SigFox Partners With UnaBiz To Make Taiwan an IoT Testbed by 2017; And Other News


SigFox Partners With UnaBiz To Make Taiwan an IoT Testbed by 2017

French telco and global communications service provider SigFox has announced a major venture to make Taiwan an internet of things testbed, in partnership with UnaBiz, which operates IoT networks in Asia. SigFox, which is a leading provider of IoT related services in Europe and operates 22 IoT networks worldwide, made the announcement with French and Taiwanese officials and specified that its proprietary technology would be the centerpiece of an IoT testbed connecting Taiwan’s manufacturing industry and machinery to the rest of the world.

UnaBiz has a strategic partnership in place with SigFox and will play a large role in deploying the network and led efforts to deploy a similar network in Singapore. This will also be SigFox’s fourth IoT network in the Asia-Pacific region. UnaBiz CEO Henri Bong noted that launching a large-scale testbed in Taiwan made sense due to its developed electronics industry and large number of possible deployment scenarios: “This extension to Taiwan is key in our regional development strategy, because Taiwan has the largest ecosystem of devices and solutions to accelerate the adoption of IoT use cases globally.” Both SigFox and UnaBiz believe that Taiwan represents an ideal testbed for speeding the learning and implementation of IoT design and use cases and that the project will ultimately strengthen SigFox’s IoT ecosystem worldwide.

The plan predicts that Taiwan will enjoy nationwide coverage by 2018, while its six major metropolitan centers, in which more than half the population of 23.5 million resides, will see coverage as early as 2017. SigFox is touting its uniquely light infrastructure, as compared to traditional wireless networking infrastructure, as the main reason for the rapidity of the rollout.

French official Benoit Guidee noted that the joint undertaking represented an opportunity to bridge French and Taiwanese tech innovation and capabilities. “SIGFOX is not only one of the best ambassadors of La French Tech spirit, it is also a large contributor to the entrepreneurship ecosystem in France through its European IoT Innovation Hub: the IoT Valley,” Guidée said. “By bridging the IoT Valley with Taiwan design and manufacturing capabilities, I am convinced that France and Taiwan have a great opportunity to shape together the future of the IoT in the world. France is thus inviting Taiwan to use SIGFOX as a gateway into a global market and, by doing so, simplifying the integration and accelerating the go-to-market strategy.”

Arista Networks Buoyed By Cloud Networking Demand to $268.7MM in Q2 Revenue

Arista’s second quarterly financial reports have revealed that the company has made nearly $269 million in revenue during the quarter, up 37% year over year and exceeding the expectations of analysts by millions. The Santa Clara based cloud networking company also reported a net income of $38.9 million for the quarter and profits of 54 cents per share.

According to CNBC, Arista foresees revenues of $279 million to $285 million for the third quarter, driven by steadily growing and healthy demand for its networking products for building cloud networks which comes from “cloud titans,” which is its most important group of customers. Aside from supporting the data center and cloud networking needs of cloud builders, Arista also counts the financial, services, and web and tech vertical segments among its clientele.

The company is also accounting for $11 million in litigation costs from an ongoing legal brawl with Optumsoft and Cisco, while excluding stock-based compensation and other costs. The Cisco intellectual property litigation in particular has the potential to hinder Arista’s operations, preventing it from importing the necessary components from offshore suppliers.

“We are in the midst of a multi-year shift from legacy IT silos to cloud networking,” stated Jayshree Ullal, Arista President and CEO in an interview with BusinessWire. “This quarter puts Arista at a billion-dollar run rate, which is a fitting validation of this trend, based on our innovative cloud-class, cloud-scale and cloud-converged offerings.”

One of the innovative cloud-class offerings that Arista has recently launched is the 7280R Series Universal Leaf, a fixed switching and routing platform for data centers which is built on top of Arista’s Universal Cloud Network architecture to reduce OPEX. The integrated platform is versatile and able to handle a range of leaf networking deployment scenarios, especially IP storage, routing and digital media.

Arista’s quarterly highlights are as follows:

  • Revenue of $268.7 million, an increase of 11.0% compared to the first quarter of 2016, and an increase of 37.4% from the second quarter of 2015.
  • GAAP gross margin of 63.8%, compared to GAAP gross margin of 64.0% in the first quarter of 2016 and 65.4% in the second quarter of 2015.
  • Non-GAAP gross margin of 64.1%, compared to non-GAAP gross margin of 64.4% in the first quarter of 2016 and 65.8% in the second quarter of 2015.
  • GAAP net income of $38.9 million, or $0.53 per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $24.0 million, or $0.33 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015.
  • Non-GAAP net income of $53.7 million, or $0.74 per diluted share, compared to non-GAAP net income of $38.8 million, or $0.54 per diluted share, in the second quarter of 2015.

OpenSignal’s Test Shows T-Mobile Retains Fastest Wireless Over Verizon

Verizon may have the largest and most comprehensive LTE footprint in the US, but T-Mobile remains peerless when it comes to wireless speeds. OpenSignal conducted the tests between May 1 and July 10, generating over 2.8 billion data points by analyzing the data use of 120,000 participants. The study showed that the fastest download speeds in 3G and 4G networks as well as overall could be enjoyed on T-Mobile networks.

The average download speed on T-Mobile was 16.28 megabits per second versus the 15.94 megabits per second rate that Verizon clocked in. Verizon was just edged out by T-Mobile for the title of fastest network speed, though in reality it’s fair to say the two are neck and neck. Overall, both Verizon and T-Mobile clocked in greater speeds compared to their last evaluation, gaining around 5 megabits per second on average.

Verizon led in terms of 4G availability due to the expansion of its network. Its users were able to access 4G connectivity 86% of the time. T-Mobile made some gains in this measure as well, improving from 81.23% to 83.2% availability, while Verizon’s availability rate actually dipped slightly since the last test.

“While T-Mobile for some time has been contesting the top spot for speed, the big surprise was the rapid improvement in T-Mobile’s LTE availability that we saw in our data,” OpenSignal commented in its report. “Our users found Verizon is still the leader when it comes to providing a consistent LTE signal, but T-Mobile surpassed AT&T in 4G availability in our latest tests and is now closing the gap with Verizon.”

Sprint, on the other hand, was the sluggard among the Big Four wireless service providers evaluated by OpenSignal, struggling to overcome a significant gap, though it did lead in 4G latency.

Ookla which runs a similar evaluative mobile app called SpeedTest concurred with most of the results of the OpenSignal app test, with T-Mobile leading in upload speeds and just losing out to Verizon in terms of download speeds. The test also showed AT&T gaining ground and pulling closer to T-Mobile and Verizon.

“Over the past year, AT&T had the largest raw improvement of the four major U.S. carriers with an increase of 5.85 Mbps to 19.94 Mbps by the end of June 2016, a 42% improvement,” according to Ookla. “Meanwhile, Sprint had the largest percentage-based performance improvement of the four major U.S. carriers, increasing their speed over the previous year by 54%, going from 9.99 Mbps to 15.42 Mbps. Sprint still trails the other three major U.S. carriers, but they are making a strong push to close the gap.”

Facebook Opens Area 404, a Hardware Lab

Facebook has recently commenced operations in its Area 404 Lab, a 22,000 square foot secretive facility, similar to Google X, that will be home to its ambitious R&D projects. While the company is famous for its social network services, the billions in ad revenue it has accrued has given it the means to fund audacious hardware projects including Oculus VR headsets, Aquila the Internet beaming drone, portable cellular network platforms, among others.

Mark Zuckerberg constantly refers to the fact that more than half the world lacks stable internet access, a disparity known as the digital divide, and has promised to commit Facebook’s resources to making Internet and wireless connectivity ubiquitous. Facebook, in exchange, will benefit from the potential addition of billions of new users and the attendant advertising revenue and data that they will bring with them.

The lab will continue to work on advancing networking, connectivity, virtual reality, and data centers. The lab itself features large scale industrial grade heavy machinery, including computerized lathes, mills, and water jet cutters. “With this new space, we can now handle the majority of our modeling, prototyping and failure analysis in-house, decreasing each iteration of the development cycle from weeks to days,” Facebook said in its blog post.

“Even more important, the space has room for all teams, with more than 50 workbenches in the main area. Connectivity Lab, Oculus, Building 8 and our Infrastructure teams can now work collaboratively in the same space, learning from one another as they build.”

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