French IIoT firm Sigfox escalate plans to expand into the US

Daniel Butler
Sun, 27 May 2018
Email Author

French IIoT company Sigfox, who develop wireless-communication networks, has escalated its plans to expand its reach to the US, putting them in direct competition with native players such as Verizon and AT&T.

 After having previously stated it would implement networks in 10 US cities, Sigfox now intend to connect millions of sensors in over 100 US cities by the end of 2016.

Sigfox is unique in that it doesn’t rely on traditional cellular technology to connect sensors to the Internet. Its framework just doesn’t need the high speeds and bandwidth that its competitors, such as smartphone networks, were intended for.

 With the global population expected to reach 10 billion in 2020, the pressure put on tackling climate change and managing the earth’s resources will only grow greater. The approach to protecting the environment demands multifaceted solutions, which is where the multifaceted applications of the IIoT can play a crucial role.

Sigfox’s approach uses radio frequencies that can transmit short bursts of data over vast distances while functioning at a low power rate. This system is ideal for transmitting readings and instructions back and forth between devices such as electricity meters or home security motion sensors, which need to be continuously on and emit small amounts of data.

 This low-power facet is essential for the IIoT, as many of the devices being connected to the Internet may not have access to the electricity grid. Prolonged battery life is therefore a boon within the IIoT industry.

 “The US is a huge growth market for Internet of Things connectivity, especially in smart cities, utilities, shipping and agriculture sectors that require large-scale and cost-effective communication,” explain Allen Proithis, Sigfox’s North America president.

“Sigfox is attempting to capitalise on what it sees as surging demand for smart devices in the IIoT industry,” said Charles King, Head of IIoT at Challenge Advisory. “It is reacting to forecasts from high-tech market research firm IDC who predict that revenue generated from the US IIoT industry will hit $1.9 trillion by 2020”.

Sigfox’s expansion is founded on deals made with the owners of properties such as pylons and rooftops where they can situate their devices and infrastructure. It states these agreements grant it access to over 200,000 such sites all over the US.

 They have also just announced a joint venture with another French telecoms group Altice, who have recently purchased Suddenlink Communications and have also been approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to buy US cable TV company Cablevision.

This will permit Sigfox to expand further into the US market, as Altice is preparing to incorporate Sigfox’s connectivity technology into its networks all over the world.