French IoT firm Sigfox opens Dubai office for expansion to MEA

France-based Sigfox is expanding into the Middle East and Africa as the Internet of Things (IoT) specialist further ramps up its global rollout plans.

The company said it is opening an office in Dubai to manage its network rollout in the region. Mobile industry veteran Thierry Siminger, who joins Sigfox from Oberthur Technologies, has been appointed to head up the MEA operations.

Xavier Drilhon, deputy CEO of Sigfox, said the company "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."

"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," Drilhon added.

Sigfox specialises in building low-energy, low-cost wireless networks to connect all manner of objects such as electricity meters, smart watches and washing machines, providing the infrastructure that underpins the IoT.

Siminger noted there is "very strong interest in implementing the benefits of the IoT for applications such as security, asset tracking, smart cities and utility-service payments, and connecting MEA countries to a global network."

"Sigfox is the only company in the world that can do that with low-cost, low-energy-use connectivity," he claimed.

In February this year, the company raised funding of $115 million (€101 million) from investors including Telefónica to fund its global rollout. The company has now raised a total of $150 million.

The company says on its web site that its low-throughput only network is being rolled out in 60 countries within five years. Earlier in October, Italy became the tenth country to gain Sigfox network nationwide coverage after the company partnered with network operator Nettrotter.

Thomas Nicholls, EVP of communications at Sigfox, said in September that the company had deployed its network in nine countries, covering 400,000 square miles and 165 million people, with 5 million devices already registered in the network. As well as Italy, countries now covered are France, Spain, the UK and the Netherlands with networks being rolled out in Luxembourg, Portugal, Belgium, Denmark and the Czech Republic.

Nicholls added that the company would make additional announcements of partnerships in Europe, Asia, the U.S. and South America in the coming months.

For more:
- see this Sigfox release

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