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Network Communications Input Devices The Internet Wireless Networking Hardware

French Company Building a Mobile Internet Just For Things 35

holy_calamity writes "France now has a dedicated cellular data network just for Internet-of-Things devices, and the company that built it is rolling out the technology elsewhere, says MIT Technology Review. SigFox's network is slower than a conventional cellular data network, but built using technology able to make much longer range links and operate on unlicensed spectrum. Those features are intended to allow the service to be cheap enough for low cost sensors on energy infrastructure and many other places to make sense, something not possible on a network shared with smartphones and other consumer devices."
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French Company Building a Mobile Internet Just For Things

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  • by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @12:48AM (#41977297)

    Right now, you're looking at a couple of bucks per month per device on traditional cellular networks for machine to machine interfaces. If you can pay $1K/month and have all of your devices within 30-50 miles reachable, even if its low-speed, that's a big deal.

  • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <mojo@world3.nBLUEet minus berry> on Wednesday November 14, 2012 @04:40AM (#41978253) Homepage Journal

    Companies have been doing this for years so I can tell you exactly how they work. I happen to work on firmware for a product that uses such a network, called HomeRider.

    Each device has an 868MHz proprietary radio link to a repeater, which itself has an 868MHz link back to a "concentrator". The concentrator contains a GPRS modem that reports back data in batches periodically. In that way a large number of devices can use a single GPRS connection, keeping costs down.

    Devices are mostly things like smart meters or network monitoring. The device I make detects leaks on water pipes, for example.

    What these guys seem to be proposing is to put the GPRS modem into each device. We actually do a similar product already, except that it sends SMS text messages because you need less power and can get away with a weaker signal that way. Cost of the data isn't really an issue, which makes me wonder where these guys think the market is. If they are going to go really low speed there will be no advantage of SMS, and if they go higher they won't get the range or keep the cost down.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.