French low-power, wide-area network (LPWAN) specialist Actility has partnered with Swedish LoRaWAN company Blink to roll out a national IoT network in Sweden.
The companies will work together to provide the digital infrastructure that will underpin various smart city projects cross Sweden.
The news follows the recent closure of Actility’s Series D funding round, in which the start-up secured $75m from investors including German engineering and electronics giant Bosch.
Benefits for urban and rural Swedes
The network will be based on Actility’s ThingPark LPWA technology platform – already in use in Saudi Arabia and Tunisia – and will build on the work already done by Blink to create networks in Helsingborg and Landskrona, in the country’s south.
Several other cities in Sweden are standing by, ready for installation, according to Blink, but the company needed to enlist the services of Actility in order to speed up deployment.
Once complete, the hope is that the network will benefit Sweden’s urban and rural populations alike, through projects like the installation of smart traffic solutions to reduce fuel consumption and pollution.
Blink has already achieved some success in this regard. Alongside its sister company, Blinkfyrar, a Swedish road sign supplier, the company has developed a product called Signsensor. This technology detects if a road sign is damaged and alerts an engineer to repair it, cutting out the need for regular physical inspections.
The company’s ambitions in Sweden stretch beyond traffic improvements, however, and the hope is that the new network could also support other use cases, including smart agriculture technologies to drive more sustainable and environmentally friendly farming.
There is also the opportunity to integrate IoT geolocation applications into logistics and supply chain operations across a number of sectors. Having partnered with satellite connectivity giant, Inmarsat, in February of this year, Actility has bolstered its ability to offer location tracking technology ‘anywhere on the planet’, and is targeting asset tracking in agriculture in particular.
Connectivity for an entire nation
“We’re excited to be working with Actility to bring IoT connectivity to the whole of Sweden,” commented Matts Lilja, managing director of Blink Services.
“A digital wireless infrastructure for IoT will mean major changes and many opportunities. Technology can fundamentally change the conditions for several established business models, as we already see installed systems around the world. Through working with Actility, we will be able to utilise its experience and hands-on knowledge, and work to set the standard for how things communicate with each other, both locally and nationally.”