Sigfox launches the ‘Zero-G’ strategy to support the 5G / IoT ecosystem
Sigfox has big plans for 2019. Of course, all the IoT companies have them, but Sigfox has a priority which is referred to within Sigfox circles as ‘0G’, or Zero-G, which generally describes Sigfox’s application as a reference technology for primary of backup network to 3G and 4G, and all the other G-technologies that enter a 5G ecosystem with a somewhat broad and nebulous future.
With the integration into the new Freebox, Sigfox demonstrated its ability to offer a backup link to different means of broadband connectivity. Based on an independent infrastructure, Sigfox is positioning itself as a candidate for a future 0G standard, which could become the benchmark in the backup network at no extra cost in the manufacturing of the cellular device.
The point is that Sigfox-like low-power wide area networks (LPWAs) complement the cellular standard, in its different forms, and the parallel equivalents of LPWA, Bertrand Ramé, the company’s senior vice president of international operations, acknowledges. “Sigfox is not necessarily a competing technology for NB-IoT and LTE-M, and 3G and 4G and everything else, but a complement in many cases. It’s a perfect network for that.“
He produced three examples of LPWA applications, with alarm systems, travel bags and cargo. They are directly from the recipe book of Sigfox; the first two illustrates the 0G concept, and the next two add tracking to the mix:
- The company is an alternative protocol for Securitas Direct alarms in Europe, in case its predetermined ADSL and 3G connections are compromised by the thieves, or as a back up in the event of a 3G or 4G connectivity breakdown explains Ramé. “You can buy a $20 3G jammer online,” he says. “Securitas has added Sigfox as a anti-jamming backup connectivity.”
- The second, with our partner GCT, is using Sigfox as primary global connectivity to lower cost and power consumption of your devices. However if an over-the-air update is required, a Sigfox downlink message could activate a 3G/4G connection to do so, then putting it back to sleep right after.
John Schlaefer, CEO of GCT Semiconductor, Inc. added “We are committed to supporting the growing LPWA market and continue to work closely with our partner, Sigfox, to provide optimized solutions for the LTE IoT ecosystem. With the Sigfox Verified GDM7243i SoC, IoT devices can connect to the global Sigfox network during typical operation and switch to LTE Cat M1, NB1, or EC-GSM networks “on-demand.”
- The third is for a suitcase tracker, compatible with the Louis Vuitton Horizon range, which allows passengers to track baggage through airports, even while travelling between different countries.
- The fourth, with Michelin, is to track cargo in and out of seaports, and even warehouses for later distribution.
In all these cases, Sigfox distinguishes itself as a LPWA solution because, well, it connects your ‘things’ at lower power and lower cost, says Ramé, and makes viable the kinds of amoeba-like IoT organisms that licensed cellular technologies simply cannot justify.
“Batteries last for months and years, not days and weeks, and the cost of the device and connectivity will always be higher with the traditional cellular networks.”
In addition, Sigfox offers a simpler way to track connected “things” as they make their way across the globe. The point is that the technology is the same and the radio band is the same, even if the frequency within it varies a little. “Ours is a network, not a mosaic of hundreds of networks; there is no roaming agreement between countries.” he says.
So 2019 is the year for Sigfox as a true unique global primary network as well as the backup/complementary network to 2/3/4/5G.
For more reading about this new standard,
see the April 2019 Sigfox manifesto for the establishment of a global 0G standard.
Special thanks to Jack Blackman from EnterpriseIoTinsights.com for extracts from his interview with Bertrand Ramé.
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.
PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 [email protected]