Sigfox Customer Verisure Eyes NB-IoT

Sigfox customer Verisure Securitas Direct is assessing other connectivity options to support its security offerings, but insists it is "very satisfied" with the Sigfox technology.

The security company is one of Sigfox's biggest customers, accounting for about 1.2 million of the 7 million connections the French IoT player is under contract to provide internationally.

Verisure provided emailed comments to Light Reading following criticism of Sigfox by Nigiloc, another customer that develops tracking gadgets for bicycles, and amid growing competition in the market for so-called low-power, wide-area (LPWA) connectivity solutions.

These technologies are typically used to support devices that transmit relatively small amounts of bandwidth, depend on low-cost platforms and may be operational for many years.

Sigfox faces a particular challenge from a rival technology called LoRa, which similarly uses unlicensed spectrum. It is also under threat from LPWA technologies the cellular communications industry has been developing based on licensed frequency bands, such as NB-IoT.

Verisure said it would consider using NB-IoT and LTE-M, another 3GPP-backed standard, if those technologies can add value to its products and services.

The company seems keen to avoid becoming overly dependent on a single technology, arguing that a "mixed approach makes any connectivity problems incredibly unlikely."

Even so, it expressed considerable happiness with Sigfox, which it is using to provide anti-jamming protection for customers of its security systems.

Verisure appears to have settled on Sigfox partly because its technology is compatible with the transceivers used in devices installed on customer premises in France and Spain.

"This allows us to offer upgrades through firmware updates," said a spokesperson for Verisure. "In our view, Sigfox also presented better jamming resistance and maturity."

The feedback is in stark contrast to that from French startup Nigiloc, which recently complained that Sigfox's technology did not meet its quality standards during geolocation testing. (See Sigfox Said to Face Customer Backlash.)

Nigiloc CEO Gilbert Wilhelm told Light Reading he believes Sigfox is a "good product for non-moving IoT" but has shortcomings when used to support applications requiring mobility.

Want to know more about the Internet of Things? Check out our dedicated IoT content channel here on Light Reading.

Verisure would not confirm whether LoRa is one of the connectivity options it is now assessing, saying only that it is "looking at a variety of technologies… but can't name them at this stage."

While the inclusion of either LoRa or a 3GPP-backed standard in its portfolio could restrict future opportunities for Sigfox, Verisure insisted the relationship was on solid ground.

"We will continue to work in close partnership with the company [Sigfox] to develop future applications that match our customers' needs and our business interests," said Verisure's spokesperson.

Verisure declined to indicate how many connections Sigfox is currently supporting but said the "majority of our portfolio has Sigfox connectivity installed and this portfolio grows at a very impressive rate each year."

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

msilbey 8/8/2016 | 1:40:30 PM
How many can survive? How many of these technologies can realistically survive? No company will want to put all its eggs in one basket, but the trend lines in general haven't looked good for Sigfox of late. 
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