WND UK | SIGFOX
Who is the UK network operator for Sigfox?
WND UK is the primary Sigfox network operator in the UK.
When did WND-UK become the UK’s Sigfox operator?
Sigfox signed a contract with WND UK in December 2016 to expand its global footprint and roll out a low power, wide area wireless network across the UK.
Does the technology actually work?
Yes, Sigfox is a tried and tested technology and is proven in countless deployments worldwide, including extremely successful implementations across France, Spain, Germany and Ireland, to name a few.
What are WND UK’s Sigfox credentials?
WND has a strong presence in Latin America and we’re continuing to build momentum in Europe. We operate the world’s first pan-continental wireless network and have operations in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, Argentina and the UK.
In the UK, our Sigfox network is already being used for a range of applications including the monitoring of legionella in student accommodation and water leak detection in office buildings, with many more applications coming on stream daily.
WND UK has a highly-experienced UK management team with a strong track record in the global telecoms and electronics industries.
How does WND UK intend to improve scalability and nationwide coverage in the UK?
In the first few months, we’ve installed over 50 base stations, covering more than 34% of the UK population. We intend to deploy a dynamic roll-out programme with base stations being installed as a priority, where customers request them. We anticipate huge growth in the number of IoT-enabled devices over the next couple of years, which is why we’re aiming for 95% UK coverage with around 1800 base stations deployed.
What do you mean by the term ‘dynamic rollout’ programme?
If there is demand for Sigfox in a certain geographical area within the UK, but no existing network in place, we will ensure a base station is deployed and is fully operational within a short time frame, usually within a few weeks. Furthermore, there is no cost to the customer.
What is your business model?
WND UK has a partner-friendly business model with no charges for base station deployment. We use a fair, sliding scale to charge very low fees for device connectivity. This is based on the number of devices requiring network connection, contract length and the number of messages required per day.
Our business model is based on usage rather than passing on network deployment costs to our customers. We firmly believe that it is the responsibility of the network operator to fund the development of the main network infrastructure.
Is WND UK working with any other UK partners to improve the UK network?
We work with a growing number of channel partners who provide logistics support and installation services to help accelerate deployment of the UK network. Our partners also supply a range of IoT solutions to end users including devices, sensors, platforms and back-end dashboards which interpret and assist in providing actionable intelligence based on the vast amounts of data captured, to best effect.
Are there any unsuitable applications for Sigfox?
Tomorrow’s smart IoT devices will need to be ‘wirelessly multilingual’. In other words, they will need to be able to communicate across different kinds of networks and choose the most appropriate technology for specific tasks so that they optimise performance and battery life.
Sub-GHz networks, such as Sigfox, require far less power and provide much longer battery life for those devices that only require intermittent internet connectivity and the transmission of small amounts of data.
In terms of connectivity there’s no ‘one size fits all’ technology. There are a range of wireless technologies that perform different tasks for different applications. Sigfox presents the lowest power, lowest-cost solution for the right IoT application fit. It is also compatible with dual technology applications and can operate alongside high bandwidth technologies such as Bluetooth and 4G.
Are there any restrictions in place with regulators that limit Sigfox’s capabilities?
Regulatory restrictions allow a maximum of 140 messages per device per day. Using ultra narrow band frequencies, each message is limited to 12 bytes of data.
Is the Sigfox network secure?
The Sigfox network protocols are measurably more secure and robust than competing systems.
Because Sigfox devices don’t have IP addresses; they are not addressable for rogue hackers to gain access.
To access a device via a download link (the only way into a device), the device first has to request – via an authenticated message to the Sigfox cloud – a download window for which it then opens a return channel for a short period and then closes again until the next request is made.
No other IoT system works this way.