After months of trials, Vodacom has announced the commercial availability of its Internet of things network, using the narrowband IoT (NB-IoT technology generally favoured my mobile operators.
The network is available only in Gauteng for now, though the operator said it is already adding 55 000 new IoT connections per month. Rival MTN has also been testing NB-IoT technology, while a range of other players, from Dark Fibre Africa’s SqwidNet to Comsol, are all building IoT networks using various competing technologies.
Vodacom opened a laboratory in Midrand in Johannesburg earlier this year to facilitate the development of propositions and applications relating to NB-IoT. It said customers and partners have been working closely with it to test the technology.
“Developers, partners and customers are now able to build and launch low-power wide-area (LPWA) solutions based on Vodacom’s NB-IoT ecosystem in South Africa,” the company said in a statement on Wednesday.
“LPWA describes a category of wireless communication technologies designed to support IoT deployments and is a catalyst for the next wave of connected ‘things’ as these networks can communicate with devices where radio infiltration has not previously been possible.”
Vodacom’s IoT division recently partnered with global technology solution provider PTC to implement a local version of its ThingWorx IoT platform, it said. — © 2017 NewsCentral Media