Sigfox strikes deal with manufacturer Alps Alpine to drive IoT volumes, slash IoT costs
France based IoT connectivity provider Sigfox has formalised its working relationship with Japanese electronics manufacturer Alps Alpine, part of Alps Electric, as a ‘global alliance’ to drive up manufacturing volumes and drive down manufacturing costs of low-power wide-area (LPWA) trackers.
The pair said the deal will deliver technical innovation in the low-cost IoT market, notably for trackers and monitoring solutions running on Sigfox’s 0G-branded network, conceived as a back-up network for IoT solutions connected to sundry cellular technologies, from 2G through to 5G.
Alps Alpine with gain early access to Sigfox’s R&D projects, to streamline their collaboration on new IoT services. The pair will jointly invest in innovation, they said, including the development of low-cost IoT devices and energy harvesting technologies.
A statement from Sigfox said: “This opens up huge possibilities to roll out connected devices to the mass market, enabling businesses to accelerate their digital transformation, develop new services and create value for the market.”
Glen Robinson, chief business development officer at Sigfox, said: “We’re seeing a significant acceleration in demand for connected objects and industrial scale deployments of IoT solutions. Having a global, simple, low-cost, low-power connectivity solution is a critical success factor, and exactly the challenge Sigfox is addressing.”
Sigfox has worked with Alps Alpine since 2017. The new deal builds on their collaboration on Sigfox’s so-called Bubble Beacon for tracking luggage and other assets. They have also developed a tracking solution for Deutsche Post DHL Group, which will see 250,000 roll cages fitted with smart trackers to feed-back data about location and movement.
Robinson said they will now accelerate development and manufacturing of large volumes of connected objects.
He commented: “This partnership has unlocked innovation, scale, quality and cost potential that is enabling us to deliver digital and economic benefits for our clients that were once unattainable. By combining resources, we are realising the future of a mass, mainstream IoT, while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.”
Yasuo Sasao, chief technology officer at Alps Alpine, added: “We welcome moving to the next stage, working together to develop more professional, industrial solutions, bringing the value of the IoT to more markets. By combining our mass production and engineering capabilities with Sigfox’s low-powered network, there is no limit to what we can achieve together.”
Alps Alpine makes components for the automotive, industrial, and smartphone industries, including sensors, HMI (human-machine interfaces), switches and connectivity devices.