M²Communication (M2COMM), a provider of industrial IoT connectivity technologies, has joined the Weightless SIG to lead a Weightless Working Group for the development of a new high performance low power wide area network (LPWAN) standard.
This latest standard, called Weightless-P, will offer uplink and downlink capabilities to significantly enhance quality of service especially important in the very stringent industrial IoT sector.
Adapted from field-proven experiences, Weightless-P supports all major license-exempt SRD/ISM bands including 169, 433, 470 - 510, 780, 868, 915 and 923MHz, ensuring worldwide availability.
The development of this third Weightless standard (after Weightless-W for use in White Space spectrum and Weightless-N for use in unlicensed sub-GHz ISM bands) is significant because it is uniquely positioned in the premium space. In performance terms the three primary incumbents, Sigfox, Semtech/LoRa and Weightless-N (in that order) are positioned towards the lower end of the price/performance spectrum.
The new Weightless-P technology occupies the centre ground providing a true, high performance, reliable and high QoS technology for the industrial IoT market, but importantly without a premium price tag.
The new standard provides fully acknowledged two-way communication offering data rates ranging from 200bps to 100kbps. It enables higher capacity than existing LPWAN and cellular technologies for uplink-dominated traffic with short-to-medium payload sizes.
Using common commercially-available chipsets it will also support both stationary and mobile end devices by utilising low-power, innovative handover, cell re-selection and roaming methods. Other advanced reliability features include fast network acquisition, paging, FEC, ARQ, power control and adaptive channel coding.
The range and reliability, from challenging dense urban to rural environments, will exceed alternative LPWAN technologies using up to 17dBm output power, according to the Weightless SIG.
Whilst offering the promised performance, network reliability and security characteristics of 3GPP carrier-grade solutions, still unavailable for some considerable time, Weightless-P promises substantially lower costs and power consumption, <100uW in idle state compared with more than 3mW for the best cellular technologies and a price point equivalent to existing LPWAN solutions.
Derrick Wei, CEO of M2COMM, commented: “Weightless-P will breathe new life into an IoT market that is waiting on a reliable LPWAN technology. Many IoT sectors require reliability to be addressed with ultra-low energy wireless communications not accessible through operator services today.
“The slow adoption of wireless IoT solutions highlights a huge technology void that Weightless-P will address without requiring custom hardware.” Wei added: "Our current technology deployments in the retail and industrial sectors are a powerful indication of the future success we anticipate for Weightless-P."
Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, said: “We are delighted to welcome M2COMM to the group and very excited about what Weightless-P brings to the IoT market.”
Asked how the technology impacts on existing Weightless technologies Webb commented: “This new technology is bringing unique capabilities to the space - it fits perfectly within the Weightless stable of technologies.”
The Weightless-P Specification is expected to be published and available to SIG Members in Q4 2015. Weightless-P hardware, including development kits, is expected to be launched early 2016.
The Weightless Special Interest Group (SIG) is a not-for-profit IoT/M2M standards body. It’s wireless IoT connectivity technologies, Weightless-N, Weightless-P and Weightless-W, are open standards licensed to Weightless SIG Members on a royalty free, fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND-Z) non-assert basis.
The group provides access to a dedicated test and certification programme to verify compliance and interoperability and to license the use of the technology to members. Membership of the Weightless SIG is open to all companies.