Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Sigfox partners Alps Alpine to drive IoT innovation

Steve Rogerson
September 5, 2019



IoT service provider Sigfox has entered a partnership with electronics manufacturer Alps Alpine to drive forward technical innovation and expand their combined reach.
 
Alps Alpine, formed earlier this year following a takeover of Alpine Electronics by Japanese firm Alps Electric, is a manufacturer of components including sensors, HMIs (human-machine interfaces), switches and connectivity devices to the automotive, industrial and smartphone industries.
 
The alliance combines Sigfox’s 0G network, which uses little energy to connect billions of devices, with Alps Alpine’s mass production capabilities. This opens up possibilities to roll out connected devices to the mass market, enabling businesses to accelerate their digital transformation, develop services and create value for the market.
 
The alliance will speed up the adoption of connected devices by providing Alps Alpine with early access to Sigfox’s R&D projects, allowing them to co-develop services. It could encourage joint investment in innovation, including the development of small, low-cost devices and energy harvesting technologies
 
The two companies have already agreed on the common development of Sigfox’s Bubble Beacon tag for luggage and asset tracking. Bubbles are small devices that can be placed anywhere in a matter of seconds. These low-cost, low-energy bubbles make it easy to track accurately the location of anything from luggage to pallets.
 
"We're seeing a significant acceleration in demand for connected objects and industrial scale deployments of IoT,” said Glen Robinson, chief business development officer at Sigfox. “Having global, simple, low-cost, low-power connectivity is a critical success factor, and exactly the challenge that Sigfox is addressing right now. We’re delighted to announce our partnership with Alps Alpine, which is fast-tracking joint development and manufacturing of large volumes of high-quality connected objects.”
 
He said the partnership had unlocked innovation, scale, quality and cost potential to let Sigfox deliver digital and economic benefits for its clients that were once unattainable.
 
“By combining resources, we are realising the future of a mass, mainstream IoT, while pushing the boundaries of what’s possible,” said Robinson.
 
Sigfox and Alpine have already proved the value of their collaboration. Since 2017, they have partnered on common customer projects and earlier this year they launched a tracking system for Deutsche Post DHL Group. It will see 250,000 roll cages fitted with smart trackers to provide accurate information about their location and movements.
 
“Sigfox has already proven to be a trusted partner in delivering accurate, reliable solutions,” said Yasuo Sasao, chief technology officer at Alps Alpine. “We welcome moving onto the next stage, working together to develop more professional, industrial solutions, bringing the value of the IoT to more markets. By combining our mass production and engineering capabilities with Sigfox’s low-powered network, there is no limit to what we can achieve together.”
 
The Sigfox network is available in 60 countries, with one billion people covered. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in France and has offices in Madrid, Munich, Boston, Dallas, San Jose, Dubai, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.
 
In January 2019, Alps Electric and Alpine Electronics integrated their businesses and started out afresh as Alps Alpine with 42,289 employees.