LoRa, Sigfox, and NB-IoT are probably the most popular low power long range wireless protocols for the Internet of Things, but there are several others, including one I had never heard of: Wize.
The Wize Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) protocol has been created in late 2017, leverages the “old and refurbished” 169 MHz frequency, support up to 20 km range, 20-year battery life, and is managed by the Wize Alliance with members including STMicroelectronics, Suez, Sagecom, Renesas, Analog Devices, Silicon Labs and many others.
Despite being a recent protocol, the table below claims 3 millions of deployment for Wize, and showcases some of differences against LoRa, NB-IoT, and Sigfox.
You may be confused as how the standard was created in at the end of 2017, but there are so many deployments, and 13 years experience. It appears Wize is derived from the older EN 13757 standard for gas and electricity meters, and companies such as GRDF and Suez have had such 169 MHz meters installed for over 10 years. Wize looks to be an extension aiming for a more general use for the Internet of Things. At this first sight, Wize looks to be mostly a European story, but it’s actually also deployed in various countries around the world in places like China, Indonesia, Chile, and Morocco.
If you want to get started Allwize K2 development board will soon be here. Similar to LoRa based Arduino MKR 1300 board, it features the same Microchip SAMD21 microcontroller, but replaces the LoRa radio with a Wize radio.
Allwize K2 tentative specifications adapted from Arduino MKR 1300 specs:
- MCU – Microchip Atmel SAMD21 32-bit ARM Cortex M0+ MCU @ 48 MHz with 32 KB SRAM, 256 KB flash (8KB for bootloader)
- Digital I/O Pins – 8x digital I/Os, 12x PWM, UART, SPI, and I2C, 8x external interrupts
- Analog Pins – 7x analog inputs (8/10/12-bit ADC), and 1x analog output (10-bit DAC)
- DC Current per I/O Pin – 7 mA
- Wize connectivity @ 169 MHz based on RadioCrafts RC1701xx-WIZE (TBC)
- USB – 1x micro USB port for power and programming
- Misc – Reset button, 6x LEDs, 32.768 kHz RTC
- 5V via micro USB port or Vin pin
- 2x AA or AAA batteries support
- I/O Operating Voltage – 3.3V
- Dimensions – 67.64 x 25 mm
The board is programmable with the Arduino IDE, and you’ll find the Wize library on Github. As a side note, Xose Pérez (aka tinkerman) whose ESPurna firmware open source for Sonoff and other ESP8266 devices was previously covered on CNX Software is the software developer for Allwize.
Allwize K2 board has recently launched on Kickstarter with a funding raising goal of 5,000 Euros. Pledges start at 54 Euros (early bird) for two K2 board kits also including unsoldered headers & labels, a uFL to SMA connector, a 2dbi antenna, a getting started guide, a new sticker for your laptop, and a wooden enclosure. One of the board can be used as a single channel gateway, and the other as a node. Alternatively, they also offer an Allwize K2 board plus G1 gateway reward for 70 Euros. Other rewards also various amounts of boards and/or sensors since the use case will be similar to the one of LoRa and Sigfox. Shipping adds 7 to 13 Euros depending on the destination country, and you should be able to put your hands on the boards by March 2019.