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Sigfox brings coverage to Mexico City

Steve Rogerson
July 7, 2016
With two partners, Sigfox is extending its IoT deployment in Latin America, and bringing coverage to Mexico City, one of the world’s largest markets for smart-city applications. The partners expect citywide coverage by the end of 2016 and nationwide service availability in the coming months.
IotNet Mexico, the exclusive Sigfox network operator (SNO) in the country, will also focus initially on applications for utilities such as remote metering for water and gas and residential electricity.
“With the addition of Mexico, Sigfox and its network operator partners are currently deploying the Sigfox network in countries totalling one billion people, with one third of this population under effective coverage today,” said Rodolphe Baronnet-Frugès, Sigfox executive vice president for networks and operators.
Machina Research says Mexico City, with a population of 21 million, will represent one-third of all low-power, wide-area (LPWA) connections in the country. The partners expect city-wide coverage by the end of 2016 and nationwide service availability shortly thereafter.
“As part of a group that is providing utility services to major Mexican companies and is deploying the first metering-as-a-service in the country, we made an extensive comparison of the available LPWA and cellular technologies and concluded Sigfox was superior in simplicity, choice of hardware vendors and ecosystem support,” said Daniel Guevara, CEO of IotNet Mexico. “But more than that, we chose them for their disruptive business model and their versatile global ecosystem that helps SNOs and their customers quickly implement the IoT.”
Sigfox’s rapidly growing network, which is now present in all continents, is said to provide simple, reliable, energy-efficient and cost-effective connectivity for devices that communicate small messages to the cloud. Its dedicated service is tailored for smart cities, smart buildings, asset tracking, remote monitoring, utility metering and multiple other applications that will make up the vast majority of IoT use cases.
As Sigfox accelerates its Latin American deployment, which started in Brazil in April, Mexico becomes the 21st country to roll out the network. With these two countries alone, Sigfox will be able to address 53 per cent of the Latin American territory and 56 per cent of its population.
IotNet Mexico is partnering with WND, the company launched to extend Sigfox’s network across Latin America, to provide connectivity throughout Mexico. WND, founded by Chris Bataillard, an entrepreneur and active founder, investor and advisor at several telecommunications and high-tech companies, kicked off the Latin America expansion with Brazil two months ago.
“The Sigfox network will help unlock the promise of the internet of things across Mexico, because it is simple, fast and affordable to connect millions of devices that will share their data over multiple applications,” said Bataillard. “By deploying the Sigfox network in Mexico with IotNet Mexico, we are substantially increasing the scale of the deployments in the region to reduce even further the costs of bringing this network to cities and businesses who are committed to delivering value added IoT services in Latin America.”
French company Éolane has introduced a Sigfox reference design module based on Silicon Labs’ EZR32 wireless microcontroller, which combines a sub-GHz transceiver with an ARM Cortex-M3 MCU. The reference design module has -128dBm sensitivity (154dbm link budget) and bi-directional communications at 100bit/s uplink and 600bit/s downlink. The 18 by 26mm module provides a complete wireless sensor for space-sensitive applications.
Complementing the reference design module, Éolane supplies a Sigfox development kit that combines various sensors including GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, temperature sensors, hygrometry and humidity sensors, and magnetic sensors with popular MCU interfaces such as uart, USB and I2C and an open-source, Eclipse-based software development environment that enables easy access and monitoring of the sensors embedded in the kit.
“We have great ambitions for the IoT market, where we expect to see high growth opportunities as we move up the value chain by partnering with industry leaders like Sigfox and Silicon Labs,” said Régis Lauret, marketing director, at Éolane. “As a leading player in connected ecosystems and intelligent objects, we offer a wide range for the IoT, from wireless sensor platforms to cloud computing, addressing a variety of applications and use cases while anticipating new services in the future.”