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Smart Label Solutions, Newave Sensor Solutions, Wistron NeWeb Corp. partner to develop Asia-Pacific RFID market; Sigfox, Alps Alpine ally to boost IoT market innovation; Altair Semiconductor receives SoftBank NB-IoT validation for cellular IoT chipset; Nexxt Solutions, Microsoft, Tuya collaborate on smart homes and home automation; CTIA approves Intertek as authorized testing lab for IoT cybersecurity certification; ITL Group launches RFID podcast.
By Rich Handley

Sigfox, Alps Alpine Ally to Boost IoT Market Innovation

Sigfox, an Internet of Things (IoT) service provider and global 0G network operator, has signed a global alliance partnership agreement with Alps Alpine, a manufacturer of electronic products. The agreement allows the two companies to work together to drive technical innovation and expand their combined reach.

Alps Alpine manufactures components for the automotive, industrial and smartphone industries, including sensors, human-machine interfaces, switches and connectivity devices. The alliance combines Sigfox's 0G network, which connects billions of devices, with Alps Alpine's mass-production capabilities. This will enable the firms to roll out connected devices to the mass market, allowing businesses to accelerate their digital transformation and develop new services.

The alliance is intended to speed up the adoption of connected devices by providing Alps Alpine with early access to Sigfox's R&D projects. This will allow the firms to co-develop services in the future; encourage joint investment in innovation, including the development of small, low-cost devices and energy harvesting technologies; and build a joint go-to-market strategy. The two companies have agreed on the common development of Sigfox's Bubble Beacon/Tag for luggage and asset tracking. Bubbles are small devices that can be placed anywhere within a matter of seconds and can track the locations of any objects, from luggage to pallets.

"We're seeing a significant acceleration in demand for connected objects and industrial scale deployments of IoT solutions," said Glen Robinson, Sigfox's chief business-development officer, in a prepared statement. "Having a global, simple, low-cost, low-power connectivity solution is a critical success factor, and exactly the challenge that Sigfox is addressing right now… This partnership has unlocked innovation, scale, quality and cost potential that is enabling us to deliver digital and economic benefits for our clients that were once unattainable. By combining resources, we are realizing the future of a mass, mainstream IoT, while pushing the boundaries of what's possible."

Since 2017, Sigfox and Alps Alpine have partnered on common customer projects. Earlier this year, the companies launched a tracking solution for Deutsche Post DHL Group, with 250,000 roll cages fitted with smart trackers to provide accurate information regarding their location and movements.

"Sigfox has already proven to be a trusted partner in delivering accurate, reliable solutions," said Yasuo Sasao, Alps Alpine's chief technology officer, in the prepared statement. "We welcome moving onto the next stage, working together to develop more professional, industrial solutions, bringing the value of the IoT to more markets. By combining our mass-production and engineering capabilities with Sigfox's low-powered network, there is no limit to what we can achieve together."

Sigfox has also announced that it has achieved the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)'s 9001:2015 certification for quality management. ISO 9001:2015 provides a model that companies of all types and sizes can use to build an effective quality-management system. To become ISO 9001:2015 certified, organizations must demonstrate several quality-management principles, including a strong customer focus, the involvement of high-level company management and ongoing improvement of internal quality-management processes.

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