Dubai Electric and Water Authority appoints Sigfox-owner Unabiz for ‘unified LPWAN’
Singapore-based Unabiz, owner of Sigfox, has entered the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through a deal with InfraX, a subsidiary of Digital DEWA, the digital arm of public service infrastructure company Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Unabiz is to make “custom designed IoT solutions” for InfraX, to connect to LoRa/LoRaWAN, LTE-M, NB-IoT, as well as Sigfox, as required. Unabiz is pursuing an agenda to combine low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) technologies under a ‘unified LPWAN’ umbrella.
Digital DEWA is licensed as a national IoT service provider by the Digital Government Regulatory Authority, the federal telecoms regulator in UAE. Sigfox coverage is available in most of the populous northeastern part of UAE, going between Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras al Khaimah, Madha, Sohar, and Al Ain. The Sigfox network in UAE is operated by iWire. However, the deal represents Unabiz’s first entry into the market.
The pair signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) “on the sidelines” at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX Global 2022) in Dubai this week. Rashid Alahmedi, chief operating officer at InfraX, and Philippe Chiu, co-founder and co-chief executive at Unabiz, put their signatures against the provisional deal. Alahmedi said the deal spells “future progress” in the region, and also “enhanced disruption in the IoT space”.
The agreement is for “energy-efficient, scalable and simple to deploy” IoT solutions; the connectivity component is not prescribed, except by the demands and constraints of use cases, the implication goes. The Unabiz boilerplate, it might be noted, declares the firm to “specialise in sensor product design, manufacturing, and data platform services across a hybrid of low-power wide-area (LPWA) technologies such as Sigfox, LTE-M, NB-IoT and LoRa”.
Alahmedi commented: “InfraX works in alignment with the directives of… the UAE… to accelerate the growth and development of smart cities and digital transformation… Our partnership with Unabiz is… to offer meaningful and robust IoT solutions that will enable clients to achieve operational efficiencies through big data, analytics, and automation.”
Chiu said: “UnaBiz is pleased to… bring its… IoT solutions to the UAE region. Digital DEWA is a strong and reliable alliance for UnaBiz… and we look forward to working with its partners and customers to leverage Sigfox and other LPWA technologies to create meaningful and disruptive solutions.”