Serving the “Internet of Difficult Things to Reach” is how the Sigfox network could be described. Sigfox has an aim to cover the world with its IoT network and, according to Sigfox’s Kristi Mason, already covers 20% of the U.S. population. Of course, their target population isn’t people, but the things – particularly things associated with infrastructure – that people depend upon daily.
Using the 900 MHz ISM band, combined with purpose-built sensors, their lower power, wide-area network is operating in some challenging environments that until now would have been impractical to serve. For example, Mason describes an application where a water department is able to use the network to remotely monitor salt concentrations in sewer lines.
Sigfox has an ecosystem, starting at the chip-level through modules through an array of sensors. Products include everything from connected, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) protective cabinets to parking space sensors to bike trackers to soil moisture sensors. They have ecosystem solution partners that provide complete solutions to given problem, such as one that efficiently deals with garbage collection.
And, although they have already built out a network that serves a relatively larger part of the U.S. population, it represents only a fraction of the U.S. geographic area. In other countries, they have partnered with operators, such as Telefonica in Spain, to extend their network. In that light, partnering with the rural operators in Viodi View’s audience might be a way for Sigfox to extend their network and create the local relationships necessary to make their IoT network truly ubiquitous.
For an excellent overview of the technology behind Sigfox, as well as a comparison to the LoRa WAN approach for narrow-band IoT networking, please see Alan Weissberger’s article at: