Johannesburg. 20 April, 2017. Since its launch in November 2016, SqwidNet, a licensed SIGFOX operator, has successfully commenced the deployment of a low-cost, low-power IOT ecosystem in South Africa. The company transpired through a partnership between Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and international IoT giant Sigfox and aims to connect billions of things with high device and data security capabilities. The SqwidNet network intends to cover 87, 6% of the South African population by 2018, enabling billions of physical things to be connected to the digital world and bringing the IoT to life.
To date, base station deployment has been completed in eight metropolitan cities namely Buffalo City, Nelson Mandela Bay, eThekwini, Mangaung, Ekhuruleni, Tshwane, City of Johannesburg and the City of Cape Town. As a foundational step, SqwidNet’s IOT solutions will be targeted primarily at focussed verticals including utilities, transport and logistics, security, supply chain and retail services.
In addition to rolling out the network, SqwidNet will focus on developing the ecosystem, which comprises device makers, platform developers, application developers, service providers, and system integrators, to create a conducive environment and drive innovation, development, and adoption of IoT solutions across all industries. As a result, the above mentioned metros will be one step closer to becoming globally relevant smart cities.
According to Reshaad Sha, Chief Executive Officer at SqwidNet, “Along with the rest of the world, South Africa is in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, in which the smart use of information and technology are reshaping societies. One of the most apparent ways in which this is happening can be seen is in the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT), where smart, connected devices are being deployed in cities and beyond, to gather data and glean insights. Clearly, if South Africa desires to retain its position as the gateway to Africa, our cities, the services they provide and the lifestyle they create for citizens, must be nothing less than the global standard that is being set by metros globally. Considering the predicted growth of the continent, it is easy to see why developing Smart Cities in South Africa now, is not just a necessity, it is also a smart investment in the country’s future.”
As it stands, drivers for the coverage and base station rollout to date have been population density and customer specific solutions. As a next step, SqwidNet will focus on delivering coverage on South Africa’s national roads. “SqwidNet’s IoT network-deployment and ecosystem-enablement approach now makes it possible for South African industries and citizen to reap the benefits of IoT – to manage, allocate, conserve, and use our resources significantly more efficiently than today. We want to deploy a nationwide network where any industry can connect things, create value and ultimately enable innovation,” concludes Sha.