Sigfox undercuts AT&T, others with $2 IoT module

Image: Roy Costello/Flickr

Sigfox aims to undercut its rivals in the emerging IoT market with the introduction of “ultra-low cost” modules that start at $2 each.

The French firm said it had simplified the requirements for the new chipsets, enabling it to offer them at “a historical low.” The modules are available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for $2 each, and in Asia and the Americas for $3 each.

Indeed, Sigfox’s new chipsets appear to be significantly less expensive than some other modules on the market in these early days of the IoT. AT&T recently outlined plans to launch LTE M modules for as little as $5 each, and chips for other Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks are often in the range of $5 to $10.

Sigfox boasted that its new modules are as much as 20 times cheaper than LTE-enabled modules and five times less expensive than other competing technologies.

“As the total costs to connect devices to the IoT fall, the cost of modules becomes a key component in the equation,” David Parker of Beecham Research said in a press release distributed by Sigfox. “This announcement strengthens the IoT Service Provider approach Sigfox brings to the market, lowering the cost to connect, enabling more applications to be connected economically and further expanding the market.”

Sigfox continues to gain traction around the world as proprietary operators of IoT-centric networks increasingly compete with carriers. The company vowed earlier this year to deploy its network in 100 U.S. cities by the end of 2016, and in June Atari agreed to produce a variety of IoT products that will connect to Sigfox’s network.

Sigfox said its partners plan to launch new modules to combine its protocol with other complementary connectivity technologies including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth low energy (BLE). Those newer modules will be available early next year, the company said.

“We are delighted to be part of the Sigfox ecosystem, and its game-changing approach to device connectivity,” NXP Vice President Volker Graeger said in the press release. “These IoT modules will be catalysts for new business models and use cases that are virtually unimaginable today.”