Wireless sensor networks used to monitor and improve public services

SIGFOX, the global leader in provision of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), has started working with countries in Latin America to monitor and improve Public Works and Services with Internet of Things (IoT) technology, enabling use of sensors to gather data on things such as the structural integrity of buildings, the dynamics traffic circulation and air quality. This data is then made available to be analyzed in the cloud after being sent to base stations constructed by SIGFOX. These base stations allow gathering of data wirelessly at low cost, and can gather data from sensors several kilometers away.

As part of efforts to speed Colombia’s economic progress, the country has put $1.8 million into a partnership with SIGFOX, WND and Phaxsi Solutions, with further funds possibly being put forth at a later stage. The partnership will undertake the extension of the network of base stations throughout the country in order to enable local and national authorities as well as businesses to leverage the IoT possibilities afforded by the network. WND is implementing the network build in Latin America while Phaxsi is the exclusive SIGFOX Network Operator (SNO) in Colombia. The expansion of the network in the country was announced on August 25, 2016.

Companies making use of SIGFOX’s network can broaden their range of market offerings and innovate new ways to operate. This is enabled by the network’s provision of a low-cost, environmentally-friendly and dependable means for IoT-enabled products to send and receive data from the cloud.

In order to maintain a reliable connection to the cloud while not causing too much power drain on the part of the connected device, Ultra-Narrow Band (UNB) technology is used by the SIGFOX network which is ideal given the low data consumption levels of IoT devices.

Unlicenced industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) radio bands (of which the 915MHz band is commonly used in the US while it is 868MHz in the case of Europe) are the frequencies over which the SIGFOX radio link transmits messages and data, enabling low-cost and reliable connection.

SIGFOX places the nodes of its network based on factors pertaining to the area in question. The distances between these nodes range from over 1000km between outdoor nodes where direct line-of-sight transmission is possible to spacing of 30-50km in rural and 3-10km in urban areas respectively. In cities in particular, the closer distance between nodes is necessary due to greater noise interference and other obstructions.

With low energy usage, high reliability and easy extensibility in mind, SIGFOX plans its network expansions along a star-based node infrastructure design. This also allows for a highly modular and flexible network.

As part of SIGFOX’s plan of expanding its operations to 30 countries in total by the end of this year and creating a tightly connected, worldwide network of IoT systems, its initiative in Colombia will, when completed, further the reach of its network to 60 percent of Latin America’s population and increase coverage to 57 percent of its territory. Forthcoming expansions to Singapore and Taiwan, recently announced, are further steps towards this goal. The bi-directional network, which is solely dedicated to IoT provision, has also been deployed to Brazil and Mexico, and Colombia will be the 24th country in which to which SIGFOX has expanded to.

More information can be found at: SIGFOX.

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