Sigfox is rolling out the first global 0G network to listen to billions of objects broadcasting data, without the need to establish and maintain network connections.

This unique approach in the world of wireless connectivity, where there is no signaling overhead, a compact and optimized protocol, and where object share not attached to the network.

Sigfox offers a software based communications solution, where all the network and computing complexity is managed in the Cloud, rather than on the devices. All that together, it drastically reduces energy consumption and costs of connected devices.

‘Download a copy of the ‘Sigfox Technology Overview’ White Paper for a comprehensive on stop guide here.`
DESIGN CHOICES AND BENEFITS

Sigfox has designed its technology and network to meet the requirements of mass IoT applications; long device battery life-cycle, low device cost, low connectivity fee, high network capacity, and long range.

STAR NETWORK ARCHITECTURE

A device is not attached to a specific base station unlike cellular protocols. The broadcasted message is received by any base station in the range, which is 3 in average.

UPLINK CONNECTIVITY

The radio messages emitted by the connected devices are harvested by the Sigfox base stations, then transmitted to the Sigfox cloud and pushed to the end user's IT platform.

1DOWNLINK CONNECTIVITY

2Downlink service is device-driven to minimize energy consumption. It’s up to the device to ask the network to get a downlink message.

1SMALL PAYLOAD

2An uplink message has up to 12-bytes payload and takes an average 2s over the air to reach the base stations which monitors the spectrum looking for UNB signals to demodulate. For a 12-byte data payload, a Sigfox frame will use 26 bytes in total. The payload allowance in downlink messages is 8 bytes.

1LIGHTWEIGHT PROTOCOL

2SIGFOX has tailored a lightweight protocol to handle small messages. Less data to send means less energy consumption, hence longer battery life.

1ULTRA NARROW BAND RADIO MODULATION

2Using the Ultra Narrow Band modulation, Sigfox operate in the 200 kHz of the publicly available band to exchange radio messages over the air. Each message is 100 Hz wide and transferred at 100 or 600 bits per second a data rate, depending on the region. Hence, long distances can be achieved while being very robust against the noise.

SMALL MESSAGES

Sigfox has tailored a lightweight protocol to handle small messages. An uplink message has a maximum 12-bytes payload and a downlink an 8 bytes one. For a 12 bytes data payload, a SIGFOX frame will use 26 bytes in total.

THE SIGFOX PROTOCOL STACK IS ROYALTY FREE

The Sigfox protocol stack is the software used by connected devices modem to generate radio frames and thus transmit messages over the Sigfox global network. The Sigfox protocol stack is provided free of charge to modem manufacturers. It is embedded in millions of chipsets, system on chips or modules. No royalties are charged.

RANDOM ACCESS TO THE RADIO FREQUENCY RESOURCE

The transmission is unsynchronized between the device and the network. The device broadcasts each message 3 times on 3 different frequencies (frequency hopping). The base stations monitor the spectrum and look for UNB signals to demodulate.

ULTRA NARROW BAND

Sigfox uses 200 kHz of the publicly available and unlicensed bands to exchange radio messages over the air (868 to 869 MHz and 902 to 928 MHz depending on regions). Sigfox uses Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) technology combined with DBPSK and GFSK modulation. Each message is 100 Hz wide and transferred at 100 or 600 bits per second data rate, depending on the region.

SIGFOX AND THE RADIO FREQUENCY RESOURCE

Sigfox uses a very small part of the radio frequency resource. Discover how Sigfox signals look like at the base station level.

HIGH NETWORK CAPACITY

The small footprint of UNB enables more simultaneous signals within the operation band, in addition Sigfox protocol cuts down the radio frames size. Those two features combined with the use of cognitive radio technology enables the Sigfox network to reach a very a high capacity.

HIGH ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Sigfox radio protocol cuts the radio frame size down and no synchronization with the network is required. Combining a low power emission level and short emission duration (less than one minute per day) allows maximum autonomy to devices.

VERY LONG RANGE

Low bit rate and simple radio modulation enable a 163.3 dB budget link for long range communications.

HIGH RESILIENCE TO INTERFERENCES

UNB intrinsic ruggedness coupled with spatial diversity of the base stations offer great anti-jamming capabilities. UNB is extremely robust in an environment with spread spectrum signals. UNB is the best choice to operate on the public ISM band.

HIGH QUALITY OF SERVICE

A device is not attached to a specific base station. Its broadcasted messages are received by any base station in the range, which is 3 on average, and there is no need for message acknowledgement. Spatial diversity coupled with time and frequency diversity of radio frame repetitions lead to high quality of service of the Sigfox network.

‘Download a copy of the ‘Sigfox Technology Overview’ White Paper for a comprehensive on stop guide here.`
SECURITY OF THE SIGFOX NETWORK

Security comes with devices first. Security is also supported by radio technology. The communication between the base stations and the Sigfox Cloud, as well as the Sigfox cloud itself are secure, robust, trusted and scalable. At the chain end, IT platforms of customers are connected to the Sigfox Cloud using HTTPS encrypted interfaces.

LOW FREQUENCY ACCURACY CONSTRAINTS ON CONNECTED DEVICES

A device transmits randomly anywhere within the operation band. There is no synchronization between the base station and the device.

HIGH RESISTANCE TO INTERFERENCES

SIGFOX has decided to implement three types of diversity scheme in order to make SIGFOX transmissions robust: time diversity, frequency diversity, space diversity.

DOWNLINK CONNECTIVITY

The downlink process of Sigfox brings additional security robustness. When objects have their ears closed they can’t listen to anything that might be sent by a hacker. The fact that the objects choose when to communicate and at which frequency is protecting them from a hacker sending them a misplaced, unattended command.

DEVICE MANAGEMENT: ARCHITECTURE OF THE BACKEND

The Sigfox backend uses an architecture based on Groups/ Sub Groups – Device Types – Devices. Every device has a unique ID which stays with the device for life. A PAC code is also required to register a device on the Sigfox Backend. The PAC code changes with a change in ownership. Once you have a live Sigfox Contract associated with your backend account, you are ready to begin using the completely self-managed service.

ADDING A NEW DEVICE TO THE BACKEND

The first step is to create a ‘Device Type’. Each Device Type can be attributed to a "family" of devices. After the Device Type is created you can now add devices one by one, or as a series. Once added successfully, you will now see any messages that are transmitted from the device. No other steps are required.

HOW TO VIEW THE DEVICE MESSAGES

The Device Message Tab allows you view the raw messages coming from devices on the Sigfox Backend. It also gives you an indication of the link quality and other information about the device.

HOW TO ADD A SIGFOX CALLBACK

Callbacks are the mechanisms used to deliver device data and information from the Sigfox Backend to your platform, where the messages can be decoded and visualised. Callbacks are linked to Device Type’s, and they will be triggered every time any device of a Device Type sends a message. Every device in a Device Type will have the same Callback behaviour. From a technical perspective: Callback queries are HTTP requests which are notification messages (one-way only). For more detailed documentation click here.

HOW TO USE THE SIGFOX API’S

The Sigfox REST API is designed for device management rather than a mechanism for delivering device data. REST API queries are HTTP requests which are bi-directional and work at the Group level: your server can request and receive data from Sigfox Cloud through the API. The REST API allows you to automatically register and manage all your devices on the Sigfox Cloud, including their subscription lifecycles. This way, you don't have to connect to the Sigfox Backend website to perform recurring device management operations. For more detailed documentation click here.

ADDING A NEW USER TO THE SIGFOX BACKEND

You can add as many users as you like to your Sigfox Backend user account. You can select the roles each users requires.

CHECKING NETWORK COVERAGE ON THE SIGFOX BACKEND

The Sigfox Backend has a coverage map tool where you can check the predicted network coverage in any country with a Sigfox network. You can filter the tool for both predicted indoor and outdoor coverage.