Sigfox, Unabiz, Korea Telecom: International IoT companies have their eyes set...

[Meet Startup] Sigfox, Unabiz, Korea Telecom: International IoT companies have their eyes set on Taiwan

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Eager to establish its industry at the forefront of the Internet of Things (IoT), the Taiwanese government is not only sponsoring domestic firms, but also creating opportunities for foreign companies to set foot on the island nation.

New operator licenses, for instance, are promoting a more transparent and competitive ecosystem that attracts even more investments. Be it French IoT pioneer Sigfox and their Singaporean ally Unabiz, or Korea Telecom, international heavyweights are investing in Taiwan and cooperating with local companies.

Sigfox’s Christophe Fourtet talks IoT and cooperation with Taiwanese companies in March, 2017. photograph: BusinessNext

Without a doubt, IoT is by now well established as core industry of the future, with governments and businesses alike pinning their hope on the relatively recent technology.

Beyond the hype, however, IoT is truly shaping up to be at the heart of daily technology. Although often unbeknownst to the average consumer, IoT suffuses daily life through sensors, devices, service providers, or home appliances.

One crucial part of the infrastructure needed for IoT low-power area networks.

The French company is represented in Taiwan by Singapore’s Unabiz, which recently received a government operator license for IoT networks on the coveted 920-925MHz spectrum.

Unabiz expects initial coverage to extend to six major cities, or approximately 80% of the island, with an increase to 95% expected by the end of next year. The rollout will enable new IoT networks in fields ranging from logistics to medical uses.

For example, remote blood glucose and blood pressure monitoring for the elderly have been largely dependent upon WiFi connectivity until now.

The new generation of IoT products enabled by Sigfox and Unabiz, much of which is already being tested in Europe, will function independent of WiFi connectivity, however. (LPWANs), which is the expertise of Sigfox.

According to Unabiz’s principal ecosystem manager Philippe Tzou, the company’s tech has wide-ranging applicability.

Tzou says they have already begun cooperating on small-scale testing with 30 manufacturers such as Hsinchu’s Industrial Technology Research Institute or Tainan University of Technology.

The rollout of new IoT networks will not be without challenges, Tzou admits, as competitors are plenty. However, the advantages of Taiwan’s industrial infrastructure combined with Sigfox and Unabiz’s technology will help drive hardware innovation. “We want to build an ecosystem and move towards building the smart city.

The alliance between Korea Telecom and Advantech intend to accelerate towards industrial networking. Later, another foreign firm investing into Taiwan’s emerging IoT industry is Korea Telecom.

The South Korean telecommunication giant recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Taiwanese industrial computer firm Advantech to cooperate on IoT solutions.

Initially, at a shareholders meeting at the end of May, Advantech expressed that it will continue to actively pursue mergers and acquisitions to expand IoT capabilities. Ultimately, they aim to provide integrated cross-industry IoT solutions.

Advantech’s cooperation with Korea Telecom includes the joint launch of the UBC-222 IoT gateway with LTE-M function. This technology is well suited to industrial applications such as field asset management, status monitoring, or predictive maintenance.

The cooperation also provides Advantech with access to Korea Telecom’s proprietary “IoTMakers” solutions, which allows for easily enabling device connection, data collection, and IoT services associated with smart city applications will focus on developing IoT gateway supporting LTE-M wireless communication technology.

Charlie Chung, general manager of Advantech Korea, says their company specializes in Solution Ready Platform (SRP) to vertically integrate hardware and software for the specific demands of customers. Chung adds that cooperation with Korea Telecom not only aligns with their SRP model, but also marks a major milestone regarding Advantech’s cooperation with telecom operators.

Such cooperation between local firms and foreign partners demonstrates the potential of Taiwan’s growing IoT industry. Be it Sigfox and Unabiz, or Korea Telecom and Advantech, industry leaders are eager to contribute their solutions to the country’s transparent, supportive ecosystem.

Journalist: Sean Scanlan / Meet Startup @ Taiwan
Original source of article:  Sigfox, Unabiz, Korea Telecom: International IoT companies have their eyes set on Taiwan(Meet Startup)

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