Finland to deploy national Sigfox IoT network

Internet of things service provider Sigfox has announced plans to extend its global network across Finland by 2017

Sigfox, a provider of global communications networks to support the internet of things (IoT), plans to deploy a national IoT network in Finland within 12 months, working alongside local partner Connected Finland.

The two suppliers will roll out a low-power wide area network (LPWAN) within the next few months, with key urban centres going live before the end of 2016. Sigfox claimed the network could cover 85% of Finland by spring 2017.

The Finnish project mirrors other Sigfox-based networks that are being constructed across Europe, including in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, and the UK, where the France-based firm has partnered with wireless comms specialist Arqiva.

“Finland is one of the world’s most competitive economies, with a strong focus on innovation and adopting new technologies in such fields as electronics and telecommunications,” said Rodolphe Baronnet-Frugès, Sigfox’s executive vice-president of networks and operators.

“This positions the country to become a European leader in terms of quick adoption of the IoT and invention of exciting new applications for industry, business and personal use. We have seen this entrepreneurial spirit demonstrated strongly by our partner, Connected Finland.”

Connected Finland, which was set up by network operator veterans Markku Patronen, Marko Vanninen and Tom Lindblad and is backed by a mixture of industrial equity and angel investors, will own and operate the finished network.

“There is a very clear and urgent need in Finland for Sigfox’s energy-efficient and low-cost IoT solution,” said Patronen. “It can open a huge number of exciting new use cases in sectors such as insurance, smart cities, smart buildings, asset tracking, safety and security, transportation and industry.”

Connected Finland said the presence of a national IoT network would bring new opportunities for Finnish device and solution providers to develop future IoT use cases.

It has already enlisted Helsinki Ventures, a local ‘boutique’ accelerator, to work on a developer programme in Finland.

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Separately, the City of Tampere, the Tampere Region Economic Development Agency and Invest in Finland have launched a campaign to attract investment into Finland’s advanced mobile sector.

The campaign was set up following Microsoft’s announcement last month that it was cutting a swathe of jobs at Microsoft Mobile, formerly the Nokia smartphone business, across Finland.

The consortium said this meant more than 1,000 IT professionals would soon be entering the jobs market, and it talked up opportunities for companies looking to build mobile solutions quickly.

“There is a unique opportunity to acquire fully-functioning product creation teams to develop advanced connected products,” said the campaigners.

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