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Sigfox opens radio specifications to capture new IoT markets and use cases

Sigfox has publicly released the specifications of its radio protocol for connected objects. The company said it expects a “boom” in the number of objects, including consumer devices, connecting to its network as a result.

The release of its radio specifications means any manufacturer, developer, and engineer can now build and register products on the Sigfox network. The move applies to connected objects, rather than Sigfox’s patent-protected base stations and infrastructure, it said.

Until now, the specification was only shared under NDA upon request, in order for the French IoT firm to control the number of objects applying to connect to its network.

Christophe Fourtet, co-founder of Sigfox, commented: “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.”

Sigfox suggested the move to open-source its radio code was a “classic step in the establishment of a standard, like Bluetooth for example”.

Sigfox is seeking to setup and expand in certain key markets in 2019, with brand new deployments being negotiated in China, India and Russia, and a renewed push in the US, where coverage remains patchy. Sigfox is seeking a new president for its US business after Christian Olivier left the post before Christmas.

Meanwhile, the firm is pushing what it calls a ‘Zero-G’ or ‘0G’ strategy, as an attempt to redefine its low-power wide-area (LPWA) network technology as a foundational technology for 3G and 4G, and other technology-Gs going into a rangy future 5G ecosystem.

At its last Connect event, in Berlin in October, Sigfox announced the Bubble (pictured) asset tracker, a beaconing solution that enables highly accurate indoor and outdoor geolocation services – definable from 1 to 10 meters.

Unlike BLE beacons, the new devices are operated, meaning Sigfox monitors their status and battery level and even alerts customers in case of interference.

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