What is Sigfox?

Sigfox is an inexpensive, reliable, low-power solution to connect sensors and devices. 

With our dedicated radio-based network, we are committed to giving a voice to the physical world, and make the Internet of Things truly happen. 

The Sigfox protocol focuses on: 

  • Autonomy. Extremely low energy consumption, allowing years of battery life.
  • Simplicity. No configuration, connection request or signaling. Your device is up and running within minutes!
  • Cost efficiency. From the hardware used in the devices to our network, we optimize every step to be as cost-effective as possible.
  • Small messages. No large assets or media allowed on the network, only small notifications: up to 12 bytes.
  • Complementarity. Thanks to its low cost and ease of configuration, you can also use Sigfox as a secondary solution to any other type of network, e.g.: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPRS, etc.

Understand the Sigfox technology

Accessing the Sigfox service

Putting your device on the Sigfox network

Getting your device to communicate with Sigfox is very easy: everything you need is included! Our subscription service is based on the number of devices you want to connect to the network.

If you have a device that communicates using other networks, it may already be compatible with Sigfox. Check the requirements! If not, then Sigfox Build will take you through the steps to prototype, certify and connect it.

Subscribing to the Sigfox network

The Sigfox network is global, it is managed by local Sigfox Operators (SO).

Contracting with an SO grants you access to the following:

  • The Sigfox public network,
  • The Sigfox Cloud, where you can see and manage all your devices on the network,
  • The Sigfox support platform, available 24/7, for easy troubleshooting while you develop your product.

For more information, please contact your country's Sigfox Operator.  

Network overview

Sigfox's network works with lightweight messages (12 bytes, excluding payload headers).

The life cycle of a Sigfox message is always the same:

  1. A device wakes up and emits a message using its radio antenna,
  2. Multiple Sigfox base stations in the area receive the message,
  3. Base stations send the message to the Sigfox Cloud,
  4. The Sigfox Cloud sends the message to a customer's backend platform.

It's that simple!

What is a Sigfox "base station"? 

Base stations are local Sigfox antennas, which receive messages from emitting devices and forward them to the Sigfox Cloud. They are deployed in the field by our local Sigfox Operators. 

They are composed of three major elements:

  • An antenna, to receive messages over the air, usually deployed on high points or towers,
  • A LNA or LNAC (low-noise amplifier), to amplify the signal and filter noise,
  • An access point, which understands the Sigfox messages and sends them to the Sigfox Cloud.

Once connected, they become part of our public network. They then start listening for all Sigfox messages sent by devices in the vicinity. 

Coverage

Sigfox is a public network, which means that devices rely on the infrastructure deployed throught cities and countries by the local Sigfox Operator to communicate. Full public coverage can be found here: https://www.sigfox.com/en/coverage

In addition to our public connectivity offer, we have developed a range of solutions to cover all customer's needs:

  • Connectivity as a Service (CaaS): If you are located in a Sigfox-deployed country but your area is not yet covered, you can rent Sigfox base stations. You can host your own access point and extend the Sigfox network in a simple, flexible, and cost-effective way. Please contact your local Sigfox Operator to access these offers. 
  • SDR Dongle: If you are a device maker located in an area where Sigfox is not yet present (and thus hard to work with), you can buy a Sigfox SDR Dongle. It allows you to locally emulate the Sigfox network, to try and test your devices. 

Starting your Sigfox project

Sigfox's main objective is to provide the best network possible. We don't develop or sell end-to-end solutions for customers, we rely on a large ecosystem of partners for that -- and you can be part of it! 

Because an IoT project involves many different types of companies and skills, you can get help from specialists on every topic you need to focus on. Take a look at our Sigfox Partner Network to find the best partners for you. 

Sigfox's own IoT Agency can also help you get started. See below.

The Sigfox IoT Agency

In order to help our customers reach their objectives faster, we have created the IoT Agency. 

This professional services team is dedicated to assisting companies to develop their own devices and solutions, and is specialized in hardware, radio, project management, web applications, etc. 

If you wish to hire the IoT Agency experts to help you develop your projects, please use the contact form