IoT Time: Internet of Things digest

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5 Aug 2022

Sigfox South Africa has relaunched commercial services via the former SqwidNet-managed Sigfox ‘0G’ network, which covers 95% of the population and 90% of national roads. SqwidNet had been launched in November 2016 but was wound down in 2021 after reports of low customer take-up and failure to reach breakeven. The relaunched South African network company is backed by investors including Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), Discovery Insure, Fidelity ADT, Macrocomm and Buffet Investments. Henri Bong, CEO of Sigfox group backer UnaBiz, said: ‘UnaBiz is pleased to welcome Sigfox South Africa to the global 0G Network Operator community. As one of the fastest-growing IoT markets in the MEA region, Massive IoT adoption has accelerated significantly in South Africa over the last few years. We look forward to working closely with Sigfox South Africa to bring down the cost and complexity of massive IoT adoption in a vast number of sectors including energy, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, logistics, etc.’

US-based Semtech has agreed to acquire Canada’s Sierra Wireless, a prominent supplier of IoT solutions, in an all-cash transaction representing a total enterprise value of USD1.2 billion. Semtech said the deal will significantly expand its addressable market and is expected to approximately double the group’s annual revenue and create a strong, diverse portfolio of connectivity solutions for the growing IoT market. The merger brings together Semtech’s LoRa technology with Sierra’s cellular IoT to target industrial digitisation with a comprehensive chip-to-Cloud platform. Semtech expects the combination of Sierra’s cellular capabilities across its modules, gateways and managed connectivity together with Semtech’s LoRa-enabled end nodes ‘to create a uniquely differentiated IoT portfolio which will enable a plethora of new IoT use cases.’

In another IoT merger, UK-registered Telit and Euronext Paris-listed Thales jointly announced a proposed transaction whereby Telit will incorporate Thales’ cellular IoT products business, going forward as a combined company to be called Telit Cinterion, with an expanded IoT portfolio of products, services and bundles comprising hardware, software and connectivity solutions. The announcement said Telit Cinterion will leverage Thales’ expertise in IoT security across SIM technology, modules and connectivity. Under the proposed deal Thales will transfer its cellular IoT modules assets to Telit and receive a 25% stake in Telit Cinterion.

Ooredoo Qatar is foregrounding a revamped IoT vehicle tracking service, with an ‘Optimum Plan’ promotion providing advanced enterprise vehicle tracking for large fleets in ‘specifically priced high-value packages’. Solutions are aimed at taxis, delivery companies, car rental outlets, construction businesses and transport/logistics enterprises.

In New Zealand, Spark is ramping up its utility sector IoT operations, and has announced its latest deal to deploy NB-IoT network services for Dunedin City Council’s water management. A press release says the new digital-led solution will ‘improve the efficiency of the city water network by managing and monitoring water usage more effectively, saving on meter reading costs and reducing billing queries, as well as inaccuracies in the billing data for commercial residents.’

Switzerland’s Astrocast and Japan-based global IoT connectivity provider Soracom have forged a partnership to embed the Astrocast Satellite IoT (SatIoT) platform into the Soracom platform, a move which enables Soracom to offer integrators and end customers hybrid, integrated IoT connectivity options comprising satellite and cellular networks.

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Canada, France, New Zealand, Qatar, South Africa, Astrocast, Ooredoo Qatar, Semtech, Sierra Wireless, Sigfox, Sigfox South Africa, Soracom, Spark, Telit, Thales