Wireless IoT Forum announces board members

The Wireless IoT Forum, one of the latest industry groups to pursue standardization of the Internet of Things, has announced its founding board members. Running the gamut from strategy firms to technology enablers to network providers, the lineup is: Accenture, Arkessa, BT, Cisco, Telensa andWSN.

Wide-area networks are the focus of the Forum, which is little surprise given that the group is headed by CEO William Webb. Webb was one of the founders of long-range, low-power wireless networking company Neul and also serves as CEO of the Weightless SIG, which is promoting its own standard for “ultra-narrowband” communication between devices. In addition, Forum board members Accenture, Arkessa and BT have each been involved in steering development of Weightless or rolling out early deployments in the U.K.

But where Weightless promotes a specific protocol, the Forum’s stated goal is to “drive consensus” around the needs and requirements of wide-area networks more generally, so that open standards can be developed by other bodies. There is a growing market for long-range, low-power communication between devices, with clear early-stage leaders like Sigfox and Actility as well as new entrants likeFilament, but the Forum worries that the current lack of interoperability could hamper broad adoption of these technologies.

“The risk presented by fragmentation remains very real,” Webb said in a statement. “Without widely-agreed open standards we risk seeing pockets of proprietary technology developing independently, preventing the benefits of mass-market scale.”

Work has only just begun for the Wireless IoT Forum, which made the announcement of its board after the group’s first plenary meeting in London late last month. Moving forward, its working groups will be focused on marketing, regulations, connectivity technologies, and use cases that will inform a “roadmap for the ecosystem of technology companies, apps developers and operators” that make up the wide-area networking industry.

Related: IoT Alliances & Consortia