[April 6th update: The article was updated to reflect Fraunhofer invented the technology]
There are plenty of LPWAN (Low Power Wide Area Networks) standards designed for low power, low bitrate and long-range connectivity with the most popular currently being NB-IoT and LoRaWAN. But Texas Instruments has joined other smaller companies (Fraunhofer, Ragsol, STACKFORCE, WIKA…) to form the MIOTY alliance in order to develop and promote a new LPWAN standard operating in the sub-GHz range called MIOTY.
Texas Instruments explains MIOTY was born due to a lack of scalability and robustness (interferences issues) of current LPWAN solutions. But just like other similar low power WAN standards, it aims to support long-range while achieving long battery life, but MIOTY is also supposed to help IoT developers mitigate performance degradation in high-node-count networks.
MIOTY works in the same license-free bands (868 MHz, 915 MHz …) as LoRa radios with no costs involved to use the radio spectrum. The solution offers a star network for low-power end/leaf nodes, as well as a gateway solution for cloud connectivity. Currently, companies have to set up their own private networks, but eventually, there may be third parties offering network solutions.
LoRaWAN only works on chips developed Semtech, while Sigfox also relies on proprietary solutions, but MIOTY physical layer (PHY) and media access control (MAC), but MIOTY is based on a standard from the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), namely TS 103 357 “Short Range Devices; Low Throughput Networks (LTN); Protocols for radio interface A “, which can be downloaded free of charge.
Texas Instruments CC1310 Cortex-M3 microcontroller, released in 2015 with the promise to offer up to 20 km range, 20-year battery life on a coin cell, just happens to be compatible with MIOTY standard, although the company also mentions MIOTY was tested on two other silicon providers. At the time of writing, I was unable to find out who the other two are. Other compatible chips from TI include CC1312R and the CC1352R Cortex-M4F WiSoCs with the latter also supporting Bluetooth Low Energy.
Back in 2018, Canada based BehrTech partnered with Fraunhofer IIS to commercialize the solution, and the key ingredient for robustness (resistance to interference) is Fraunhofer IIS’ patented Telegram Splitting technology that split messages into several packets to increase immunity to interference. A whitepaper quickly explains the history of MIOTY standard:
MIOTY by Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS) was adopted by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) as Low Throughput Network (LTN) family Telegram-Splitting Ultra Narrow Band (TS-UNB) , which is based on Gaussian Minimum-Shift Keying (GMSK), a variant of FSK. The nominal range is 15 km and the battery lifetime is stated as up to 20 years. So far only one company, Behr Technologies, is commercially marketing MIOTY technology; on the gateway side they use an SDRplay RSP1a Software-Defined Radio (SDR) chipset with proprietary userspace libraries.
The 2018 video below quickly explains how that all works.