Actility nets lucrative LoRa deal with Foxconn in China
Actility, one of the leading names when it comes to LoRa announcements, has partnered with tech manufacturing giant Foxconn, to form ThingPark China. The new initiative will pitch LPWAN (read LoRa) devices to the lucrative Chinese market, and follows on from Foxconn’s investment in Actility last year.
A spate of recent press releases have seen LoRa, an LPWAN technology owned by Semtech and pushed by the LoRa Alliance, be adopted by smart metering applications – a large number of which have been in China. The Chinese government has been a major backer of IoT technologies, with lots of funding available to domestic businesses via the Internet Plus plan, and a history of strong M2M adoption.
The Chinese economy is making a lot of overseas investors nervous, but it remains one of the largest single markets for any IoT developer looking to sell their wares – whether that is to an industrial customer or a member of the rapidly growing middle class. Smart city projects have been cited as some of the first new customers.
Actility’s ThingPark platform is positioned as an answer to smart city and connected building problems, with base stations allowing users to connect sensors and actuators to the cloud-hosted management platform. Actility also provides application development programs and resources, as well as a software development environment called Cocoon, for enabling end-devices to talk to ThingPark gateways.
The pair say that ThingPark China will initially focus on Chinese customers, deploying wireless connectivity and network operations in both a SaaS model and an on-premises offering – and also reselling LoRa gateways. Currently, Actility’s ThingPark Store sells a pretty wide range of devices and developer boards, and with Foxconn’s apparent interest, the range of devices available on its shelves should increase in the coming months.
“China is an opportunity like no other IoT market,” said Actility’s CEO Mike Mulica, in the announcement. “It’s growing 30% a year, and a third of the world’s 15bn connected things in 2020 will be in China. Foxconn is the perfect partner for Actility, because it is a company with world-class expertise to drive innovation at scale, as well as unrivaled market access to undustrial and urban China. ThingPark China delivers on our goal to serve the vast power of LPWAN IoT markets across China.”
Foxconn, the trade name for Hon Hai Precision Industry, is based in Taiwan – the Republic of China. With 2015 annual revenue at $135bn, the company manufactures components or complete designs for many notable consumer devices. Foxconn’s largest factories are in mainland China, but it also has facilities in Brazil, Mexico, India, Eastern Europe, Japan, South Korea, and plans to build a Pennsylvanian plant that have yet to materialize.
“We are delighted to be collaborating with Actility on this exciting initiative, which is another step in our ongoing efforts to create an IoT ecosystem that supports our strategic focus on providing innovative products and solutions to realize smart lives,” said Fang-Ming Lu, Foxconn’s EVP. “The synergies generated by bringing together Foxconn’s design, manufacturing, and technology capabilities and Actility’s expertise in LPWAN technology, will enable us to capitalize on the immense opportunities presented in the IoT era.”