The French startup Sigfox, which announced plans in May to launch a network dedicated to Internet of Things (IoT) applications, is making good on its promise, going live in 10 UK cities using infrastructure from network site host Arqiva.
The network in Europe uses the unlicensed 868 MHz ISM band frequency, allowing for devices to be installed quickly. The companies say the network will make it simple and affordable to connect millions of "things," helping cities and businesses to improve services, reduce costs and protect property and people, according to a press release.
Back in May, the companies had committed to connecting 10 of the UK's largest cities within 12 months and as of this month, each of the 10 target cities have gone live, the companies report. They say that Sigfox's ultra-narrowband radio technology is particularly suited to connecting objects over long distances where a long battery life and low cost are required.
"Our network is truly unlocking the promise of the Internet of Things," said Wendy McMillan, Arqiva managing director of smart metering and machine-to-machine solutions, in the release. "Together with existing connectivity, such as street-level Wi-Fi, these cities are becoming hubs for digital innovation. A whole host of smart city and intelligent building applications can now deliver strong benefits--from smart parking and waste level monitoring through to connected smoke alarms."
The 10 cities with live sites are Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, London, Manchester and Sheffield.
One of the first sites live in southeast London is in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Greenwich will be a UK pilot in 2015 for the introduction of driverless cars.
The Financial Times reported in October that Sigfox had met with investors and wanted to raise at least $63 million to fund the building of its cellular network globally. Sigfox's connectivity solution is based on an antenna and base station infrastructure that is independent of existing networks. The goal is to roll out the low-throughput network in 60 countries within the next five years.
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