New open standard Weightless-N for IoT connectivity goes live

An open standard that allows developers to use different network providers based on low-power wide-area star network architecture was announced today.

The LPWAN space is shaping up to be critical for IoT connectivity and companies with proprietary technology such as SIGFOX have already advanced LPWAN technology.

Traditionally, alternative proprietary LPWAN tech locks adopters into a single base station vendor and single network operator, while Weightless SIG’s open standard aims to enable a competitive and free market, according to the company.

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.”

The 1.0 version published on Tuesday operates in sub-GHz spectrum using ultra narrow band (UNB) technology and any company is able to develop both low cost base stations and terminals using royalty free Weightless technology, Webb said.

Weightless-N is designed around a differential binary phase shift keying (DBPSK) digital modulation scheme to transmit within narrow frequency bands using a frequency hopping algorithm for interference mitigation and enhanced security.

It was devised with encryption and implicit authentication in mind, using a shared secret key regime to encode transmitted information via a 128 bit AES algorithm. The technology supports mobility with the network automatically routing terminal messages to the correct destination.

Multiple networks, typically operated by different companies, are enabled and can be co-located. Each base station queries a central database to determine which network the terminal is registered to in order to decode and route data accordingly.

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