Weightless SIG and ETSI partner on LPWAN IoT standards development

Weightless-N standard activities offered to ETSI LTN initiative to help consolidate ultra narrowband IoT standardisation; UNB pioneer Telensa joins Weightless SIG board

Weightless SIG and ETSI partner on LPWAN IoT standards development

The Weightless SIG, which develops low power wide area (LPWAN) standards, has announced that it is partnering with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). At the same time, the SIG is announcing the appointment of key ultra narrow-band (UNB) LPWAN technology and applications provider, Telensa, to the board of the Weightless SIG.

In a move widely acknowledged to bring much needed consolidation to the LPWAN space the Weightless SIG will immediately offer its Weightless-N standards activities into the ETSI LTN initiative within TG28, ensuring that all those interested in UNB solutions are represented in a single forum.

ETSI is a globally accepted standards development organisation within which the Low Throughput Network (LTN) initiative is developing a standard for LPWAN. This initiative is supported by a number of significant companies including Telensa and Sigfox. ETSI LTN is concentrating on a UNB standard.

There are only two standards bodies that have developed IoT specific standards for unlicensed spectrum based on UNB technology – ETSI and the Weightless SIG.

Weightless CEO, Professor William Webb, commented: “In order to reduce fragmentation and enable critical mass in the marketplace we are bringing these two initiatives together, immediately reducing fragmentation and providing a platform around which industry can coalesce.” He added: “We are delighted to welcome Telensa to the burgeoning Weightless ecosystem” as they join the SIG’s board as key players in this consolidation.

Telensa's vertical smart city solutions include smart street lighting, where it now has a footprint of over 1 million lights across the world. Telensa's solutions are based on its own 2-way UNB technology, which it has been progressing to a standard with ETSI for the past two years.

"Proprietary ecosystems are no substitute for credible open standards when real market velocity is required, said Will Gibson, CEO Telensa. "That's why we're delighted to be extending our ETSI standards work by joining the board of Weightless. This partnership signals a growing maturity in the LPWA market and will liberate a new wave of smart city sensor and application developers.”

Aapo Markkanen, principal analyst at Machina Research, commented: “Low power wide area networks are set to become an integral building block for a variety of connected products and services.

“Deploying such networks also in unlicensed spectrum is critical to ensuring that the market for IoT connectivity will remain sufficiently competitive. The announced initiative is important, because it can open up a whole new level of scale benefits to players that are driving the unlicensed networks forward.”

Weightless will focus on certification, the eco-system development, marketing and information dissemination and other relevant activities to aid the widespread success of the ETSI standards. It is part of a series of moves by the Weightless SIG to bring consolidation and order to the IoT connectivity technology space.

The Weightless SIG is a global member-based, not-for-profit organisation that exists to manage the development of wireless connectivity technology specifically for machine communications.

Weightless offers certification, and arranges events, plugfests, discussion groups and other activities that add value to members. Weightless promotes the Weightless logo and the brand as the single way to ensure IoT devices all interoperate.

Weightless also provides a forum where members can agree on new standards prior to approaching bodies such as ETSI and can also provide non-binding recommendations on higher-layer protocols, application interfaces and so on. Membership of the Weightless SIG is open to all companies.

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