Sigfox to expand IoT network infrastructure outside France
From the time Sigfox debuted in 2010, it has rolled out a number of Internet-of-Things (IoT) radio networks. The France-based company licenses its ultra-long distance and high-sensitivity protocol stack for IoT communications and provides IoT data management via the cloud, with particularly low cost low-bandwidth communications data plans.
Together with Worldsensing, it has recently announced the rollout of what it claims to be the world's largest intelligent parking in Moscow, Fastprk. Fastprk relies on 15,000 sensors deployed over a two-year operation with Micronet, Sigfox's network operator for Russia.
The rugged magnetic sensors are buried in the center of each parking space, embedded into the tarmac, and communicate wirelessly to gateways (each gateway covers a 1km2 area for data collection). The sensor nodes are powered by long lasting batteries that require replacement every 3-5 years.
The intelligent parking allows users to find a parking spot via a mobile app or through electronic street panels. The solution is said to facilitate the management of urban parking areas by providing information about the most frequented areas and times of the day.
What's more, by reducing the time to find parking, traffic density is reduced and the user saves fuel and time, hence reducing CO2 emissions and alleviating city contamination.
While Sigfox will not communicate on its sales, Thomas Nicholls, who defines himself as IoT Evangelist and Business Developer at Sigfox, said the company has about 100,000 devices communicating on its IoT network, with many more in development.
"One of the advantages of the Sigfox protocol stack is that it is compatible with existing transceivers from Texas Instruments, Silicon Labs, Semtech and Atmel, with pre-built modules available from the like of Telit and Avnet-Memec (the latter distributing modules from Telecom Design)," commented Nicholls in an email exchange, which makes the technology readily available for more rollouts.
"The rollout is advancing quickly. We currently have France, the Netherlands and Moscow covered, and we'll shortly announce other major European countries. We have pilots in many countries, spanning several continents and we are actively looking for new network partners to connect new countries to the global network," Nicholls added.
Talking about the Fastprk project, Sigfox's VP of Global Sales Jaap Groot expects Micronet to roll out many more IoT projects in Russia, with a growing number of sensors. Sigfox likes to promote itself as the "Twitter of wireless communications," that is, connecting remote objects with low data requirements at a very low cost.
- Julien Happich
EE Times Europe
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