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Internet of Things (IoT)

Why France may lead in the Internet of Things

“Every asset should be connected: doors, shoes, chairs, everything!” Ludovic Le Moan, CEO of Sigfox, is an ambitious man. His previous company, Anywhere Technology, used GPRS to connect early IoT sensors in networks. Sigfox takes that further, using low-power radio devices to add sensors to everything from burglar alarms to shipping containers.

With intelligently-networked sensor modules costing as little as 20c and consuming very little energy, it's easy to understand Le Moan's goal of connecting everything – literally everything. The company already has a presence in 39 countries, with full nationwide coverage in 17 of them.

Le Moan is not alone. Something has stirred in France. A blend of ambition and technological know-how has driven French IoT startups from humble beginnings to international success. Sigfox is perhaps the most well-known, along with drone company Parrot, but there are many more. La French Tech distributed as a PDF [pp6-17] describes 130 tech startups at Web Summit 2017 in November. Not all were pure IoT companies but the majority were IoT-related, ranging from FinTech to healthcare, big data to automation.

What training initiatives are needed to develop IoT professionals? Find out why IoT skills are set to rise in importance  

Olivier Ezratty, a digital consultant, innovation expert and adviser to French tech firms, says: “Every year we see growth of 40 to 50%. This year we have more than 300 and most of these are in the IoT space.”

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Alex Cruickshank

Alex Cruickshank has been writing about technology and business since 1994. He has lived in various far-flung places around the world and is now based in Berlin.  

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