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Weightless group publishes M2M standard

Claims its technology will support white spaces transmissions over 10 kilometers with decade-long battery life


Published: 4 April, 2013

READ MORE: Spectrum | UK | M2M | Standards

The latest standard trying to make its mark on the wireless world is Weightless, which supports ultra-low power connections for the internet of things (IoT).

The standard's SIG (special interest group) has finalized its specifications, which are targeted at the white space spectrum in the TV bands, which is being gradually opened up for licence-exempt use in various countries including the US. While much of the focus there has been on rural broadband or 'Super Wi-Fi', UK-based Weightless is mainly concentrating on machine-to-machine applications like smart grid.

The SIG completed its 600-page set of specifications at its plenary conference in Cambridge, UK on Tuesday although final approval is still required from members. Members will now be able to start developing standardized products.

The group says version 1.0 of its platform is flexible and can be applied to M2M communications involving millions of tiny sensors, up to high speed connections. It claims the technology has a range of up to 10 kilometers, device battery life of a decade, and that chipsets will cost less than $2 once they achieve volume, lowering barriers to entry to this emerging field.

SIG founders include start-up Neul, which came up with the original technology and has participated in white spaces trials around the UK city. Other founders include other heavyweights of the UK's 'Silicon Fen' such as ARM and CSR, as well as Google, an enthusiastic lobbyist for white spaces applications, and Cable & Wireless.

Neul already has a commercial Weightless chip as well as a test network around its home city and Google has used the technology in its recently announced white spaces broadband trials in Cape Town, South Africa.

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