Sigfox , a startup based in Toulouse, France, has inked an IoT network deal to deploy its network with the City of San Francisco. This is the first of ten US cities it intends to deploy its technology in by the first quarter of 2016.
Under the IoT concept, many billions of new devices are expected to get networked in the coming years. Sigfox says that it already has 5 million devices on its nascent network, which is being deployed in ten European countries.
The company, however, has wider ambitions. It wants to eventually deploy on its technology globally. The firm has an ultra-narrow band (UNB) radio technology that will operate over the 915MHz ISM band in the US, which is currently used by some cordless home phones. Obviously, this means building an entirely new network for IoT devices on Sigfox.
Sigfox plans on spending up to $113 million to build out the network. It is also reportedly considering an IPO next year.
Why this matters There's a great deal of competition to develop and deploy a low-power wide-area network specification for IoT applications. Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC) and friends are pushing NB-LTE and there are opposing efforts, such as LoRa Alliance and more.
NB-LTE chipsets are expected to arrive in the second half of 2016. Sigfox, however, is already deploying technology and is now entering the US and might grab an early-to-market advantage over NB-LTE and other technologies.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading