CEA Tech research institute Leti has announced a new low-power wide-area (LPWA) standard, based on a novel approach to the physical layer called Turbo Frequency-Shift Keying (Turbo-FSK), which it claims outperforms both LoRa and NB-IoT implementations.

“Leti’s Turbo-FSK receiver performs close to the Shannon limit, which is the maximum rate that data can be transmitted over a given noisy channel without error, and is geared for low spectral efficiency,” claims Leti’s Vincent Berg in a press release republished by Solid State Technology. “Moreover, the waveform exhibits a constant envelope – i.e. it has a peak-to-average-power ratio (PAPR) equal to 0dB, which is especially beneficial for power consumption. Turbo-FSK is therefore well adapted to future LPWA systems, especially in 5G cellular systems.”

According to the company’s field-trial testing of what it is calling LPWA-CB, its LPWA implementation successfully scales its data rate from 3Mb/s down to 4Kb/s depending on conditions, switching between single-carrier frequency-division multiplexing (SC-FDM), orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM), and Turbo-FSK as required automatically and invisibly to the user.

More details on Turbo-FSK technology are available in this 2016 open-access research paper.