New Weightless-N open IoT standard launches to beat cost and power consumption issues

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The Weightless SIG has announced the launch of Weightless-N, a breakthrough and complementary open standard for IoT.

The vision of the Weightless SIG is to deliver the wide-area machine connectivity standard that enables the 95% of the IoT opportunity denied by the high cost and power consumption characteristics of traditional cellular alternatives. Has announcement delivers on this vision and complements the existing Weightless-W standard through extension into licence exempt frequency spectrum.

Commenting on has announcement, professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG said “Enabling the vision of 50 billion connected devices requires chipset costs below $2, battery life of 10 years or more and a range of 5km or more to ensure ubiquitous coverage from a low cost network” adding that “The current Weightless standard delivers on this promise using the TV white space spectrum and provides a feature rich solution, but is subject to regional licensing limitations. Weightless-N aligns with Weightless values and offers geographical ubiquity, right now”.

TV white space is not available everywhere and there are some use cases where the full feature set of Weightless-W, which works in TVWS, is unnecessary. For this reason the Weightless SIG took the decision to commence development of a variant of the current standard termed Weightless-N. The two variants of the Standard, Weightless-W and Weightless-N will coexist offering benefits to developers and users according to their specific use cases.

Weightless-N will typically be deployed in unlicensed spectrum in the region 800-900MHz such as the 868MHz band in Europe and the 900MHz ISM band in the US. It is also designed to work in licensed spectrum around these frequencies. These bands are narrower than the TV white space channels and dictate the development of a revised air interface. This work is underway and being progressed systematically through the Weightless SIG working groups and is anticipated to be completed rapidly. The Weightless SIG welcomes new members to contribute to the evolution of this important new standard and invites proposals from non-members in the drafting of the specification.

The work will be completed in a 3-6 month timeframe and the Weightless SIG invites companies that currently have proprietary solutions in this space to engage and adapt these to comply with the new standard. This will enable trials in the first half of 2015 with significant deployments during the second half of the same year.

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