In the Press

Weightless Expands Wide-Area IoT Spec

posted: Tuesday 11th August 2015

SEATTLE – The Weightless SIG is working on a new standard for a low-power wide area network (LP-WAN) scheme targeting a class of applications for the Internet of Things (IoT) that cannot be served by established wireless networks such as WiFi or ZigBee. The Weightless-P standard aims to provide bi-directional communications between mobile, battery-powered devices and base stations over distances up to 2km in a challenging urban environment. Based on field-proven technology developed by SIG member M2Communication (M2COMM), the standard is expected to be ready for release in Q4 of 2015 with first hardware available in early 2016.

The Weightless story originally began with a scheme that targeted re-use of television "white space" as its operating frequency, The SIG's CEO, William Webb, told EE Times in an interview. "That was Weightless-W," said Webb, "but the availability of whitespace hasn't developed around the world and so that protocol has been shelved until such time as the channels become available." The SIG subsequently developed the Weightless-N standard, which went live in May, targeting lowest-cost, one-way communications at low data rates from IoT devices to a base station over a distance up to several kilometers.

"But there is a whole set of applications that need two-way communications," Webb said, "for acknowledgement of messages, software updates, and the like. Or they need a higher data rate than –N provides. Weightless-P is aimed at these markets."

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