Sigfox appoints former Areva chief as president

French M2M player Sigfox has hired Anne Lauvergeon, the former chief executive of nuclear energy provider Areva, as its new president.

Sigfox (Toulouse, France) currently employs just 60 people and describes its mission as building a global network that is specifically intended to support M2M and Internet of Things (IoT) services.

The company believes it can remove “cost and energy barriers of connectivity for low-throughput devices” and thereby provide lower-cost services to M2M customers than mainstream operators using existing 2G, 3G and 4G networks to satisfy M2M demand.

Even so, despite concern among some M2M customers that lower-bandwidth connections are to be phased out in coming years, several analysts believe that 4G LTE will become the preferred standard for M2M communications as costs fall and networks increase their coverage.

Meanwhile, some M2M players expect to see growth in the adoption of more advanced applications that place greater demands on infrastructure.

Having launched services in France, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain, Sigfox currently claims to support five million connections and is preparing for an initial public offering.

It has so far raised €27 million ($37 million) in funding from a range of investors, including Intel Capital (Santa Clara, CA, USA), the venture capital arm of the semiconductor giant, which is attaching increasing importance to IoT opportunities.

Ludovic Le Moan, Sigfox’s chief executive, said the appointment of Lauvergeon should help the company to accelerate its industrial and international development, noting that she was elected unanimously by Sigfox’s general assembly during a recent meeting.

Lauvergeon said she was attracted to Sigfox because of the “innovative infrastructure” it had developed in anticipation of growth in the M2M marketplace.

In Spain, Sigfox says it is already attracting interest from numerous sectors, including energy, smart cities, environmental monitoring, security healthcare and transport, while in Russia it has already begun to support intelligent parking services in Moscow.

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