Sigfox Technology Overview

Sigfox is rolling out the first global IoT 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 wirelessconnectivity, where there is no signaling overhead, a compact and optimized protocol, and where objectsare not attached to the network. Sigfox offers a software based communications solution, where all thenetwork 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.
Ultra Narrow Band radio modulation

Ultra Narrow Band radio modulation

Using 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.

Lightweight protocol

Lightweight protocol

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

Small payload

Small payload

An 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.

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Star network architecture

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

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.

Downlink connectivity

Downlink connectivity

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

Design choices and benefits

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.

The high quality of service of the Sigfox network relies on spatial diversity coupled with the time and frequency diversity of the radio frame repetitions.