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An Post Procure Innovative Tracking Solution from VT-IoT

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An Post Procure Innovative Tracking Solution from VT-IoT, Ireland’s Sigfox 0G Network Operator, Revolutionising their Supply Chain and Logistics

Press Release

Dublin, February 25th, 2020: An Post, the leading mails, parcels and ecommerce logistics company in Ireland, has contracted VT-IoT, the operator of Ireland’s Sigfox 0G network to revolutionise their supply chain with IoT tracking devices as part of their innovative and fast-moving digital transformation strategy.

As masters of delivery, An Post Mails & Parcels is rapidly changing from the old world of traditional letters to the new world of ecommerce parcel logistics and B2B services for Irish and international businesses.  An Post runs Ireland’s largest fleet, including the country’s largest fleet of electric vehicles.  It recently opened its new fully automated Dublin Parcel Hub and its operational infrastructure includes thousands of returnable transport units such as roll cages and containers.

To provide an efficient and cost-effective service, An Post require a systematically integrated operational process. Thousands of roll cages and containers which transport the parcels must be available every day in the required quantities in the Company’s mails hubs across the country.

With the advance of revolutionary Internet of Things (IoT) technology, VT are providing An Post with the solution they need to optimise their supply chain. Smart tracking devices empower An Post to monitor the location of their assets nationwide, even outside their own supply chain. Using Sigfox, the world’s leading IoT service provider and first global 0G network operator, has eliminated the barriers associated with traditional tracking technologies: price, battery life and coverage, by providing low cost, low power connectivity over a single global network available in more than 70 countries today.

“VT’s state-of-the-art solution has resulted in significantly increased transparency in our postal distribution network, ensuring world class quality of service for our customers and lower operational costs through improved containerisation efficiency”, explains Mark Devine, National Engineering Maintenance & Performance Manager, An Post

Our collaboration with An Post is an exciting step forward into the future of industrial IoT and a key milestone toward connecting billions of IoT devices globally on the Sigfox 0G network. We are confident our solutions have the power to truly revolutionise the way logistics and supply chain companies do business, resulting in significantly reduced costs and increased efficiencies.” Mark Bannon, CEO, VT

VT is a 0G IoT network operator and a pioneer of IoT solutions within the Supply Chain and Aerospace markets. Our purpose is to empower our enterprise users to transform their business models and operations through our leading-edge device to cloud 0G solutions. Our nationwide Sigfox IoT telecoms network currently delivers over 95% geographical coverage to Ireland – we are passionate about enabling every person, home and business to benefit from 0G IoT.

An Post provides world-class mails, e-commerce parcels, financial and communications services to national and international business.  It delivers two million items of mail to 2.2 million address points nationwide every working day, as well as evening and weekend parcels deliveries.

Sigfox is the initiator of the 0G network and the world’s leading IoT service provider. Its global network allows billions of devices to connect to the Internet, in a straightforward way, while consuming as little energy as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption and global scalability.

Today, the network is available in 70 countries, with 1 billion people covered. ISO 9001 certified and surrounded by a large ecosystem of partners and IoT key players, Sigfox empowers companies to move their business model towards more digital services, in key areas such as Asset Tracking and Supply Chain. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in France and has offices in Madrid, Munich, Boston, Dallas, San Jose, Dubai, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.

Plastimo And Sigfox Join Forces To Connect The Oceans

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Plastimo, a major international player in the boating industry, has chosen Sigfox technology to create the worlds first low cost connected life jacket. The Sigfox enabled life jacket can be tracked anywhere on the planet at an ultra-low cost.Sigfox will leverage its new deal with satellite provider Eutelsat, announced last month, to make this possible. Eutelsat has branded its new Low Earth Orbit (LEO) offering, planned for affordable Sigfox enabled IoT connectivity, as Eutelsat LEO for Objects (ELO).

One of the major advantages of the ELO offering is that it uses the Sigfox protocol already available in more than 65 countries. The life jackets produced by Plastimo will be supported by either Sigfox’s terrestrial network or its Eutelsat satellite network. The first two nanosatellites will be operational in 2020.

Existing technologies do not offer this geolocation functionality at an affordable price for the boating market, while the ELO offering will soon support the location of a person lost at sea or shipwrecked in a Plastimo life raft or wearing a Plastimo life jacket, at a reasonable price.

See Press Release…

Major Announcements made by Sigfox at Connect 2019 in Singapore

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Sigfox to Support a Billion Devices by 2023

With 16 million devices expected to be connected to its network by the end of this year, Sigfox is on track for having 1 billion devices connected by 2023. This will be facilitated by enhancing its network connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT) and the announcement of new deployments, modules and partners at its third annual event for its partner ecosystem and customers in Singapore last month.

Launch of Private Area Network (PAN)

The major announcement from Sigfox at Connect 2019 was the launch of its new Private Area Network (PAN). This offering gives businesses a choice between a private or global service depending on their needs. It means customers can avail of their own dedicated network, with the associated assurances about data privacy and security. PAN customers can choose to subscribe to an additional ‘WAN extension’ if required to enable device communication outside the local network.

Enhancing the accuracy of its Atlas geolocation services

Launched in January 2017, Atlas Native is the Sigfox geolocation service. It’s available for every device equipped with even the simplest Sigfox module.  To further improve the accuracy of its geolocation services, Sigfox has completed the global rollout of Atlas WiFi in partnership with the mapping experts at HERE Technologies. Atlas Native Complimentary, as the name suggests, is offered free in exchange for data processing rights of GPS location data.

Partnership with Amadeus for travel industry asset tracking

A strategic alliance called PinPoint will see Amadeus combine its knowledge of the travel industry with Sigfox’s expertise in IoT. PinPoint aims to deliver an end-to-end tracking solution for the air transport industry to allow a control tower view of things such as luggage and high-value assets. This will reduce the high financial losses arising from missing assets in addition to preventing traveller dissatisfaction.

850,000 IoT NICIGAS Meter Connections in Japan with Soracom, UnaBiz & Sigfox

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Nippon Gas Co.  (NICIGAS) is retrofitting its existing gas meters across Japan with a smart reader device. The IoT reader called SPACE HOTARU developed by UnaBiz and SORACOM is expected to be fully in place by the end of FY2020. The project marks one of the largest deployments of smart utilities solutions to date, with 850,000 gas meters to be upgraded.

SPACE HOTARU, an original concept by NICIGAS, is a reader that is easily retrofitted onto existing gas meters to enable smart features. The Network Controlling Unit (NCU) collects and transmits gas consumption data to NICIGAS’ IoT data platform, “NICIGAS Stream”, via Sigfox’s Japan-wide 0G wireless network allowing the gas valve to be controlled remotely. The NCU is autonomous, energy-efficient and expected to last more than 10 years on internal batteries.

Making low-cost and real-time gas metering a reality

The SPACE HOTARU addresses key issues that the gas industry commonly faces: collecting data in a cost-effective way to allow for real-time insights.

Since the adoption of the reader, meter data that used to be read manually by agents once a month is now collected by the NCU on an hourly basis, and sent to NICIGAS Stream daily. Collected data is used to visualise and predict the amount of gas remaining in households, allowing more efficient replacement of gas cylinders and improving the quality of service to its consumers.

In addition, the NCU also reports on meter related incidents. In the event of an earthquake for example, the gas valve is programmed to auto-close, bringing real-time security and convenience to homes and businesses.

Watch video…

See Press Release…

Securitas Direct renew and extend Sigfox contract to provide IoT connectivity in Spain and Portugal for 15 years

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Securitas Direct, the leading home and business connected alarm provider in Europe, have renewed and extended their existing contract for Sigfox connectivity. The organisation currently use Sigfox connectivity as a backup communication system (0G) for over 2 million alarms.

As a result of the new service level agreement between the local Sigfox operator Cellnex and Securitas Direct, there will be a significant investment to increase capacity, robustness and the resilience of the Sigfox network in Spain and Portugal. This investment will also give the network more features, among which are the ability to transmit images, send audio messages and optimize the reception of broadcast messages in motion. As a result, Securitas Direct is expanding and diversifying the type of devices and services that will be connected to the 0G network in the coming years. Securitas has recently launched a security system for the elderly that includes a smart watch with a 45-day battery life communicating on the Sigfox network. More information on the assisted living product can be found at http://proteccionsenior.com/es/comercial/index.html.

For more information on the announcement follow the link below.

Read more…

DHL connects 250,000 assets with Sigfox enabled devices manufactured in Ireland

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Deutsche Post DHL Group, a leading global logistics company, have chosen Sigfox technology to connect over 250,000 roll cages that move throughout Europe. This will drive significant efficiencies throughout DHL’s supply chain giving them a distinct competitive advantage. After 2 years of testing and validation, this will be the first of many DHL Sigfox-enabled deployments. The hardware for this collaborative project is being produced by VT’s ecosystem partner based in Millstreet, Co. Cork.

Read more…

Sigfox & IBM Revolutionise Container Tracking for Auto Manufacturing Giant PSA Group

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Track&Trace is an innovative solution for the digitalisation of container tracking between suppliers and assembly plants. Combining the power of IBM’s cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) technology and the Sigfox global 0G network, PSA Group can optimize container rotation along its supply chain.

PSA Groups’ containers equipped with IBM Watson IoT sensors can be monitored in real-time as they traverse the Sigfox network. The solution is simple to deploy and results in greatly improved productivity. Production line inefficiencies and packaging waste are significantly reduced helping to prevent incidents of a detrimental nature. The Track&Trace solution is being deployed at several PSA group sites.

The solution was developed by IBM services in collaboration with Sigfox and PSA Group to be integrated into the industrial environment, from the sensor’s adaptation (form, fixing, constraints…) to the deployment of an “As A Service” container solution. Already integrating IBM’s analytical services, it will be able to develop and evolve in line with business needs and new logistic uses, through Artificial Intelligence and technology sharing within Blockchain ecosystems.

IBM, Sigfox and Groupe PSA plan to offer this platform to other European manufacturers from 2019.

Sigfox is the inventor of the 0G network and the world’s leading IoT (Internet of Things) service provider. Its global network allows billions of devices to connect to the Internet, in a straightforward way, while consuming as little energy as possible.

See Press Release…

VTag: Revolutionising Logisitcs by Harnessing the Power of IoT

By | Blog

Introduction

 The logistics and transportation industry is faced with immense challenges as the global economy becomes increasingly complex and interconnected. Despite the fact that the supply chain ecosystem is diversifying dramatically, the industry has relied on the same limited RFID/Bluetooth/cellular technology to track assets – through multiple stages – before reaching (or not!) their final destination. The main issues with these technologies are that: the tags only provide limited information; expensive site-specific infrastructure is usually required; the network management and connectivity costs along with insufficient battery life make the business cases unfeasible. Considering all of this, it becomes

apparent that traditional tracking technologies are not fit for purpose. A more innovative solution is required to relieve the pain points of supply chains that are only as strong as their weakest links. By leveraging the power of IoT, VT smart logistics tracking is enabling a leaner, more agile supply chain.

The Challenge

The logistics industry needs real-time visibility over all assets at every point throughout their journeys. For example, the inability to monitor and track returnable transport units (RTUs) within the supply chain results in significant annual asset replacement costs due to loss and also theft. Another avoidable leak in the operational cost base of transportation businesses is caused by inefficient management of the flow of assets in the field and delays in turnaround times. The barriers to bypassing the headaches associated with traditional tracking technologies are generally associated with mobility, reliability, scale and cost.

The Solution

With the advance of revolutionary Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the logistics and transportation industry finally has the solution it needs to overcome the obstacles within the supply chain. Now businesses can monitor and track their assets with control tower visibility everywhere, even outside their own supply chain. Sigfox, the global communications service provider for IoT, has eliminated the barriers associated with traditional tracking technologies: price, battery life and coverage; by providing low cost, low power connectivity over a single global network.

VTag is an IoT tracking device that has been designed specifically to empower the logistics and transportation industry by harnessing the capacity of the Sigfox Low-Power Wide-Area Network. It provides a solution to the loss and inefficiencies due to the inability to manage, view and control supply chain assets.

VTag is a low-power consumption battery-operated tracker that is easily and securely attached to any asset. VTags are versatile and can be transferred from one asset to another as required.

Unlike most first-generation smart devices, VTag doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi or 4G. The device is plug and play. It connects with the Sigfox low-power network which is live and nationwide meaning there is no need for network set up, pairing or the deployment of infrastructure. The solution removes all the traditional inconveniences associated with gateways, readers, sim cards and beacons as the Sigfox network is already established and communicating with millions of devices across the world right now. Simply attach and track! The device uses GPS for outdoor tracking and Wi-Fi scanning and/or BLE scanning for indoor tracking. VTag works in any country worldwide which has Sigfox coverage.

Data from the tracker includes location, battery status, signal levels, motion and tampering status. The method and frequency of data is configurable and optimised to suit the particular type of asset being tracked. We always aim to match the battery life of the device with the operational life of the asset. Attach and track for the life of the asset!

Data is visualised on a web application which has been designed for control tower visibility over high volumes of supply chain assets. By linking asset location with points of interest such as depots or customer locations, logistics managers can monitor how long their assets have been in a location to reduce leakage and improve turnaround times.

Each device operates for 7-15 years on a single set of batteries without recharge. Battery life is a function of battery type/size, data transmission frequency and type of location tracking technology used (GPS/WiFi/Bluetooth).

LouisVuitton selects Sigfox for global luggage tracking

By | Blog

Early adopters, LouisVuitton, have incorporated new Monarch technology to offer their customers useful trackers to keep tabs on their luggage while flying around the world. Connected luggage notifications are sent straight to the user’s smartphone after landing, tracking where their luggage is and even if it has been opened on its journey.

For those looking to travel with the most expensive and fashionable luggage, things just got a little more technical. The new must have, along with peace of mind, is the Echo; this Sigfox luggage tracker is designed for the Louis Vuitton, Horizon range. The French fashion house has released the new hi-tech product, in collaboration with Sigfox, via the Louis Vuitton website, which also sells its famous luggage bags for prices ranging from €2,000 to €4,000, the Echo can be purchased for €250.

First announced World IoT Expo last September, Monarch is now available in major international airports enabling Sigfox devices to roam seamlessly in all parts of the world, by automatically recognising and adapting to the local radio frequency’s standards.

Sigfox, the leading IoT service provider, and Louis Vuitton, the most iconic luxury brand in the world, have announced the release of a luggage tracker using Sigfox technology. Exclusively available with the Louis Vuitton Horizon luggage range, it allows passengers to track their checked luggage in major airports, even while travelling between different countries.

The tracking device is the first to include Sigfox’s Monarch service. As global operations are split into four geographical zones, the use of Monarch unlocks endless applications in logistics and supply chain, the consumer market, and automated maintenance for the shipping, aircraft and railway industries.

Asset tracking is the most important vertical in the massive IoT industry and Monarch represents a major breakthrough. This project is the first commercialized application of many millions that will be developed in the coming years. Sigfox’s unique value proposition is currently the only one allowing this kind of use case: a global network combined with a simple technology based on cost efficiency and low-energy consumption.

The luggage tracker is available as an additional accessory for the Horizon 50, 55 and 70 models and can easily be clipped into a pocket within the suitcase. Extremely easy to use, its low energy consumption ensures a battery life of up to six months.

For additional information about the list of airports where the Monarch service is available, check here

Or to purchase the Echo click here 

Check out the new Sens’it Discovery!

By | Blog

From connected devices to Smart Cities

At the IoT World conference, held this week in Silicon Valley, Sigfox unveiled its Sens’It Discovery solution which combines a sensor-packed device with a thermometer, hygrometer, light meter, accelerometer, magnetometer and a reed switch.

“With Sens’it, our goal is to demystify IoT and accelerate its adoption by showing how easy anyone, from consumers to developers, can connect anything to the Internet,” says Cédric Giorgi, the director of experience design at Sigfox. “Just attach the device to your door, a bicycle or anything really, and you will start receiving feeds of real-time data coming from the device, via the Sigfox Cloud, on your phone, through email, SMS or push notifications. It’s that easy.”

Priced at €60, Sens’it also comes with a software development kit (SDK) for developers to start building a wide range of IoT applications from home appliances, vending machines, smart metering, asset tracking, supply chain management, logistics and even waste management.

Receive notifications from your Sens’it through social media channels, email, SMS to your mobile phone (up to 50 messages total, limit of 8 per hour) or by logging on to see more detailed and historical data. To charge the battery, just use the micro-USB included with your device.

Its wide range of uses sees the Sens’it as a leader for commercially available smart city devices. The use cases continue to grow as new users login and play with their SDK. Check out our video below for some of the innovative ideas the Sigfox community have used the Sens’it for to date!

Test network coverage in your area or use the it to experiment with the power of SIGFOX and find creative new uses for your Sens’it.

Why Sens’it?

  • The Sens’it, is multi-sensor that communicates through the SIGFOX network.
  • It fits in the palm of your hand
  • Allows you to choose from temperature and humidity, light, motion or movement on its axis using a gyroscope.
  • Use the magnet included with your device to create your own opening detector.
  • The Sens’it button will also send a preset message, either through the social media account of your choice or by SMS to a set mobile number.

The Sens’it is available from the VT-iot site while stocks last.