Dedicated IoT network coming to Australia, New Zealand
The global “Internet of Things” – projected to amount to more than 20 billion connections by 2020 – is taking shape with dedicated networks expanding across the globe. Sigfox is a major player in this space with dedicated IoT networks live in 14 countries and providing connectivity for some 7 million devices. In partnership with Thinxtra, Sigfox announced plans to deploy machine-specific networks in Australia and New Zealand.
Thinxtra plans to build out and operate the Sigfox network, which operates on a subscription model. Plans call for 30% population coverage by the end of the year, and 85% population coverage within 18 months.
“Australia and New Zealand businesses are early adopters of the IoT and we have already identified a huge demand for innovative applications in multiple sectors, such as asset tracking and management, smart metering for utilities, smart irrigation, crop monitoring and cattle tracking for the agriculture sector, as well as a wide range of smart city solutions,” said Loic Barancourt, CEO of Thinxtra. “As the provider of the Sigfox device-to-cloud offer, the world’s leading and most mature low-power, wide area-based IoT connectivity solution, our role is to help make these exciting opportunities a reality.”
Rodolphe Baronnet-Fruges, EVP of networks and operators for Sigfox, said the “global and turnkey connectivity solution” creates a strong value proposition. “As a Sigfox network operator and member of our ecosystem, Thinxtra will receive across-the-board support and tooling for deployment, customer service and collaboration with its partners to create and roll out new IoT solutions.”
Sigfox plans to reach deployment in 30 countries by the end of this year.
In February 2015, Sigfox posted a round of funding that brought in $115 million. Investment came from NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom and Telefonica. Sigfox, known for its low-power wide-area two-way connections, has deployed networks in France, Spain, the U.K. and the Netherlands.
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 plans to 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.