Sigfox is the world’s leading service provider for the Internet of Things (IoT)
With its global LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) network, Sigfox has reinvented connectivity for the IoT. It drastically brings down cost and energy consumption required for securely connecting sensors and devices to the Cloud.
Sigfox global IoT network listen to billions of objects broadcasting data, without the need to establish and maintain network connections. This unique approach in the world of wireless connectivity, where there is no signaling overhead, a compact and optimized protocol, and where objects are not attached to the network.
Sigfox offers a software based communications solution, where all the network and computing complexity is managed in the Cloud, rather than on the devices. All that together, it drastically reduces energy consumption and costs of connected devices.
Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.
|Low energy||Low cost||Simple||Global|
|The Sigfox radio protocol reduces the radio frame size and no synchronization with the network is required. Combining a low power emission level and short emission enables maximum autonomy of objects.||Benefit from widely available electronic components, low battery utilization, low solution deployment and integration costs, as well as the simple network infrastructure with long range high capacities.||Removing the need to configure connections and enabling standard based device to cloud integration, means that Sigfox is easier to use for everyone.||Connecting globally is easier than ever. Partners subscribe to one contract for a worldwide network. And since the network functions in the same way globally, no matter the country, you can have a single device running anywhere in the world.|
Sigfox radio technology overview
Ultra narrow band
Sigfox uses 200 kHz of the publicly available and unlicensed bands to exchange radio messages over the air (868 to 869 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz depending on regions). Sigfox uses Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology combined with DBPSK and GFSK modulation. Each message is 100 Hz wide and transferred at 100 or 600 bits per second data rate depending on the region.
Random access to the radio frequency resource
The transmission is unsynchronized between the devices and the network. They broadcast each message 3 times on 3 different frequencies (frequency hopping). The base stations monitor the spectrum and look for UNB signals to demodulate.
Sigfox has tailored a lightweight protocol to handle small messages. An uplink message has a maximum 12-bytes payload and a downlink of 8 bytes. For a 12 bytes data payload, a Sigfox frame will use 26 bytes in total.
The radio planning is done in a way that in average a message is received by 3 different base stations. The spatial diversity increases the chances of receiving the message without errors on one of the nearby base stations.
MIMO type reception
Overview of the Sigfox global network
Sigfox is a public network based on a star network architecture. A device is not attached to a specific base station unlike cellular protocols. The broadcasted message is received by any base station in the range, 3 in average.
|Objects||Sigfox stations||Sigfox CLOUD||IoT Platforms||Customer IT|
|Uplink payload: 0 to 12 bytes
Downlink payload: 0 to 8 bites
0 to 140 messages per day per device
|Over 1 million messages can be processed per base station any day||Web interface
Very long range
Low bit rate and simple radio modulation enable a 163.3 dB budget link leading to long-range communications.
High network capacity
The small footprint of UNB enables more simultaneous signals within the operation band. In addition, the objects are not attached to a specific base station. They broadcast their messages which are received by any base station in the range (3 in average). There is no need for message acknowledgement. UNB modulation, spatial diversity coupled with the time and frequency diversity of the radio frames repetitions lead to a high capacity of the Sigfox network.
High resilience to interferers
UNB intrinsic ruggedness coupled with spatial diversity of the base stations offer great anti-jamming capabilities. UNB is extremely robust in an environment with other spread spectrum signals. UNB is the best choice to operate on the public ISM band.
Not all LPWANs are the same. Some, like Sigfox, can offer a single subscription model, meaning assets can be tracked and monitored wherever they are in the world through one simple interface.
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