Amazon Sidewalk

Anyone know if this is LoRaWAN?


“Amazon Sidewalk is a brand new low-bandwidth network that uses the already existing free over-the-air 900 megahertz spectrum.”
Barrons mentions this as a catalyst for Semtech stock.

Unlikely to be LoRaWAN on several counts. They claim they will publish the protocol shortly…LoRaWAN already published :wink: They claim hubs (Gateways?) will have range up to 1 mile. LoRa/LoRaWAN capable of much more…unless the systems are deliberately crippled wrt range to assist density building vs pure range. Though one of the example use cases and devices looks small and may have poor performing RF subsystem explaining reduced range and they may be managing expectations. Lots of online comments around fact focus on 900mhz…wither 868 for Europe, 920/926 for APAC? (though some speculation that recent EU start of potential harmonisation for >900mhz may be a door opener for smart city & consumer use long term). More likely it’s just a generic ref to 900mHz…+/-. Though unlikely to be LoRaWAN its pos they are pushing own protocol over LoRa phy…that might explain Barrons! - a chip sale is a chip sale though likely SMTC more in favour of building a harmonised eco-system vs allowing/ supporting large scale fragmentation.

Fact is this is validating use cases and concepts supported by LoRa/LoRaWAN therefore giving greater market confidence and chance of success…as we know all boats float on a rising tide (unless scuttled or holed below the water line :slight_smile: humm I wonder if anyone has thought of putting a LoRa enabled float-switch in bilge of the boat to detect water ingress and potential of sinking? :thinking: ). Another possibility is starting from another base and adopting/adapting…poss Weightless like variant? However with their own internal development group (Sidewalk Labs,?) in the Alphabet empire more likely it is YALPWP (yet another low power wireless protocol!) and grief don’t we have enough of those already? :rofl:

All just my 2penneth worth & MHO…

Still …it’s been amusing to see some of the fake news and false descriptions of LoRa & LoRaWAN capabilities and other technologies that have crept out of the wood work trigger by this announcement

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’ It illustrates how Amazon thinks about taking the things it builds for internal use to make its own products better, then tries to make those tools available to others as a service. For example, last year it launched an easy sign-on service for bringing devices onto your home Wi-Fi or Zigbee network. This year it made that available for anyone to use.

A particularly interesting example of Amazon’s infrastructure building (which could one day become a service) is the Project Sidewalk wireless protocol it talked about on Wednesday. The protocol was designed for the Ring devices that people place in their front yards. At issue was how Wi-Fi didn’t always cover the area well and Bluetooth couldn’t make it at all. So Amazon tooled the existing unlicensed 900 Mhz spectrum and built a proprietary, and secure, mesh protocol on top.

The protocol supports low data rates, can extend over half a mile, and doesn’t require a lot of power. Rausch didn’t have a lot of details, but said that the radios are already in existing Ring products. He added that a current meshed network of 700 devices in the LA Basin has managed to create a network dense enough for Amazon to build a dog tracking device called Fetch to see how well one might track something over the mesh.

Rausch says Amazon may open up the protocol to others in a year, but was pretty vague on details about chips and the protocol itself. But make no mistake, the infrastructure Amazon has built so its ring hardware can communicate outside has the potential to become a long-range, low-power network for a variety of IoT devices. Just like we have a ton of devices that now incorporate Alexa, we may one day have a ton of devices that incorporate Sidewalk. And if Amazon can see a way to build a network like that, it can certainly see a way to build products and services that would run on top of it.

Is Sidewalk a threat to Sigfox, LoRa or NB-IoT today? No, but it certainly has the potential to be, and for everyone out there clinging desperately to the idea that Amazon is selling products and not services, or that don’t understand the importance of building an ecosystem where everyone wins, the IoT is going to be a rough road. Amazon gets it. ’
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Well Ring already has LoRa HW according to this FCC declaration it’s not such a big stretch is it…

At the very least LoRa is/was a candidate PHY. Doesn’t sound like LoRaWAN at all though - so as @Jeff-UK said - my bet would be a custom protocol (or Dash7?) over LoRa - and yes Barrons advice sounds very wise :slight_smile:

my bet is a lora-wifi-mesh combination :thinking:

But they also have products with cc1310 so …

How many products with the cc1310 vs Lora? :wink:

Node-side LoRa chips support standard modulations too, so if they could get a good deal on them, they could have placed them with the idea of continuing any existing FSK-ish plans based on parts from other vendors, but having LoRa as an option too. And one can imagine Semtech cutting them a deal to get widespread deployment of the chips in mains-powered infrastructure, hoping for even more sales for portable nodes to interact with it.

The really interesting question is what sort of network scheme it will turn out they built, when the “gateways” are constrained to receive on one frequency and set of modulation settings at a time, and how well that shares the band with theoretically more readily need-tuned LoRaWAN usage.

Are the Ring cameras going to beacon? Or do the dog trackers (etc) use a set of fixed calling channels?