Sigfox IETF

Sigfox has hit a new milestone in IoT interoperability with a development which sets to enable Internet applications interoperating over different IoT technologies. For the first time at the IETF 98 Bits-n-Bites event in Chicago, Sigfox publicly demonstrated over its live network that, using this new compression technology, Internet applications can communicate with Low Powered Wide Area Network (LPWAN) devices.

IoT interoperability remains one of the greatest challenges for the IoT industry and it is holding back the technology industry from achieving the true potential of mass IoT deployments. By achieving true interoperability between applications, sensors and the network, the technology open-ups the possibility for the development of new applications and value creation.

The development of this specification puts the industry one step closer to developing future LPWAN enabled IoT applications that are radio technology agnostic.

To achieve the milestone and enable Internet protocol applications to communicate over its network, Sigfox and Acklio implemented Static Context Header Compression (SCHC), a new compression scheme which is being standardised by the IETF LPWAN Working Group.

SCHC reduces CoAP/IPv6 headers to just a few bytes, which can then be transported over LPWAN networks for low-power, low-cost IoT services. The software behind the compression was developed with Sigfox’s partner Acklio both device side and in the cloud.

Commenting on the milestone, Juan-Carlos Zúñiga, senior standardisation expert at Sigfox, and co-chair of the IETF IntArea working group, said, “We are thrilled with this latest milestone in our quest to support and promote interoperability in the IoT. It is critical that the industry rallies together to adopt open Internet standards to unlock the true potential of the IoT.”

“Acklio is very proud of sharing this experience with Sigfox. IP on LPWAN devices unifies IoT technologies and opens the door to creating new services and to accelerating the development of new applications,” said Laurent Toutain, CSO of Acklio.

Stéphane Bortzmeyer, long-time IETF participant and author of several Internet specifications (aka RFCs) commented, “This is a nice demonstration of a low-end sensor and a Raspberry Pi talking to an IPv6 application in the cloud, which shows the feasibility to rely on IETF standards to connect things to the Internet”.

The announcement builds upon Sigfox’s commitment to supporting the development of true IoT interoperability as an active member of well-established standards development organisations including the IETF, ETSI and IEEE. It also follows Sigfox’s recent global deal with mobile operator Telefonica, to complement cellular technologies including 4G and NB-IoT.