UK based research firm, FC Business Intelligence has published a study has published a study Standards and Emerging Technologies in IoT: Can proprietary technologies succeed?
It features the views of four industry figures, Professor William Webb, Founder, Weightless Sig; Jonathan Wiggin, CEO of NWave; Professor Mischa Dohler, Professor in Wireless Communications, Kings College; Thomas Nicholls, Head of Marketing and Communications, Sigfox
Summing up the study, published in November 2014, says: “The case for open standardisation in the LPWAN [Low Power Wide Area Networks] space is compelling. The Weightless way is a proprietary system that they promise to make open in the [northern] spring of 2015. Sigfox is a proprietary system but, it would argue, only ‘proprietary lite’, because it offers any choice of hardware.
“From where we stand now it appears to be a race to de facto standard setting based on the size of competing ecosystems. Weightless’s Prof Webb argues that it is a battle for hearts and minds. If he is right, with its growing global membership (1,875, the ticker says now) waiting for the open protocol and the technology, Weightless has reason to be confident.
“Furthermore, October’s headline-grabbing pair of acquisitions – Huawei’s of Neul and Qualcomm’s of CSR – brings two very big players at least within sniffing distance of its solar system. In light of that, NWave’s move to get on board and open up its proprietary technology to the Weightless ‘club” could be an astute move to get on the right side of history.
“Sigfox would counter that, no, in fact, it’s not hearts and minds that matter, but paying customers, and that its proven technology and 1.2 million square kilometres of network coverage offers a way in to M2M connectivity for enterprise right now.
Dohler says that, if recent history shows anything, he says, it is that ecosystems are fickle and that the cumbersome process of standardisation cannot keep up with today’s cycles of innovation.
“Getting a stronghold in the market with a real product, then going for standardization, and then building an alliance to promote it seems to be the more promising route, he says. Sigfox is doing it this way, while Weightless, thanks to the unfortunate stillbirth of its technology based on TV white spaces, has been forced to do the reverse.
“In six months, if Weightless manages to get its Weightless-N open protocol finished and available, we will see the reaction of the Weightless SIG members, whose identities are kept secret.
“Will there be a meteor shower of new applications, multiple super novae of real-world rollouts? Will the race be won? Only time will tell but, if the last six months are anything to go by, in the next six months almost anything could happen.”