What Exactly is SigFox?
If you’re done some research on the different types of LPWAN IoT connectivity, you’ve likely heard of France-based SigFox.
Founded in 2009, SigFox provides low-bandwidth IoT connectivity to businesses across 65 countries including the US and Canada.
With dozens of IoT cellular connectivity choices, where does it fall in the rankings?
Great question, let’s dive deeper.
Simply put, SigFox is a cellular connectivity that provides long-range coverage — achieved by using a low modulation rate — and is best suited for IoT and M2M devices that transmit low data volume such as sensors and actuators.
Due to the vast range, it can deliver reliable support across 30-50 km with a limited number of base stations, lowering the overall cost of the IoT cellular connectivity.
For the most part, these are characteristics that would describe any LPWAN connectivity. What makes Sigfox unique is that it’s an ultra-narrowband connectivity similar to NB-IoT.
Like most things, this comes with pros and cons.
Ultra-narrowband IoT connectivity types transmit data using very short slices of spectrum compared to LoRa which uses a wider spread (125 khz or more). SigFox’s thinner spectrum mitigates the “noise” or interference that you might hear using other cellular connectivity types.
LoRaWAN — another type of LPWAN connectivity — uses a wider spectrum as well, resulting in more interference. However, this noise is somewhat mitigated as LoRaWAN focuses on a very specific communication protocol
Should I Use SigFox?
Every IoT use case is unique so it’s difficult to definitively determine the best IoT cellular connectivity for the job. With that being said, there are plenty of projects that would greatly benefit from SigFox coverage.
With long range, low power consumption and little data transfer, it’s a natural fit for sensors collecting data across wide geographical areas such as farms, vineyards, factories or power plants.
This is also true in rural areas or hard-to-reach places that need deep penetration such as underground, underwater or behind thick concrete.
Here’s a small sample of use cases that could benefit from SigFox IoT.
Sigfox IoT Applications
Industrial IoT (IIoT)
Sigfox: Changing the Game for Cellular IoT
LPWAN connectivity types like SigFox are buzzing in popularity right now because they’re supplying the much-needed demand for cost-effective cellular coverage that doesn’t skimp on strength or reliability.
With it, businesses are leveraging it to hack age-old problems, building innovative solutions that are changing the way we live, work and play.
As IoT developers ourselves here at Soracom, it’s exciting to see pioneers like SigFox supporting projects with cellular coverage that doesn’t break the bank.
Saving time and money is top of mind most IoT projects, which is why we’ve worked hard so that IoT developers can code less.
Soracom has built an IoT device management console like none other, allowing developers to quickly manage their entire fleet from anywhere in the world.
Want to lower data transfer rates? Done. Perform firmware updates from your seat ? Easy.
Why worry about anything other than innovating? With Soracom, we’ve made it easier than ever to use data with our intuitive pay-as-you-use IoT cellular plan.
Simply use as much or as little data as you need without worrying about minimum commitments or air-tight contracts.
That’s why we created SORACOM Air for Sigfox: an IoT SIM card that allows you to control both GSM and SigFox connectivity from one platform with one billing system.
This provides you with a simple way to get the best of both worlds: SigFox coverage for your IoT devices with the added flexibility of GSM cellular connectivity and the enhanced capabilities of Soracom’s suite of cloud-hosted products.
Contact us today to learn more about our work with SigFox and what you can gain from teaming up with Soracom.