Swedish operator Tele2 signs deal with a Dutch Sigfox IoT network

Tele2, a Swedish cellular carrier has signed a partnership with Aerea, a Dutch company that operates a special ultra-efficient wireless network for the internet of things using technology from Sigfox. The partnership will let Tele2 customers use the Aerea network for IoT devices, which should lower the cost of providing connectivity for those devices in the Netherlands.

Instead of paying crazy 3G or 4G data rates, devices that transmit very low data rates such as connected smoke detectors or security alarms could transmit their data over the Aerea network for much less. The catch is those devices would need special chips using the Sigfox radios. But Sigfox is making headway in getting both the devices and the networks in Europe as customers see the benefits of having a low-cost and much more energy-efficient means of transferring data from connected devices.

For example, Aerea is the exclusive Sigfox network operator for the Netherlands and already covers 85 percent of the country. Sigfox also has deals in France, Russia and Spain as well. And with this deal, a significant European cellular carrier is now jumping on board to tie its network with a Sigfox network, which should offer credibility to the technology for use in smart cities and other large deployments with enterprise and industrial customers.

Such customers don’t want to tie their own communications networks together if they don’t have to. They want to go to a system integrator or to a large carrier to have that company do it for them. So having Tele2 now offer both a cellular and an IoT piece of the puzzle in the Netherlands offers a more compelling option while legitimizing Sigfox’s technology. That’s a big step for the French startup.

Update: Tele2 is a Swedish carrier, not a Swiss carrier.

Glove for Android finds you the best carrier in your location

Are you sure you’re using the right mobile phone carrier? Glove for Android is a free app that helps you answer that question by analyzing your usage patterns for three days and comparing them to a crowdsourced database of network information.

AT&T sans T-Mobile USA: Making lemons from lemonade

In the wake of its failed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, analysts are speculating where AT&T can find enough spectrum to keep pace with Verizon Wireless. But instead AT&T should be scrambling to ensure that it makes the most of the spectrum it does have.

France Telecom CEO: Carriers Oppose Apple’s Integrated SIM

The mobile space is all about a tug-of-war of control between network operators, device manufacturers and software developers. But rarely do the players involved make the power play so obvious as did France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard during a recent interview.

AT&T, Verizon Grudgingly Move Toward Openness

There’s a chance we have just witnessed a crucial — revolutionary, even — week for the U.S. wireless industry as major carriers open up their networks and businesses. Or we may just be seeing the nation’s two top network operators play their cards in a crafty effort to fend of regulators as the FCC increasingly signals its eagerness to intervene in an industry that has become a must-have means of communication for mainstream Americans.

There’s at least some truth in each scenario. Honestly, though, I’m not sure it matters.