SigFox this week shared its philosophy when it comes to partnering in the Internet of Things (IoT) market.
"We are the Switzerland of IoT," said Thomas Nicholls, EVP of Communications at SigFox. "We're neutral about devices, systems integrators, software providers – we'll work with anyone."
He explained to Total Telecom during Mobile World Congress this week that one of his company's objectives in 2016 is to build new channels to market by partnering with the likes of Microsoft, and Accenture, among others.
Based in France, SigFox deploys low-power, wide-area (LPWA) networks that operate on unlicensed ISM (industrial, scientific, and medical) band spectrum. The company makes its intellectual property available at no cost to OEMs, which take it and use it as the basis for SigFox-compatible modules that can be embedded in any device.
The result is an impressive array of use case examples.
A connected beer tap that monitors the temperature of the beer, a weather vane that sends wind-speed and direction data to aspiring paragliders, and a pressure sensor that tells beekeepers when it is time to harvest honey from a hive are just some of the commercial products on show at SigFox's stand.
"We have 7 million devices registered on our network and half a million devices actually operating on the network," Nicholls said. "Some of our customers are adding more than 10,000 devices per week."
SigFox has deployed networks in Europe, North America, and Antarctica. By the end of 2016, the company plans to have networks up and running on every continent, starting with Africa, followed by Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
"Our main challenge is hiring. We have 200 people today and this year we will hire 200 more," Nicholls said, adding that SigFox can't hire new staff fast enough.
"This week I am meeting some team members for the first time."