The Internet of Things is promising billions of connected devices in the next few years, and while devices at home can usually connect through your broadband connection at no extra cost, devices on the field may need to use cellular connectivity and cheap 2G network are being phased out by Telcos. Weightless, operating over white space frequencies, is one of several solutions proposed to connect IoT objects over longer distances, but Archos has their own project with PicoWAN pico-gateways using LoRa(WAN) protocol which allows for several kilometers range.
PicoWAN would plug into your wall socket, connect to your broadband network over WiFI and offer connectivity to various “things” over LoRa. Creating a cellular network is expensive, due to the costs of base stations, but PicoWAN is so cheap, 100 times cheap than traditional base stations, that Archos plans to giveaway 200,000 gateways across Europe to create an IoT network. That way they leverage people broadband connection, so Internet access is free to them, and make their money by charging about 50 pence (~$0.75) per connected object per year, and sharing up to 50% of the revenues with people hosting the gateways.
Archos also mentioned the software embedded in connected objects will be freely available to all developers and integrators, and they’ll be able to setup their own IoT networks for health, agriculture, home automation, and industrial markets.
PicoWAN is scheduled to launch in June 2016, but the company will showcase the technology at Mobile World Congress 2016. More details should eventually surface on PicoWAN product page.
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