Internet of Things network operator Wireless Network Devices (WND) has announced a partnership with Sigfox to build a national UK IoT network by the end of 2018.
Sigfox, the French IoT network supplier, switched from British telecommunications company Arqiva to WND earlier this week. The IoT network currently covers 30 percent of the population, mainly focused in 11 metropolitan areas.
WND will look to extend coverage to 95 percent of all the population by the end of next year and “plug the gaps” created by Arqiva’s deployment, according to Verdict.
Sigfox and WND are both seasoned deployers of IoT networks, the former having launched in the Singapore, Taiwan, and the U.S. and the latter winning several contracts for IoT networks in Latin America. This should make the push from 30 percent to 95 percent not that difficult, especially with the lack of competition from mainstream wireless carriers.
Both expect to see a surge in coverage over the next year and hopefully a similar surge in interest from the industry at large. There is also hope that the government will move from testing IoT networks to actually greenlighting and funding the commercialization of the low-power, wide-area networks.
EE, the most popular wireless carrier in the U.K., has confirmed plans to trial an IoT upgrade to its 4G LTE network by the end of the year. The carrier definitely has the advantage when it comes to spectrum, but doesn’t seem to be in a rush to blanket the UK with networking.