French IoT Startup To Expand U.S. Presence
SigFox, the French startup company known for its dedicated cellular networks for Internet of Things (IoT) objects, is taking steps to establish itself in the United States.
The company, which has its U.S. headquarters in Boston, said that it will bring its services to 100 cities in tandem with strategic site owners that it hasn’t yet named. The initiative will include a total of 230,000 tower, rooftop and billboard sites.
Partnering on Connectivity
Based in Labege, France, SigFox cited the United States’ status as a growth market for IoT connectivity, especially in connected cities, utilities, shipping and agriculture sectors that require large-scale and cost-effective communication. IoT technology is being used to enhance many connected products, including household appliances, factory robots, interactive billboards and municipal traffic systems.
SigFox said partnerships with owners of tower, rooftop and billboard sites will let it leverage existing sites to rapidly deploy its out-of-the-box connectivity product in the U.S. market, allowing billions of additional devices to participate in the benefits of IoT. The company has raised more than $150 million in funding from backers that include Telefonica, Air Liquide and Samsung.
Two years ago, before it garnered that level of investment, SigFox set up a network in San Francisco and the surrounding area. Earlier this year, the company said it would expand to the 10 biggest cities in the U.S. SigFox is now in some 18 countries with about 7 million devices already on its network, according to the company.
Aims To Conquer IoT Market
Last month, the company also announced an expansion into Latin America, with network deployment underway in Brazil. SigFox’s stated goal is to establish one global, seamless network that provides connectivity for billions of objects.
According to forecasts from IDC, North America will have the world’s third-largest installed base of IoT units -- 7.5 billion -- and the third-largest market for IoT-generated revenue at $1.9 trillion by 2020.
SigFox was one of the first companies to explore the idea of creating dedicated networks for IoT traffic, but so far its belief in the technology hasn’t made the company rich. Its 2015 sales were only about $5 million. SigFox is counting on cornering as much of the growing IoT market as it can so that the scale of its coverage leads to a firm share of the market. That could be a challenge as traditional cellular carriers work to upgrade 5G technology to compete with dedicated IoT networks.
That’s not to mention competition from tech behemoths such as Microsoft, which earlier this week bought Italian IoT company Solair. Built on Microsoft's Azure cloud platform, Solair's products aim to help businesses in any industry run their operations efficiently and profitably using IoT.
Posted: 2016-05-06 @ 1:33am PT
Microsoft is also a Sigfox partner.