IoT connectivity - new solutions needed

For a number of years, we have been promised an explosion in the Internet of Things, but the explosion has yet to happen.

Stuart Lodge, Executive Vice President of Global Sales & Partners, SIGFOX

The success of the Internet of Things hinges on low-cost, low-power connectivity that may not necessarily be delivered through traditional cellular, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth networks.

For a number of years, we have been promised an explosion in the Internet of Things, where billions of connected devices will deliver more information and more services.

Yet the explosion has yet to happen. The reason the IoT has not taken off in a major way is that while we have some great connectivity services that exist today, these are not really good at connecting the millions of smart devices needed to drive the IoT.

Human-driven connectivity

Many of the devices we deploy today – from your smart car to your smartphone – are typically managed by a human being who interacts with the connectivity. These devices have been designed for media rich, interactive services and they do that job very well.

But these technologies are not great for connecting other things. These other things or smart devices have a different set of requirements which need to be met. These need to be low-cost, low-power, globally available and easy to deploy.

Overcome challenges

We at SIGFOX are trying to overcome those challenges and provide a service to the wider world of connectivity through a bidirectional low-powered wide area network.

To have a low-cost, low-power network you can’t transmit a lot of data. You have to drive the quantity of data down to a minimum. Our network is designed to be a message-based network which delivers messages that have a payload of 12 bytes.

We deliver that data through an application programming interface (API) in the cloud which is globally available. So no matter where in the world you are, you can have access to that network through this single API, providing the same service everywhere.

New opportunities

This network will open new opportunities in the air transport industry. These include providing cost-effective connectivity in airplanes themselves, enabling the tracking of cargo and associated cargo, management of spare parts across vast networks and in the airport, the tracking of baggage.

These are services that the industry and their passengers are increasingly demanding and can now be better supported through tailor-made connectivity.

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