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New player enters IoT network race

Posted: 10 Sep 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Internet of Things? IoT? wide-area network? Sigfox? LoRa Alliance?

There is a new competitor in the race to build a low-power, wide-area network for the Internet of Things (IoT). Ingenu Networks, formerly On-Ramp Wireless, plans to raise funds in order to establish a public IoT network in the United States by the end of 2017.

Ingenu's 2.4GHz technology will compete with as many as a half dozen separate 900MHz offerings from groups including Sigfox, NWave and the LoRa Alliance founded by Semtech. They are all racing to beat versions of cellular and Wi-Fi networks tailored for IoT that are expected to hit the market in about two years.

The Ingenu launch is "one of the biggest news stories in IoT networks this year, and it will help them build scale," said Aapo Markkanen, an analyst for Machina Research following the area.

Over time, Markkanen expects the area of low-power, wide-area networks will fragment into tiers of offerings at high, medium and low data rates. He currently puts the new Ingenu effort in a new band supporting about 10Kbit/s, below a medium-tier LoRa but above a low-tier Sigfox and NWave.

"When LTE-M is ready then that will complicate things further," he said, referring to a part of the LTE-Advanced, Release 13 offering expected to emerge in about two years.

IoT networks

Europe is home to most of On-Ramp's existing private IoT networks.

Phoenix and Dallas will be the first cities connected on a public offering Ingenu calls the Machine Network. The company claims it already covers 50,000 square miles in the Midwest and northwestern Texas with existing private networks it has made public.

Ingenu has closed some but not all tranches of Series D round to fund the build out, said chief marketing officer Landon Garner. However, he would not comment on how much it is raising, has raised to date or name any of its investors.

Ingenu network

Ingenu believes its network will cover all the wide-area mesh area and the lower part of the opportunity for cellular IoT networks.

Rival Sigfox closed funding of as much as $115 million in February to build out a U.S. IoT network. It already has coverage in a handful of European countries including France, the Netherlands and Spain.

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