Internet of Things? French SigFox Wants a Dedicated Network
It seems obvious that the Internet of Things (which we at the Dose are so clearly excited about) will run on cellular networks that connect our mobile devices. The networks are already in place, and they are doing a wonderful job thus far. So the question is why French startup SigFox wants to build an alternate network solely for our "things." The answer lies in the unique data requirements of machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. Unlike a smartphone, something like a connected shipping container (which uses GPS to track its position) or a smart-streetlight do not require constant data connectivity. A container may need a brief connection only once a day, while a streetlight may have to have one when there is a malfunction. SigFox believes it makes much more sense for these to connect to a network that supports billions of devices that require relatively little data at discrete intervals. Imagine how valuable a completely connected fleet of vending machines could be to a beverage company if the cost were as low as $1 per machine. Fragmented connection technologies are perhaps the largest roadblock for the rise of a true Internet of Things. Is a solution like SigFox's the bulldozer we've been waiting for?