Sigfox, the global 0G network and cloud provider for industrial data, has announced a new strategic alliance with Cube Infrastructure Managers (Cube), through the sale of its German 0G network to Cube.
Sigfox has grown its 0G IoT (Internet of Things) services by rolling out 0G networks across 72 countries and regions, which was largely achieved with partners called Sigfox Operators. These operators are the owners of the 0G networks, which they operate as exclusive connectivity providers of Sigfox IoT services, offering worldwide connectivity to customers.
The sale of the German network to Cube will allow Sigfox to finance its continued innovation efforts in data value extraction and improvements in cloud algorithms to reduce energy consumption and allow the implementation of even more cost-effective devices and sensors.
Cube Infrastructure Managers, the European infrastructure fund manager, has formed a strategic alliance with Sigfox with the acquisition of a majority stake in Heliot Europe, the owner and operator of the Sigfox 0G networks in Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein and the acquisition of Sigfox’s 0G network in Germany, which it is acquiring through Heliot Europe.
Cube is, therefore, bringing together the 0G networks of all these four countries, which will together form the largest 0G network in Europe. Cube’s objective is to accelerate the growth of this essential and exclusive IoT infrastructure in the region in joint venture with the operating management of the networks, which retains a minority stake in Heliot Europe.
What started out as Sigfox’s early disruptive 0G network, has reportedly built trust with numerous industries, which the company says have been able to “significantly improve the management of their supply inventories and product distribution, realising significant efficiency gains by capturing small messages using affordable, autonomous and long-lasting sensors”.
Rather than competing with cellular technology, Sigfox 0G has proved to complement this technology where it is not suitable thanks to devices which use far less energy and radio spectrum and cost far less. Cube’s acquisitions of Sigfox Germany and Heliot Europe mark a milestone in the IoT’s market maturity as it recognises the long-term growth potential of IoT 0G infrastructure networks. The inclusion of Cube in the Sigfox ecosystem thus confirms Sigfox’ long-thought growth strategy. It is also a milestone for the entire Sigfox ecosystem: the other Sigfox network operators, suppliers, partners and customers.
“We challenge and invite industries to evaluate the data they want to collect, to improve their business. Our goal at Sigfox, with our operators and our ecosystem partners, is to minimise data extraction costs. Sharing infrastructure is a first step toward lower TCO, and higher reliability and interoperability,” says Ludovic Le Moan, CEO and cofounder of Sigfox.
“We are known as pioneers among infrastructure funds for investing early in optic fibre infrastructure companies in Europe, long before fibre became the “fourth utility” and have over the last decade accompanied the growth of several European infrastructure operators. Today, we see the development of massive IoT as a critical enabler and driver of economic, social and environmental progress in the context of the digital transformation of our economies.
With this investment in the Heliot platform and strategic alliance with Sigfox, we are now aiming at consolidating a new communication infrastructure, harnessing its potential to enhance the competitiveness of our industries and territories, and contributing to the efficient use of public services and scarce resources consistent with our ESG objectives,” explains Henri Piganeau, managing partner at Cube Infrastructure Managers.
Thomas Scheibel, CEO at Heliot explains, “We are pleased to welcome Cube as our main shareholders to drive our vision started 2 years ago with our agreements signed with Sigfox for Austria, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The acquisition of Sigfox Germany is a key milestone in our development and we will pursue commercial development initiated by Sigfox Germany with tier one customers in the country and beyond, in retail, automotive and logistics.
This new combined 0G network from the Adriatic to the North Sea reflects our clients’ expectations and plays well to our operational strengths. We are looking to further accelerate and foster the adoption of IoT at the heart of European industry. This is made possible with the successful and entrepreneurial team already fully integrated into the Sigfox ecosystem as well as the powerful financial backing and experience of Cube Infrastructure Managers. This is also an unprecedented opportunity to reinforce our strategic and long-term alliance with Sigfox.”
“From the very beginning, Sigfox has been aiming to offer customers an ever-better service, through innovation, densification, a mature ecosystem, and a high return on investment. Selling Sigfox Germany to dedicated and long-term partners such as Heliot and Cube will allow us to keep this promise” adds Sigfox’s Le Moan. “We have built and created value to the world’s first low power network. A network built to last. This is reflected in the ever-increasing number of customers who join us every day.”