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Weightless aims for long-range appeal with new IoT tech

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Details of a new low-cost, low power IoT standard has been published, with Weightless technology aiming to offer a wide range of connectivity using ultra-narrowband tech.

Version 1.0 of the Weightless-N open standard has been published this morning, with the special interest group behind the tech hoping its low costs and open nature will attract users.

The SIG said it offers a signal propagation of several kilometres "even in challenging urban environments". Its open nature is in contrast to other types of LPWAN technology, which the SIG said locks develops into using specific vendors or network service providers.

Any company can use the royalty free Weightless tech to develop base stations and terminals. The group claimed a terminal device can be built for under $2 – roughly  €1.80 - and a base station's materials would cost less than $3,000 (approx €2,700).

The standard has been designed around a differential binary phase shift keying (DBPSK) digital modulation scheme. The SIG said the tech uses a "frequency hopping" algorithm to transmit within narrow frequency bands without getting snared up with interference.

The standard also uses a shared secret key scheme to secure sent information through a 128 bit AES algorithm.

The group said details of specific hardware that supports the new tech, as well as SDKs, will be published on its website shortly.

Professor William Webb, CEO of the Weightless SIG, said: “Open standards are simply better for developers - they minimise cost, increase choice, mitigate risk, encourage innovation and are sustainable...History unequivocally shows that only open standards ultimately prevail in the wireless technology space.”

Jonathan Wiggin, CEO of technology developer NWave Technologies, added: “The competitive environment is unique to a truly open standard leading to lower costs, more security, less risk and more ongoing innovation. That translates to a superior solution for the developer and end user.”

Read more:

Sigfox, Texas Instruments pushing narrowband IoT after new launches

Wi-Fi device shipments to hit 3.75bn as IoT reigns