Ireland’s first internet of things network goes live nationwide

14 Jun 2016

A low-power SIGFOX network for the internet of things has been rolled out nationwide across Ireland in less than eight months

A low-power Sigfox network for the internet of things (IoT) has been rolled out across Ireland in less than eight months by VT Networks. The network aims to connect up to 1m devices, from security sensors to factory and farm machinery and more.

Currently operating in 18 countries and registering more than 7m devices in its network, Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of a subscription-based, low-power, wide-area (LPWA) communications offer for the IoT.

This low-power network will enable communications between a plethora of future devices, from robots and smoke alarms to thermostats, smartwatches and smart interactive billboards.

So far, more than 7m devices have been registered to the Sigfox network. In the past 12 months, Sigfox has added more than 15 countries to its global coverage map and wants to be in 30 countries by year’s end.

‘They are bringing an entrepreneurial approach to implementing IoT connectivity in every sector of Ireland’

Sigfox, a French company funded to the tune of €115m last year, has forged an alliance with Irish start-up VT Networks, and the target is to connect 1m devices to this network by the end of 2017.

Ireland’s first IoT network goes live ahead of target

VT Networks succeeded in deploying the network within just eight months, ahead of target.

“The founders of VT Networks are visionary, experienced communications executives and they are bringing an entrepreneurial approach to implementing IoT connectivity in every sector of Ireland,” said Rodolphe Baronnet-Frugès, Sigfox executive vice president of networks and operators.

“We expect their experiences in Ireland will set an example for other countries as Sigfox continues its worldwide expansion.”

Earlier this year, we reported that VT Networks has raised more than €1.2m this year from entrepreneurs, including Suretank founder Patrick Joy (EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2013) and Dara O’Mahony of Dome Telecom. Both of VT’s founders, Mark Bannon and Will Ferguson, have won the Ireland’s Best Young Entrepreneur regional competition – this year and last year. VT has also been supported by Enterprise Ireland’s New Frontiers programme.

After France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Ireland is the sixth European country to complete full Sigfox network coverage.

VT is targeting Irish businesses with services that include smart metering, home solutions, security systems, smoke alarms, tracking and recovery of stolen farm assets, security sensors on gates for farmers and machine-monitoring devices.

“Irish businesses and farmers have been quick to understand the benefits that the Sigfox dedicated IoT network provides,” said Mark Bannon, CEO of VT Networks.

“We are excited to see this growing level of interest, and look forward to launching programs that further integrate the network throughout the country.”

Dublin image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years