M2M module maker Telit has said it will collaborate with France’s Sigfox on the development of a cellular network dedicated solely to ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) services.
Based in France, Sigfox (Toulouse, France) has patented a technology called Ultra Narrow Band (UNB) and is in the process of rolling out a global cellular network that uses this standard to support M2M services.
Sigfox relies on unlicensed spectrum and needs few antennas to provide coverage, allowing it to dramatically reduce power consumption and maintenance costs.
According to a statement issued this week, Telit (London, UK) is to start working with Sigfox on developing and bringing to market M2M modules that are certified to operate on the UNB network.
The companies believe there is a large addressable market for UNB-based services, with existing connectivity solutions designed mainly to address the needs of high-bandwidth devices.
As a result, they argue, many M2M customers find that traditional cellular services throw up a number of barriers in terms of pricing, energy consumption and implementation complexity.
They claim their networking and module solutions will provide “out-of-the-box, subscription-based low-throughput connectivity … at lower prices, with lower energy consumption and leveraging very simple integration”.
“Sigfox is glad to announce the collaboration with Telit, which will speed up the IoT market growth,” said Ludovic Le Moan, Sigfox’s chief executive. “This new Telit module combines existing Telit assets with Sigfox connectivity to provide customers with a cost-effective and low energy consuming long range end-to-end connectivity solution in addition to the existing short range connectivity options, whereby customers can choose between different network connectivity solutions depending on their business or environmental constraints.”
“This new module will benefit from our network rollout, as it will become simple and optimal to connect Telit powered objects,” he added.
Sigfox’s network has so far been deployed in France, the Netherlands and Russia, but the company is planning to extend coverage to more than 60 countries within the next five years.
“With so many devices unable to connect for cost and power reasons, Sigfox is a real breakthrough for M2M,” said Felix Marchal, Telit’s chief product officer. “For the Sigfox product we are leveraging our extensive experience in power-efficient modules for scalable networks and for battery-operated devices that can communicate in coverage areas of many square kilometers.”