UnaBiz secures IoT license in Taiwan

Networks Asia staff
Networks Asia

IoT-dedicated network operator UnaBiz has secured a license to operate an IoT network in Taiwan from the National Communication Commission (NCC).

As the first of its kind to receive an IoT network operator license from the NCC since Taiwan's announcement of the use of the unlicensed spectrum, UnaBiz is on track to become a nationwide network operator in Taiwan.

As a provider of a dedicated communications service for the IotT, the Sigfox low power wide-area network (LPWAN) is currently present in 32 countries worldwide and target to reach 60 countries by 2018. The roll out of the commercial grade global network is in line with Taiwan's "Asian Silicon Valley" initiative, a vision to transform Taiwan from an ICT specialist to an IoT specialist.

UnaBiz's vision is to empower massive IoT in Asia. The network operator will actively engage and collaborate with industry partners, academic institutions and government agencies to help Taiwan address the global IoT market potential.

"This is a milestone for UnaBiz but also for Taiwan industry which henceforth can boldly step into the Sigfox global IoT market and ecosystem,” UnaBiz MD and co-founder Philippe Chiu said.

In 2017, UnaBiz will focus on deploying the IoT network in the six main municipalities - Taipei, New Taipei, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung - effectively bringing Sigfox service coverage to more than 80% of the population in Taiwan.

The deployment will cover both urban and rural areas, and the LPWAN network will be extended to cover 95% of the population in Taiwan in 2018.

Along with the fast-paced deployment of the network across Taiwan, the local IoT ecosystem and stakeholders can already evaluate and start developing products and solutions using the royalties-free Sigfox technology. This happens at an excellent timing for Taiwan's industry looking for transformation and new business opportunities, especially at a global scale.

The global IoT sensors market is expected to reach $17.81 billion by 2020, and although Taiwan is big in semiconductor manufacturing (60% of global market), it only accounts for 15% of the global sensor manufacturing. Given the predominant impact of Taiwan in the conception, production and integration of smart sensors into electronic hardware in the global IoT market, Taiwan joining the Sigfox ecosystem represents a significant milestone.

Chiu notes, "To significantly build up the IoT industry, we need a sound ecosystem of highly-engaged players from semiconductors to device manufacturers and all the way up to cloud platforms. That is why, on top of providing Sigfox communication service, UnaBiz is also acting to catalyze IoT opportunities by establishing partnerships and providing keys to address the Sigfox global IoT market.”

"According to studies, the explosion of the global IoT market will create the largest device market in the world,” UnaBiz CEO and co-founder Henri Bong said.

“The number will double of that of the current market of personal PC, tablets and wearable technology combined. The growth of this ecosystem not only creates more jobs in Taiwan's manufacturing industry but will eventually spur a paradigm shift in Taiwan's entire workforce to that of a more innovative and creative economy, one that engages higher skilled and hence higher-paying workers.”

First published in Networks Asia

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