Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox joins Mustang Project to develop short-message IoT services

Steve Rogerson
February 26, 2015
French IoT connectivity company Sigfox is joining the Mustang Project, launched by Airbus Defence & Space, in partnership with CEA-Leti and Sysmeca to provide worldwide, low-data-rate M2M communications using ground-based and satellite technologies.
The project is centred on the segment of low-cost exchange of short messages in the IoT market, with the aim to develop a hybrid terrestrial and satellite access method for seamless and ubiquitous communications across the globe. Based on new terrestrial and satellite communications technologies, it will enable connected devices to communicate on a global scale, offering users a fully integrated and optimised low-cost short message service.
“Seamless and constant internet of things connectivity between continents and over the oceans will be a giant step towards realising the IoT’s full potential,” said Sigfox CEO Ludovic Le Moan. “Mustang is a visionary project to achieve this potential, and deliver the cost-effective, low-energy efficiencies that small-message solutions offer globally.”
Thanks to the IoT, people will in the near future be surrounded by hundreds of connected devices that can ease and revolutionise their way of life wherever they are. However, the full potential can only be materialised by adapting networks and, specifically, by offering affordable mobile communications everywhere and at all times.
Satellite links will use a communications protocol to ensure coverage with a small form-factor terminal, while 868 and 915MHz ISM bands will be used to communicate with the Sigfox terrestrial network. The dual-mode satellite-terrestrial terminal will enable automatic switching between the two communications channels in response to resource availability in the areas where connected devices are located.
The three-year project will involve the development of the terminal’s modem chipset, the optimisation of communications protocols and the validation of the system through an aircraft application demonstration. Performance objectives will be achieved primarily through developments in integrated circuit technologies and in enhanced communications protocols for short messages.
Supported by the French government’s Directorate General for Enterprise, the project will receive public funding through the Future Investments Programme run by the General Investment Commission and the French ministry in charge of digital affairs. The strategic target is to develop an innovative terrestrial-satellite service to penetrate the worldwide IoT market giving French companies a strategic foothold in this growing application domain.