Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox radio protocol specifications go public

Steve Rogerson
February 19, 2019

To celebrate last week’s eighth World Radio Day, under the patronage of Unesco, French IoT provider Sigfox publicly released the specifications of its radio protocol for connected objects.
By putting the specifications in the public domain, everyone can now create their own Sigfox object. The release of these specifications will allow open-source implementations, and more opportunities for developers and manufacturers of connected objects. As soon as all the tests are done, the manufacturer will only have to register its object on the Sigfox network to benefit from it.
Sigfox expects a boom in the number of objects connected to its network as new players in the IoT space take advantage of this opportunity, with global full support from Sigfox. The Sigfox ecosystem will expand further, as it democratises the technology beyond device makers.
This move will apply to connected objects, rather than Sigfox’s base stations and infrastructure, as those are protected by patents. Until now, the specification of objects was shared under NDA upon request, while Sigfox wanted to control the number of objects applying to connect to its network.
"The opening of the specification has always been part of Sigfox’s ambition and we’re excited for the thousands of new use cases that will emerge," said Christophe Fourtet (pictured), co-founder of Sigfox. “Our partners all over the world are looking forward to being part of this development.”
In the IoT market more generally, this opening is a so-called classic step in the establishment of a standard, such as Bluetooth for example. This means that tomorrow Sigfox's 0G network, in addition to the B2B markets already addressed to date, will also become a reference on local or more consumer-oriented use cases.
With more than 30 years of expertise in radio communications, particularly in defined by software and cognitive ones, Fourtet invites the academic community and the research community to seize this opportunity for the next generation of engineers to participate in the coming evolutions of the protocol.
Today, the Sigfox network is available in 60 countries, with a billion people covered. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Fourtet, the company is headquartered in France, and has offices in Madrid, Munich, Boston, Dallas, San Jose, Dubai, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.