The IoT, or Internet of Things, requires specific networks to avoid saturating those dedicated to computers and smartphones. Among the companies offering alternative solutions, SigFox is one of the most influential companies in the world. On Tuesday 20 June, Sigfox and IO Connect invited a large number of guests to make a long-awaited announcement: the launch of a network entirely dedicated to IOT on the Mauritian territory.
The IoT, a rapidly growing market
Bruce Chan, Managing Director of IO Connect in Reunion, began his presentation with some impressive figures for the much-hyped IOT sector. By 2020, the market is expected to be worth more than $20 billion according to CISCO. By 2050, the latter is expected to pass the $50 billion mark.
This is a growing market and Mauritian companies have understood the potential. Roger Bigaignon, the General Manager of Mascaraignes Connect has already announced the list of companies that have decided to subscribe to the local IOT network. These companies include StormEdge, Aster, Cybernaptics, Teeo, Frci and AngloAfrican.
By August 2017, the company has an ambitious plan to reach 92% of the population and cover 80% of the territory of our small island.
A “low cost” service
Mascareignes Connect is faithful to the principles of Sigfox and applies low cost tariffs. Thus, the basic price will be Rs 35 to Rs 50 per month for a basic object. The price varies according to the desired transmission of the device: the more the device must transmit, the higher the price. Eventually, Bruce Chan said that he wants to offer yearly subscriptions directly, however, we don’t have more information about the prices of these subscriptions yet.
So it’s not an expensive service that awaits you here. The brand Mascareignes Connect intends to counterbalance this low price by sales in large volumes and by proposing associated services: in particular to connect the device to the network.
The Sigfox network intends to cover the whole world
We interviewed Christophe Fourtet, Co-founder and CSO of Sigfox on why the company decided to set up in Mauritius. According to the latter, it seems logical for the global IOT network to continue its deployment worldwide.
“Our Sigfox network only makes sense if it is global, so our ambition is to cover the entire globe. We are proceeding in an orderly fashion, starting with dynamic territories, with potential, highly populated and developed. Mauritius is one of these territories, as is Reunion Island. Our local partner in Reunion is IO Connect, so it was only natural to continue with them and launch Mascareignes Connect in Mauritius” said the co-founder of the world’s first IoT network.
Sigfox, a low-bandwidth network for connected objects, has already been deployed on Reunion Island since 2016. According to Sigfox, islands and territories are suited to host this type of low-speed transmission technology for the following reasons: it is cheaper and consumes little energy. On Reunion Island, the Solynvest group, convinced of the success of this project, became a Sigfox operator and created the company IO Connect. It is therefore quite natural that the Sigfox group has again turned to the company IO Connect for a deployment of the IoT network in Mauritius, this time under the name Mascaraignes Connect.
Sigfox is a French company founded in 2009 by two engineers, Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet. Sigfox is the world’s leading IoT connectivity service, now present in 32 countries. With its global LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) network, Sigfox has revolutionized connectivity for the IoT. The company has reinvented information transmission by significantly reducing the power consumption of connected devices and their price. The Toulon-based startup has created a long-range, low-bandwidth network that allows small data communications between connected devices without using a mobile phone. It dramatically reduces the cost and energy required to securely connect physical devices to the cloud.
The three characteristics of the Sigfox network are:
- Low energy consumption. This unique connectivity solution provides transmission with very low power consumption through simplified communications. Soon, there will be no need to replace or recharge batteries, as devices will generate energy themselves.
- Low cost. With its simple approach to connectivity, Sigfox provides extremely price competitive connectivity subscriptions and, more importantly, enables extremely simple and cost effective silicon modules.
- Complementarity. Sigfox is compatible with Bluetooth, GPS 2G / 3G / 4G and Wifi.