Weightless has began working with standards body ETSI as it looks to harmonise its Internet of Things technology with other types of tech.
Its special interest group will offer its Weightless-N standards activities to ETSI’s Low Throughput Networks initiative and will work with other players in the ultra-narrowband space.
ETSI is working on developing an ultra-narrowband standard and is already collaborating with IoT players Sigfox and Telensa.
Weightless CEO, Professor William Webb, said: “In order to reduce fragmentation and enable critical mass in the marketplace we are bringing these two initiatives together, immediately reducing fragmentation and providing a platform around which industry can coalesce.”
Weightless described the collaborating players as “closely related in ethos and architecture”. Once a unified standard is agreed upon, each of the three companies will be able to benefit from interoperable networks and increasing scale.
Other IoT technologies, such as LoRa and NB-IoT, are not connected with the initiative. LoRa is based on proprietary spread spectrum technology, which deliberately varies the frequency of the transmitted signal in order to maximise bandwidth. It is incompatible with the likes of Sigfox and Weightless.
NB-IoT is narrowband technology, rather than ultra-narrowband. While it is not involved in the ETSI initiative, Weightless has suggested it could potentially work alongside Weightless or Sigfox networks in future.
Meanwhile, Telensa has joined the board of the Weightless special interest group. It is a vertical smart city player which offers the likes of smart street lights.
Will Gibson, CEO Telensa, said: “Proprietary ecosystems are no substitute for credible open standards when real market velocity is required. That’s why we’re delighted to be extending our ETSI standards work by joining the board of Weightless. This partnership signals a growing maturity in the LPWA market and will liberate a new wave of smart city sensor and application developers.”
Aapo Markkanen, Principal Analyst at Machina Research, added: “Low Power Wide Area networks are set to become an integral building block for a variety of connected products and services. Deploying such networks also in unlicensed spectrum is critical to ensuring that the market for IoT connectivity will remain sufficiently competitive. The announced initiative is important, because it can open up a whole new level of scale benefits to players that are driving the unlicensed networks forward.”