New LPWAN open standard reinvents IoT

The Weightless SIG just announced its latest Open Standard with the key development contribution coming from leading iIoT specialist, M2COMM, in Taiwan. Both the completed Specification and hardware is anticipated by the end of the year with commercial availability of base stations, endpoints and development kits in the first quarter of next year. And it promises to be a major step forward.

But first things first - why another standard? The Weightless SIG brought a very high specification connectivity solution to the table in 2013 called Weightless-W. Then earlier this year it delivered an ultra low cost technology, Weightless-N. Now, in this final installment in the trilogy, a segment defining technology called Weightless-P has been announced. It’s positioned as a “3GPP carrier grade solution in the centre of the LPWAN market” and both M2COMM and the Weightless SIG say that it “moves the game on”. In almost every way possible Weightless-P certainly seems to promise a paradigm shift for IoT connectivity - cost, range, power consumption, network capacity, QoS, data rate, efficiency, reliability, flexibility, security and features. So let’s have a peep under the hood to see what’s what…

Weightless-P is an ultra high performance LPWAN connectivity technology for the Internet of Things. It will use a narrow band modulation scheme to provide fully acknowledged 2-way communications offering both uplink and downlink capabilities and best in class QoS required for the stringent industrial IoT sector. So far so good.

It promises the performance, network reliability and security characteristics of 3GPP carrier grade solutions at a LPWAN price point. And since LTE-M Cat 00 is 2+ years away, significantly sooner too. And at less than 100uW power consumption in idle state compared to more than 3mW for the best cellular technologies, a long, long battery life is possible. Good.

So how does it compare with other IoT technologies? Well in performance terms Weightless-P competes more closely with LTE MTC Release 13 (NB-M2M or CIoT) rather than lower end LPWAN technologies but at the low, low price point it's right in the centre of the LPWAN space. Apart from Weightless technologies being the only LPWAN open standards here, there are a raft of compelling technical advantages over alternatives across the technology spectrum. Head over to the Weightless-P page for comprehensive details of the Standard and compare these to the alternatives. In every way possible Weightless-P promises a whole lot more.

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