Sigfox and ENGIE building Singapore IoT network

Internet of Things communications provider Sigfox has announced its intention to build an IoT network in Singapore, with help from Engie, an electric utility firm and UnaBiz, an IoT network operator.

Sigfox, for those unaware, provides a network that is more cost effective and efficient than traditional wireless networks. It is aimed at the Internet of Things (IoT) devices that use less data than computers and mobiles, but need to always stay online.

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Singapore is a natural choice for the French startup. The city is pushing its Smart Nation vision to businesses and there has already been quite a few IoT tests, for consumers and enterprise.

The three firms expect the network to be online by early 2017, providing coverage to the main island. Once online, businesses in the city will be able to play a flat rate per device to use Sigfox’s network; the current rate is $1 per device when over 50,000 devices are connected.

UnaBiz will be the exclusive network operator for Sigfox in Singapore. We aren’t sure if the company is owned by Sigfox, but it was only recently incorporated and doesn’t have any other public projects.

“Singapore is Sigfox’s first deployment in Asia and home to its regional headquarters,” said Meng Fai Tung, deputy director of infocomms and media for the Singapore Economic Development Board. “This is testament to Singapore’s strategic positioning as a leading global connectivity hub and a gateway for high-growth businesses to address the opportunities presented in this region.”

A catalyst for Singapore tech ecosystem?

Sigfox’s network could be the catalyst “for greater innovation in Singapore’s infocomm technology ecosystem,” said Tung.

“The IoT must have a global seamless network infrastructure to enable secure collection, transmission and sharing of that data and to address the total-cost-of-ownership barriers that delay its adoption,” Sigfox CEO, Ludovic Le Moan, said. “Based on our experience in 21 countries where our network is already present, we are confident that our proven solution and partner ecosystem will help Singapore to implement its Smart Nation Initiative quickly and successfully.”

Sigfox is rapidly expanding into new countries, in May the startup said it wants to be in 100 U.S. cities by the end of 2016. It has already launched its network in most European smart cities.

Singapore has been the testing ground for a few emerging tech tests. A drone delivery service for postage was tested last year and autonomous taxi service NuTonomy, a MIT spin out, plans to launch its service first in the city state.

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