Sigfox expands IoT network to support Germany’s Industrie 4.0
Low-power, wide-area IoT network also being deployed in 10 U.S. cities
Adding to its European dedicated “Internet of Things” network, provider Sigfox plans to expand its low-power, wide-area network into Germany, which has undertaken a national IoT initiative with Industrie 4.0.
The Sigfox network is active or being deployed in 13 other countries, including the United States. The French-based company says its network currently supports more than 7 million devices.
Industrie 4.0, part of the German government’s overall technology strategy, emphasizes a transition to smart manufacturing as a hallmark of the “fourth Industrial Revolution.”
“Germany is a very important market for Sigfox and our commitment to deploy a national network reflects this,” said Stuart Lodge, EVP for global sales and partners at Sigfox. “Sigfox is building a strong ecosystem of partners across the IoT value chain and Germany has many market-leading companies whose influence extends worldwide.”
Sigfox provides network access, services and support via a subscription model. According to the company, “this means that businesses providing IoT devices and services across borders can offer their customers a single contract for international coverage.”
In February 2015, Sigfox had a round of funding that brought in $115 million. Investment came from NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom and Telefonica.
“These new investors give Sigfox a worldwide footprint,” wrote Sigfox spokeswoman Amélie Ravier an e-mail. “Moreover, other telcos will be welcome to join as capital participants in the future with the objective of standardizing the Sigfox technology during the company’s worldwide rollout.”
Sigfox, known for its low-power wide-area two-way connections, has deployed networks in France, Spain, the U.K. and the Netherlands.
In May, T-Mobile along with Blue Cell Network and Sigfox, conducted a three-month pilot project to build out an “Internet of Things” network in Prague. Results from the trial are set to be analyzed this summer and the three companies plan to decide whether to pursue a build-out covering the Czech Republic using T-Mobile-managed base stations.
In November, Sigfox picked 10 U.S. cities for its initial launch: San Fransisco, San Jose and Los Angeles, Calif.; New York; Boston; Atlanta; Austin, Houston and Dallas, Texas; and Chicago. The company has Federal Communications Commission certification to use the 902 MHz band.
San Francisco is the first city in which Sigfox will deploy. The company’s contractors are installing 30-inch whip antennas on top of the city’s library buildings, leveraging the city’s installed digital subscriber lines.