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Sigfox partners Kyocera to roll out network in Japan

Steve Rogerson
April 6, 2017

Kyocera Communication has started providing IoT network services in Japan based on the Sigfox network. The service is available in Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama and Osaka, with plans to add Japan’s 36 major cities by early 2018 and nationwide by 2020 with an annual sales target of ¥10bn by 2021.
The IoT market continues to grow worldwide with the number of connected devices estimated to reach around 53 billion by 2020. However, there continue to be barriers to mass adoption for use in locations with no electric power source, especially for applications such as sensors with extremely low data volumes. To address those issues, Kyocera is deploying the Sigfox LPWA network which has low costs and long battery life — two barriers to entry for many companies in Japan seeking to leverage mass IoT.
This partnership marks the first availability of the Sigfox network in the Japanese market, which is the third largest IoT market in the world behind the USA and China. 
Kyocera has formed partnerships with around 70 companies from various fields such as device makers and IoT service providers. The Sigfox network will target the following IoT services and applications in Japan:

  • Utilities: Remote meter reading and water leakage detection;
  • Retail: Remote monitoring for vending machine repair and restocking;
  • Environmental: Monitoring for temperature, precipitation, wind and river levels;
  • Logistics and transportation: Container, pallet and chassis location information management;
  • Assets: Tracking and tracing rental equipment in case of loss or theft;
  • Medical: MHealth applications such as data collection and monitoring, and monitoring of the elderly, children and pets; and
  • Agricultural: Monitoring of greenhouse temperature and humidity, soil condition monitoring, and machinery management.
An early application being deployed and tested is a smart parking system using Optex’s vehicle detection sensors to notify a cloud server of the status of each parking space. And Ai-Cynap is working on a temperature monitoring application for improving food quality.