Powering smart cities is one of the most ambitious use cases for the internet of things (IoT), combining a wide variety of IoT technologies to create coherent systems that span not just individual buildings or campuses but entire metropolises. As such, smart cities offer a window into the evolution of enterprise IoT technologies and implementations on the largest scale.\nAnd that\u2019s why I connected with Christophe Fourtet, CSO and co-founder of Sigfox, a French global network operator, to learn more about using wireless networks to connect large numbers of low-power objects, ranging from smartwatches to electricity meters. (And I have to admit I was intrigued by the 0G network moniker, which conjured visions of weightless IoT devices floating in space, or maybe OG-style old-school authenticity. That\u2019s not at all what it\u2019s about, of course.)\n\nAccording to Fourtet, "Sigfox\u2019s global 0G network specializes in inexpensively conveying small amounts of data over long ranges\u2014without sacrificing quality. Whereas other networks aim to collect and transmit as much data as possible, as quickly as possible, we deliver small packets of information at regular intervals, giving customers only the critical information they need."\nThe software-based wireless 0G network listens to devices without the need to establish and maintain network connection, eliminating signaling overhead. With network and computing complexity managed in the cloud, energy consumption and costs of connected devices are dramatically reduced, the company says. Just as important, the low power requirements can also dramatically cut battery requirements for IoT devices.\nAround the world, customers like Michelin, General Motors, and Airbus use the 0G networks to connect IoT devices, and the network is supported by more than 660 partner organizations, including device makers and service providers such as Urbansense and Bosch. Sigfox cited 0G-connected IoT devices enabling Danish cities to monitor quality of life data, from detecting defects in buildings to tracking garbage collection.\n0G applications beyond smart cities\nIn addition to smart cities applications, Sigfox serves several industry verticals, including manufacturing, agriculture, and retail. Common use cases include supply-chain management and asset tracking, both within factory\/warehouse environments and between locations as containers\/shipments move through the supply chain around the globe. The network is uniquely equipped for supply chain use cases due to its cost-efficiency, long-lasting batteries with totally predictable autonomy, and wide-range reach.\nIn facilities management, the 0G network can connect IoT devices that track ambient factors such temperature, humidity, and occupancy. Doing so helps managers leverage occupancy data to adjust the amount of space a company needs to rent, reducing overhead costs.\u00a0It can also help farmers optimize the planting, care, and harvesting of crops.\nOperating as a backup solution to ensure connectivity during a broadband network outage, 0G networking built into a cable box or router could allow service providers to access hardware even when the primary network is down, Fourtet said.\n\u201cThe 0G network does not promise a continuation of these services,\u201d Fourtet noted, \u201cbut it can provide access to the necessary information to solve challenges associated with outages.\u201d\nIn a more dire example in the home and commercial building security market, sophisticated burglars could use cellular and Wi-Fi jammers to block a security system\u2019s access to a network so even though alarms were issued, the service might never receive them, Fourtet said. But the 0G network can send an alert to the alarm system provider even if it has been jammed or blocked, he said.\n\n\n \n\n\nHow 0G networks are used today\nCurrent 0G implementations include helping Louis Vuitton track luggage for its traveling customers. Using a luggage tracker powered by by\u00a0Sigfox\u2019s Monarch service, a suitcase can stay connected to the 0G network throughout a trip, automatically recognizing and adapting to local radio frequency standards. The idea is for travelers to track the location of their bags at major airports in multiple countries, Fourtet said, while low energy consumption promises a six-month battery life with a very small battery.\nAt the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019, iWire, LITE-ON and Sigfox worked together to create a tracking solution designed to help safeguard 10,000 athletes and delegates. Sensors connected to the Sigfox 0G network and outfitted with Wi-Fi capabilities were equipped with tiny batteries designed to provide uninterrupted service throughout the weeklong event. The devices \u201cperiodically transmitted messages that helped to identify the location of athletes and delegates in case they went off course,\u201d Fourtet said, while LITE-ON incorporated a panic button for use in case of emergencies. In fact, during the event, the system was used to locate a lost athlete and return them to the Games without incident, he said.\nFrench car manufacturer Groupe PSA uses the 0G network to optimize shipping container routes between suppliers and assembly plants. Track&Trace works with IBM\u2019s cloud-based IoT technologies to track container locations and alert Groupe PSA when issues crop up, Fourtet said.\n0G is still growing\n\u201cIt takes time to build a new network,\u201d Fourtet said. So while Sigfox has delivered 0G network coverage in 60 countries across five continents, covering 1 billion people \u00a0(including 51 U.S. metropolitan areas covering 30% of the population), Fourtet acknowledged, \u201c[We] still have a ways to go to build our global network.\u201d In the meantime, the company is expanding its Connectivity-as-a-Service (CaaS) solutions to enable coverage in areas where the 0G network does not yet exist.