France’s Sigfox struck another partnership with an operator for its proprietary Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) technology for the Internet of Things (IoT).

The partnership with Omantel, the largest operator in Oman, aims to provide IoT coverage to 85 per cent of the population within 18 months.

Earlier this month, the French vendor announced a partnership with Thinxtra to spread its IoT network to Australia and New Zealand. Adding Oman brings its total number of countries where its network has a presence to 17.

Omantel wants Sigfox’s IoT network to fit into its so-called transformation strategy, dubbed Omantel 3.0, which includes adopting new technologies and expanding its services, as it seeks to lead digitisation in the Sultanate.

The operator wants to work with the vendor’s IoT ecosystem, including manufacturers of components and objects, so it can offer a variety of connected solutions for smart applications, energy efficiency, agriculture and security.

Sigfox is competing against other proprietary (non-cellular) LPWA technologies such as LoRA and Ingenu, all of which use unlicensed spectrum. It is hoping to steal a march on future 3GPP-backed cellular technologies such as NB-IoT, which isn’t likely to be standardised until later this year (with commercial deployments to follow).