Sigfox headhunts Siminger to take IoT into Middle East and Africa

IoT specialist Sigfox has announced expansion into the Middle East and Africa (MEA) with a new office in Dubai and a rollout of more wireless network capacity to support its low-power devices.

The company’s MEA operations will be led by 20 year mobile-telecom veteran Thierry Siminger, as Sigfox’s president for the region. The move is part of a ramped up global expansion of Sigfox’s IoT offerings, following the company’s network rollout in 10 major US metropolitan areas.

Siminger was recruited from mobile security specialist Oberthur Technologies for his knowledge of the region. Siminger was Oberthur’s president for Russia, Middle East and Africa (RMEA). In a previous guise, he was MD for the EMEA operations for Gemplus (now Gemalto).

The MEA nations need the benefits of the Internet of Things for applications like security, asset tracking, smart cities and utility-service payments, according to Siminger. In his experience, the MEA countries are desperate to connect to a global network. “Sigfox is the only company in the world that can do that with low-cost, low-energy-use connectivity,” said Siminger.

Sigfox specialises in high-bandwidth systems with economical, energy-efficient two-way transmission of small quantities of data over long distances. It targets IoT and M2M contracts where extending the battery and service life of connected devices is a priority. Its current footprint covers nine countries and one million square kilometres of land, with five million connected devices offering services to support a population of 165 million people.

Its corporate headquarters are to remain in Labège, France, but the company now has offices in Paris, Boston, Dubai, Madrid and San Francisco.

“Sigfox has always planned to build a dedicated Internet of Things network that covers the world and provides ubiquitous and seamless connectivity to billions of objects that will use the IoT,” said Xavier Drilhon, Sigfox deputy CEO. “The Middle East and Africa region is a logical next step in that strategy, and our business-development work in those countries has built a strong foundation for our continued rapid global expansion.”

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