French IoT network provider Sigfox announced a partnership with Taiwanese manufacturer Advantech on Tuesday. The deal, revealed by Sigfox CEO and founder Ludovic Le Moan at the Taipei International Convention Center, included the launch of Sigfox’s IoT network in Taiwan and an agreement for Advantech to build all new base stations.
The entry into Taiwan comes one month after Sigfox announced plans to move into Singapore, showing the company’s pivot to the Asian markets after establishing itself in Europe and the U.S. earlier in the year.
Advantech plans to build 450 base stations for the IoT network, enough to cover the entire island. The network uses unlicensed radio spectrum, so it should be allowed to operate without government approval.
Taiwan a leader in IoT devices
Sigfox has quickly become a favorite among IoT providers, due to the network being inexpensive and scalable. After 50,000 devices, each device costs an average of $1 to add to the network; a rate much lower than traditional IoT network providers.
“Sigfox’s network technology is inexpensive, consumes little power and works over long distances,” said president of Advantech, Chaney Ho. “Taiwan will become the leading manufacturing country in iot devices,” he added.
Asia is expected to become the largest market for low-power wide area (LPWA) networks by 2017, overtaking Europe. Sigfox is making a move well in advance to secure its place in the conversation, though it is still yet to crack the major market in Asia, China.
China’s government can often times be overbearing to foreign firms, especially if it wants to build infrastructure in the country. Several major tech firms are still banned from the country, including Facebook and most of Google’s services.
Regardless of its ability to enter the Chinese market, Sigfox is making its mark in the Asian market. It appears to be going for the Asian tiger markets first, before entering into massive countries like India and Indonesia.