Sigfox and HERE combine to offer global location services to logistics companies
Sigfox has struck a deal with mapping company HERE to create a global internet-of-things (IoT) location service for the supply chain and logistics industry.
The deal will see Sigfox’s low-power wide-area (LPWA) network and geolocation engine supplemented Wi-Fi hotspot coverage from Dutch firm HERE, owned by an expanding consortium of mostly-German manufacturing brands, comprising Audi, BMW, Daimler-Benz and Bosch, as well as Intel.
Sigfox said customers in every market will be able to locate assets, regardless of their size or number, both indoors, including inside factories, warehouses and other buildings, and outdoors, without the need for additional infrastructure.
The partnership also expands asset-tracking opportunities for companies that could not previously afford geolocation services, it said, enabling the collection of data from assets in transit to improve operational efficiency, product quality, and service reliability.
Use cases currently in live phase include air transport, luggage and trolley management, location of stolen or missing cars, industrial asset management and location of shipping containers. Sigfox said the use of IoT asset tracking in the supply chain and logistics sector could create $1.9 trillion of economic value by 2020, quoting figures from Cisco and DHL from 2015.
Laetitia Jay, chief marketing officer at Sigfox, said: “This partnership is another major step to accomplish Sigfox’s ambitious vision to become the most competitive provider of industrial data in IoT. Locating assets while guaranteeing the lowest total cost of ownership of the solution is a key driver for logistics and supply chain industry to benefit from massive IoT business impact.”
Christophe Hamaide, a senior account executive at HERE, commented: “Our partnership with Sigfox reinforces HERE as a major player in IoT. The HERE Location Suite references billions of Wi-Fi hotspots, and through this joint initiative, we will be able to pinpoint the location of millions of connected objects all around the world in the coming years.”
The deal follows confirmation from the GSMA that Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone have completed roaming tests on NB-IoT, a licensed LPWA equivalent, in Spain and Austria; the announcement noted the importance of roaming to cross-border IoT services in the supply chain, logistics and transportation industries in particular.
Sigfox last month launched a new solution for tracking sea-freight containers with tire manufacturer Michelin and Argon Consulting. Michelin, which has participated in the development for 12 months, has already implemented the solution on Sigfox’s network.
Sigfox increased coverage in the US market by 50 per cent in 2017. Unlicensed networks, mostly based on Sigfox and LoRaWAN, make up two-thirds of LPWA networks today, according to a study of 100 LPWA networks by IoT research firm ON World. A third of the total network deployments are geared towards smart city applications, the report found.