The Weightless SIG, the white space machine-to-machine (M2M) standards body, has produced the first standards specification for M2M/Internet of Things communications over white space.
White space refers to frequencies allocated to broadcasting services but not used locally, or to the spaces between radio bands or channels assigned to prevent interference.
The ratification of version 1.0 of the pioneering machine communications standard was announced at Weightless SIG’s fourth Plenary Conference in Cambridge, UK on 3 April 2013.
The Weightless standard, optimised for machines and in development for more than two years with a group of industry leaders, now runs to over 600 pages and offers transformational competitive advantages over legacy technologies.
Ultra low cost terminal hardware and license free frequency spectrum provides ground breaking cost savings comparable with PAN technologies such as Bluetooth.
Ultra low power consumption allows operation of battery powered terminals utilising single primary cells for periods of more than ten years and high quality low frequency spectrum exhibits excellent signal propagation characteristics yielding ubiquitous coverage through superior range and in-building penetration.
‘We are delighted to have reached this seminal moment-for-machine communications - a tipping point for the industry,’ commented Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, adding: ‘This technology can uniquely enable the tens of billions of connections forecasted over the next decade.’
At the terminal level data rates from 1kbit/s to 10Mbit/s are possible depending on link budget and data packet sizes from 10 bytes and no upper limit with an extremely low overhead - 50 byte packets have less than 20% overhead - are possible.
Acknowledged and unacknowledged message transmission modes are supported and multicast call capability allows messages to be sent to multiple devices. Interrupt capability allows devices to raise alarms for specific events such as power outage. Service provision layering enables worldwide contracts and automated change of network provider capabilities.
Terminals can run multiple applications and mobility is fully supported. An ultra secure 128-bit encryption and authentication model based on a shared secret key is provided. Extremely low complexity terminal architecture enables low cost implementation using minimal memory and processor power to further extend battery life.
About Weightless SIG
Weightless SIG was set up to develop an open standard for M2M in white space and manage its upgrade over time. Its central mission is to co-ordinate industry players to foster the development of a new and revolutionary communications standard (called Weightless) to enable efficient machine-to-machine communications in white space.
White space spectrum provides the scope to realise tens of billions of connected devices worldwide overcoming the traditional problems associated with current wireless standards - capacity, cost, power consumption and coverage.
The group believes that the forecasted demand for this connectivity simply cannot be accommodated through existing technologies and this is stifling the potential offered by the M2M market. In order to reach this potential a new standard is required - and that standard is called Weightless.
Promoter group members of the Weightless standard include: ARM; Cable & Wireless; CSR; and Neul.