In IoT network buildout race, Ingenu adds cities in New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee and elsewhere

Ingenu's network is now available in Albuquerque. Image: Flickr / Mr.TinDC(Flickr user Mr.TinDC)

Startup Ingenu said it has expanded its Internet of Things (IoT) wireless network in locations in New Mexico, Texas, Tennessee, Virginia and North Carolina. The company said its RPMA (Random Phase Multiple Access) network now covers a population of over 12.5 million and an area of nearly 7,000 square miles.

“There has been an abundance of development of RPMA-enabled technologies throughout the Southeast and Southwest U.S. which serve the unique needs of these markets, including agriculture, energy and transportation,” boasted Tom Gregor, president and general manager of Ingenu’s “Machine Network,” in a release from the company.

Ingenu’s latest expansion comes just a month after the company said it built out its network in its home market of San Diego. The company said it was able to cover the San Diego area with just 17 access points, a noteworthy number given the company won’t announce a market unless it can cover 90% of the population.

Ingenu added that its latest buildout covers Albuquerque, New Mexico, and that the city will add Ingenu’s IoT connectivity into its Innovate ABQ district, which Ingenu described as “a premier innovation district for researchers, inventors and entrepreneurs focused on developing smart solutions to improve city services such as transportation, parking and waste management.”

Ingenu’s latest network buildout efforts set the company further along its 2017 network buildout path. The company launched service in more than 30 metro areas in 2016, including Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Diego, and its goal is to cover 100 in 2017.

But Ingenu is facing serious competition. A wide range of players, both big and small, are also building IoT-focused wireless networks in cities across the United States, networks that promise relatively slow speeds but also inexpensive connectivity alongside reliable connections and long battery life for devices. Ingenu’s competitors in the space range from startups like Senet and Sigfox to cellular operators like AT&T and Verizon, which are each tweaking their LTE networks with LTE M technology to offer cheaper services that support wider coverage areas and better device battery life.

“The use cases for deploying IoT are increasing, the platform layer is becoming more mature, people are starting to think about standardizing functions for scale, $50K pilots are turning into $500K deployments, large scale industrial and smart city initiatives are underway,” noted analyst Chetan Sharma recently of news in the IoT space, following the recent Mobile World Congress trade show. “However, some of the basic issues haven’t changed much especially around security, privacy, and identity. Lot of work to be done. Lot of opportunities.”