Source: "Current mobile data networks are based on connecting people to the Internet. But when sensors are hooked up to a network their resource requirements are often much smaller in terms of data, power and cost. French startup SigFox is creating a cheap, low energy consumption, long-distance cellular network for sensors and other devices which make up the so-called “Internet of Things”-
MIT Technology Review reports:
"SigFox builds its networks in the same way as a cellular provider, using a system of connected antennas that each cover a particular area and link back to the operator’s central network. But the antennas use a different radio technology, developed by SigFox, known as ultra narrow band. This technology would not be of much use for streaming video to an iPhone, but it allows devices connecting to the network to consume very little energy, says [chief of business development and Internet of Things evangelism at SigFox, Thomas] Nicholls, and it allows for very long-range connections."
The company claims its two-way cellular connections consume 100 microwatts compared with 5,000 for a conventional cellular connection. It says it is close to rolling out a network covering the whole of France using 1,000 antennas. SigFox adds that it is in discussion with mobile carriers in the U.S. a territory which it says it can cover completely with 10,000 gateways, rather than the several hundred thousand required by standard cellular networks.
SigFox reports seeing most interest in its technology from companies trying to roll out so-called smart grids, an approach to electricity distribution that uses data from sensors throughout a power network—including in customers’ homes—to help improve efficiency and reliability…