Weightless, the global organization delivering the royalty-free open standard to enable the Internet of Things, today announced the release of version 0.9 of its M2M Specification. Weightless, which is using unused television channels (“white spaces”), enables machine-to-machine communications using a chipset said to cost of less than USD$2. It has a range of up to 10km with a battery life up to 10 years.
With the release of version 0.9 the Weightless Specification moves within a single step of a final, stable v1.0 release due towards the end of Q1 2013. Version 0.9 is now complete with significant additions made to the MAC, Security and Applications sections.
The specification is now over 300 pages long and provides all the detail needed for developers to fully understand and model it.
The announcement follows the recent announcement of growing support and momentum for the standard with the appointment of ARM, Cable and Wireless Worldwide, CSR and Neul to the Board and Promoter Group.
Weightless technology has been optimized for the unique requirements of machine to machine communications and is provided as a royalty-free open standard. It is not designed for general broadband internet access, but for applications like meter reading. Weightless promises to bring a common set of standards for M2M communications not possible with traditional legacy cellular based technologies.
Weightless uses a base station to transmit to a few thousand devices. The devices are allocated a specific time and frequency to transmit their data back to the base station. It uses Time-division duplex operation with frequency hopping and variable spreading factors to increase range and accommodate low power devices. Devices must be qualified by the Weightless Special Interest Group. Patents would only be licensed to those qualifying devices; thus the protocol, whilst open, may be regarded as proprietary, notes Wikipedia.
The IEEE 802.22 standard also defines general protocol model for negotiating and selecting shared spectrum band for device operation. Weightless Radio complies with this standard to cooperatively share the available TV WhiteSpace spectrum. The 802.22 standard is not designed for mobile usage, but operates in a point to multipoint basis.
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