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LoRa and Sigfox announce LPWANs in Netherlands and Singapore

KPN LoRa work

The low power IoT network roll-outs continue to gather pace with KPN launching a LoRa one in the Netherlands and a Sigfox one being unveiled in Singapore.

The Dutch LPWAN launch was announced by LoRa startup Actility today, but had previously been flagged up by KPN at the end of June. They claim it’s the world’s first nationwide LoRa network, although SK Telecom may have something to say about that. They have installed hundreds of LoRa antennas around the country, with Rotterdam and The Hague being the first to go live.

“We congratulate KPN on being first in the world, thanks to their extremely efficient and successful roll-out across the Netherlands, said Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “KPN is a true pioneer and has made good on its ambition to turn the whole country into a smart nation, connecting cities and rural areas, and making life a little smarter for all its inhabitants.”

“Last year we identified an increasing demand for low-power network technology for Internet of Things applications,” said KPN COO Joost Farwerck. “We are responding to this by choosing LoRa, so millions of devices can be connected to the internet in a cost-effective manner. In less than a year KPN has implemented a network that allows us to satisfy this market demand.”

Meanwhile proprietary IoT company Sigfox has teamed up with Engie (which has a minority stake in Sigfox) and startup Unabiz to deploy an LPWAN in Singapore. This announcement is reminiscent of the recent Mexico City Sigfox announcement in that it it focused specifically on a large city and involves an exclusive relationship with a local startup.

“Singapore is Sigfox’s first deployment in Asia and home to its regional headquarters,” said Meng Fai Tung of 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.”

“The rollout of Sigfox’s global network in Singapore with Engie and UnaBiz marks an important milestone in strengthening Singapore as a Smart Nation and global player in the Internet of Things. This partnership is a significant addition to Singapore’s digital infrastructure, and a catalyst for greater innovation in Singapore’s infocomm technology ecosystem.”

Lastly Vodafone continues to be the most active cheerleader for licensed NB-IoT technology. In a recent blog post Luke Ibbetson, Group Director of R&D at Vodafone claimed that work on NB-IoT could have the additional benefit of serving up some early 5G features, such as extended coverage, massive connectivity and low latency.

“We expect the commercial roll-out of NB-IoT from early 2017 to be fast and with the coverage needed to support the demand for connected devices,” blogged Ibbetson. “There is a clear path to upgrade networks to use NB-IoT. Vodafone estimates that 85%   of its 4G base stations in Europe will be able to support NB-IoT with a software upgrade.”


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