerge. Our partners all over the world are looking forward to being part of this development.”

By putting the specification into the public domain, Sigfox is enabling the ecosystem to grow due to increased experimentation by developers.

The company may be aiming to establish a standard like Bluetooth, which in the future may become a reference on local or more consumer-oriented use cases. Sigfox’s 0G vision corresponds to IoT democratization by opening up a “de facto standard” where there is no interdependency among networks.

With the release of the radio specifications in public, Sigfox believes that it will not only help B2B applications, but also B2C applications and other applications that are direct, in a simple and transparent way.

As 3G, 4G, and 5G continue to drive new opportunities for VoIP telephony, data transmission, messaging and more, 0G is designed specifically for the IoT, largely to keep the costs of deployments reasonable. Low cost objects (end-points, sensors) are not commercially viable if the connectivity costs are too high, which is what some analysts believe will be the case with a 5G approach. With thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of end-points, the toll communications service providers (CSPs) will charge could make IoT solutions untenable.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Analyst & Consultant

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