Internet Of Things Firm Senaptic Promises Free Private Networks

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

Senaptic says its narrow band radio handles Internet of Things applications better than White Space technology

Design consultancy Plextek has spun off its wireless business, which uses unlicensed radio for Internet of things applications, into a separate company called Senaptic.

The firm uses narrow-band radio for low bandwidth communications designed for the small amounts of data transmitted by the kind of sensors which are used in smart transport and smart city applications, and has contracts with a number of cities already.

Internet of things fibre cable circuit board network © asharkyu ShutterstockForget licensed radio

Instead of using cellular data, Senaptic uses unlicensed “ISM” spectrum, and its products are flexible enough to be used on the different ISM frequencies specified in different countries, the CEO Will Franks told TechWeekEurope.

“We offer end-to-end networks,” said Franks, who previously founded small cell business Ubiquisys, which Cisco bought in 2013, “and we start with the business case.”

The plan is to find a partner for a specific project, such as a parking system with sensors installed in the road built for one town, and then replicate that elsewhere, by licensing them to local firms. Senaptic has its own narrow-band radios, and Apella, a suite of machine-to-machine (M2M) software.

Franks said the company has installed six million devices in 30 countries and is positioning its technology as an alternative to cellular M2M systems, which require monthly payments and are energy hungry. It’s closer to “white space” systems, such as that proposed by Neul, which use whichever broadcast radio and TV frequencies are not currently being used.

However Franks said the disadvantage of white space technology is that it requires a more complex system to dodge the changing patterns of TV and radio broadcast ,whereas Senaptic uses fixed frequencies.

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