‘Network for nothing’ – Small businesses offered Sigfox gateways, installation, maintenance and connectivity for up to 100 device subscriptions anywhere in the UK…at no cost
Creative technology start-ups and SMEs wishing to develop IoT proof-of-concept (PoC) ideas are being offered the network access they need to begin using the Sigfox network at zero cost. WND UK 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.
Commenting on the announcement, Neal Forse, chief executive of WND UK, said: “To truly innovate, you need to be given the space to experiment. 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.”
Forse continued: “Businesses looking to capitalise on IoT need a network to develop, experiment, build and test on. 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 per cent of the UK by end 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.”
WND UK 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 $300 bn in incremental revenue by 2020, according to Gartner.
Once PoCs have been tested and are ready for market, small businesses will be provided with continued connectivity, and benefit from the UK’s most advanced, fully supported LPWAN network.
Commenting on WND UK’s announcement, Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO Digital Catapult, said: “We wholeheartedly welcome this additional opportunity to enable start-ups and SMEs to experiment and develop novel products and services. This initiative will help to nurture the UK’s talented technology sector, enabling the UK to compete in the global market place.”
Device trends towards supporting multiple standards
Businesses already engaged in developing devices should find adopting the Sigfox network straightforward, as RF module vendors increasingly offer hybrid solutions 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 a highly integrated single chip that will support LTE and Sigfox wireless IoT connectivity.