Sigfox attracts healthcare-sector interest as footprint grows

Sigfox claims to be at work on deploying the world’s first Internet of Things network in Spain, and says its service is already attracting plenty of interest from sectors including healthcare.

Promoting itself as the world’s only cellular operator dedicated solely to M2M services, Sigfox (Labege, France) has teamed up with infrastructure provider Abertis (Barcelona, Spain) to launch its network in Spain.

The company launched services in France about 18 months ago and has subsequently expanded its network footprint to the Netherlands and Russia.

It describes Abertis as an ideal partner for its Spanish deployment thanks to the infrastructure company’s extensive network of telecoms towers.

Sigfox says that the Abertis wholesale offering will also be key to developing the local ecosystem in a wide range of Internet of Things sectors.

It said the partnership would allow it to support two-way connectivity services and that companies in sectors including energy, environmental monitoring, security, transport and healthcare are showing an increasing level of interest in its offering.

Sigfox also expects the network extension to spur enthusiasm among existing clients looking to distribute solutions in new markets.

News of the tie-up follows months of close collaboration and knowledge exchange between the two companies, indicated Sigfox.

It reckons its service will remove the “cost and energy consumption barriers currently blocking the full realization of the Internet of Things”, arguing that M2M services need a tailor-made network offering low energy consumption and simplicity of use.

A number of mainstream network operators – including US operators AT&T and Verizon Wireless – appear to be moving in the opposite direction, launching M2M services on high-speed 4G networks.

Analysts have also suggested the 4G M2M market will take off as equipment prices fall and network coverage grows.

Sigfox says network rollout in Spain will begin this month, and that both Abertis and Sigfox are already advising customers on the ecosystem as they deploy the technology.