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Sigfox operator offers helping hand to start-ups

Steve Rogerson
December 7, 2017



Creative technology start-ups and SMEs in the UK wishing to develop IoT proof-of-concept ideas are being offered the access they need to begin using the Sigfox network at zero cost, says Neal Forse (pictured) CEO of Sigfox operator WMD.
 
WND says it will provide successful applicants with Sigfox gateways and ongoing network maintenance anywhere in the UK. The offer also includes installation, and licences for up to 100 device subscriptions.
 
“To truly innovate, you need to be given the space to experiment,” said Forse. “We want to ensure that start-ups and SMEs have the right tools and the right technology in place to fuel their creativity. Innovation is all too often crushed by concerns over financial viability and access to resources.”
 
WND UK says it recognises the need for small, creative IoT product and service suppliers to move quickly and take advantage of the huge potential in a market said to be worth $300bn in incremental revenue by 2020, according to Gartner.
 
“Businesses looking to capitalise on IoT need a network to develop, experiment, build and test on,” said Forse. “They shouldn’t be shackled by the expense of building and maintaining that network. The WND UK LPWAN network has a fully funded commitment to cover 94.8% of the UK by the end of 2018, providing the opportunity to scale to real-world monetisation, not just nationally in the UK, but globally through the Sigfox global network. WND UK’s coverage model is unique in that we will bring the Sigfox network to you; wherever you are and whatever your idea.”
 
Once proof-of-concept ideas have been tested and are ready for market, small businesses will be provided with continued connectivity.
 
“We wholeheartedly welcome this additional opportunity to enable start-ups and SMEs to experiment and develop novel products and services,” said Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult. “This initiative will help to nurture the UK’s talented technology sector, enabling the UK to compete in the global market place.”
 
Businesses already engaged in developing devices should find adopting the Sigfox network straightforward, as RF module vendors increasingly offer hybrid products that incorporate multiple standards. For example, device manufacturer Murata now offers a dual-mode RF module that supports both LoRa and Sigfox using the same chipset, while GCT Semiconductor recently announced an integrated single chip that will support LTE and Sigfox wireless IoT connectivity.