Amazon Sidewalk - Low Bandwidth Network for Smart Home

What is Amazon Sidewalk? It's a low bandwidth shared network announced by Amazon in 2019 to build smart home beyond normal Wi-Fi Network in your neighborhood.
Amazon Sidewalk

Sidewalk Overview

Amazon Sidewalk is a low-bandwidth but long-distance wireless network for connecting low-powered smart devices (commonly called IoT devices too), such as lighting or smart control devices. Using the 900 MHz spectrum, Amazon are developing a new protocol for increasing the connection range of these devices by more than one half mile or one kilometer.

With Amazon Sidewalk, customers will be able to place smart devices anywhere on their property and know they’ll work great, even in dead spots where Wi-Fi and Bluetooth don’t reach. Sidewalk is operated by Amazon at no charge to customers, it can help simplify new device setup, extend the low-bandwidth working range of devices, enable location tracking and help devices stay online.

How does Amazon Sidewalk work? Well! It's pretty simple! Sidewalk leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) for short distances connectivity, 900 MHz spectrum and other spectrums for longer distance connectivity coverage for your smart and low cost devices. According to the experiment conducted by Amazon employees, family members and friends earlier, they successfully set up a secure low-bandwidth 900 MHz Sidewalk network for things like lights and sensors covering much of the Los Angeles Basin.
Sidewalk Devices

Sidewalk Bridge and Sidewalk-Enabled Device

What do you need to connect to Sidewalk network? It's pretty straightforward. Users can easily access the Sidewalk network by using two types of devices: Sidewalk Bridges and Sidewalk-enabled devices. Please note Sidewalk Bridge is called Sidewalk Gateway too. Amazon has now announced that compatible Echo devices can now act as bridges and also some selected Ring Floodlight and Spotlight Cams will also be supported by the network, Tile is also expected to join sidewalk enabled devices as well.

What is the difference between Sidewalk Bridges and Sidewalk-enabled devices? Sidewalk Bridges are devices that provide connections to Amazon Sidewalk, whereas Sidewalk-enabled devices are the devices that can be connected to Amazon Sidewalk network via Sidewalk bridges.

In order for Sidewalk Bridge to work, it needs to be connected to wireless network with Internet connectivity so that a small portion of Internet bandwidth will be used for connecting to Amazon Sidewalk. The maximum bandwidth of a Sidewalk Bridge to the Sidewalk server is 80Kbps, which is about 1/40th of the bandwidth used to stream a typical high definition video. Presently total monthly data used by Sidewalk is capped at 500MB per account, which is equivalent to streaming about 10 minutes of high definition video (fairly small and negligible amount).

On the other side, Sidewalk-enabled devices will support a range of experiences from helping find pets or valuables, to smart security and lighting, to diagnostics for appliances and tools. Amazon continues to work with device manufacturers on new low-bandwidth devices that can run on or benefit from Sidewalk. Please note that Sidewalk-enabled devices include Sidewalk Bridges too because they can benefit from connecting to other Sidewalk Bridges too.

In addition, although you can connect your Sidewalk-enabled devices to the Sidewalk Bridge but you will not be able to identify which Bridge they are connected to. This means your Sidewalk-enabled devices could be connected to other Sidewalk Bridges which are not owned by you.

Finally, let's start to explore Amazon Sidewalk devices on Amazon portal.

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