Two rival non-cellular IoT technologies are set to become cross-compatible thanks to a new partnership between their respective backers.

Nick Wood

April 20, 2023

3 Min Read
Sigfox and LoRa come together in unlicensed matrimony
Communication network concept. IoT (Internet of Things). Telecommunication.

Two rival non-cellular IoT technologies are set to become cross-compatible thanks to a new partnership between their respective backers.

LoRaWAN provider Actility and Sigfox 0G’s new parent UnaBiz this week announced they will integrate their platforms and ecosystems, unifying their low-power, wide-area networking (LPWAN) solutions.

“It is a reality that the market uses a mix of LPWAN technologies,” said Actility CEO Olivier Hersent, in a statement on Tuesday. “UnaBiz and Actility have decided to integrate both our technologies in multiple ways so that any customer may easily utilise either, or a combination of the two, instead of being forced to choose one or do a complex integration on their own.”

To get it all working properly, two integrations will actually take place. One brings together Actility’s IoT network platform ThingPark with UnaConnect – UnaBiz’s tech-agnostic data management platform. They will be connected by ThingPark X, which is used by Actility customers to collect, analyse and store IoT sensor data for use in applications.

The other integration uses the ThingPark Exchange roaming hub to bring Sigfox data to LoRaWAN networks and applications. It means a LoRaWAN network connected to ThingPark Exchange – and IoT applications built for LoRaWAN – can now leverage devices powered by Sigfox 0G technology without any special adaptation.

All this effort means customers that already use one of either LoRa or Sigfox can more easily – and cheaply – use both.

Tuesday’s deal represents an important milestone in UnaBiz’s mission to unify LPWAN technologies.

The Singapore-based company launched in 2017 as an IoT device and solutions provider, later becoming a Sigfox network operator. After Sigfox filed for insolvency in January 2022, UnaBiz ended up buying Sigfox’s proprietary network technology, and its French operation, at auction last April.

Despite these close ties with Sigfox, UnaBiz has always been tech-agnostic, offering solutions that work with LoRaWAN and cellular IoT technologies like NB-IoT and LTE-M.

Since acquiring Sigfox, UnaBiz has ramped up its efforts to unify the LPWAN ecosystem. Earlier this month, it made the Sigfox device library code publicly available to the IoT developer community, making it easier for a broader range of users to integrate the technology into their devices and applications.

Cooperation rather than competition in the non-cellular IoT space should help the sector as a whole compete more effectively with operator-backed technologies.

According to the most recent stats from research firm Transforma Insights, global LPWAN connections will reach almost 4 billion by 2030, with cellular technologies accounting for more than 2.6 billion of those. IoT is a volume game, so if non-cellular providers that rely on unlicensed spectrum are to stay in it for the long haul, they will be better served by working together for mutual benefit, rather than fighting over scraps.

“Actility was one of the first LoRaWAN partners to share our vision of convergence,” said UnaBiz CEO Henri Bong, in a statement. “We are extremely pleased to take another step towards our vision of a united LPWAN world, and excited to see the integration of our technologies happen so swiftly. We will work closely with Actility to help our partners bring new solutions to the market to help our customers accelerate their adoption of multi-technology projects.”


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About the Author(s)

Nick Wood

Nick is a freelancer who has covered the global telecoms industry for more than 15 years. Areas of expertise include operator strategies; M&As; and emerging technologies, among others. As a freelancer, Nick has contributed news and features for many well-known industry publications. Before that, he wrote daily news and regular features as deputy editor of Total Telecom. He has a first-class honours degree in journalism from the University of Westminster.

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