With this feature Murata has extended the module’s capability for providing both LoRa and SigFox capabilities worldwide from a single hardware platform. This approach allows customers to decide which network technology serves the application best depending on location, service requirements and cost.
Both networks offer similar low-power wide area network (LPWAN) capabilities, targeting applications in smart meters, facility management, asset tracking, and a range of other uses in the IoT space. While each has differences, the common goal is network coverage with good Quality of Service (QoS). By supporting both standards, Murata’s module can also bridge both networks, providing even greater deployment flexibility by allowing a dual-mode operation from a single firmware package that can be used globally.
As the first major vendor to offer an LPWAN module that supports both LoRa and SigFox, Murata expects to achieve a leading position in this market while offering customers greater longevity and robustness. For example, in the event of a network problem on one network, customer applications would be able to easily switch to the other protocol, this offering redundancy of communications links.
Currently, Murata’s Type ABZ LoRaWan™ module, which uses an STMicro STM32-based wireless microcontroller and SX1276 Semtech RFIC, operates in the 806‑ to 930-MHz frequency band and provides a nominal output power of +14 dBm that can be boosted to +20 dBm for long range or poor signal location applications. STMicro is a key partner for Murata, and STMicro is responsible for the development of the SigFox firmware. SigFox European certification of the module has been completed and certification for the US will take place during October and Asia-Pacific regions will follow in November. A European version will be made available by STMicro through its website at the end of July.