Liquid Telecom is partnering with Sigfox –who provides IoT services in over 40 countries- to provide Internet of Things infrastructure in most areas within the country. This is the first deal of it’s kind in central and eastern Africa and a big plus for Kenya who are constantly making strides in ICT related fields. In Southern Africa, Sigfox has already set its roots in SA and is working on projects related to wild and farm animal monitoring, electricity and water metering.
As part of the partnership, Liquid Telecom will be building infrastructure which includes a network of base stations connected to Liquid Telecom’s fibre network around the country. The construction of these base stations has already begun and Sigfox’s IoT network will be ready for launch in September of this year.
Anyone with an interest in tech developments would have probably heard of IoT and it’s far reaching effects. IoT devices can fit anywhere really, be it in health devices, cars, home appliances, agric and even the wildlife industry. Liquid Telecom’s Head of IoT, Joel Muigai:
We are building an LPWAN that will enable us to connect anything. Be it your car, dustbin, desk, soil, water, parking spot, water tank, street light, manhole, fridge or pet – just name it. This network Kenyans to develop our own homemade solutions for many unique socio-economic and business challenges we face.
Costs? What costs?
A lot of issues boil down to costs. If costs are not prohibitive then technologies are adopted and become common. In the press release that Liquid Telecom sent out, they are indicating that the costs will be very welcoming. Costs will be as low as $1 per year depending on the device, sensor and usage. The fact that the entry level will be this low is a good sign.
How can they achieve this low price? Well, IoT devices usually consume lesser amounts of power and data compared to other internet devices. The sensors are estimated to have a shelf life of around 15 years on a single charge which also cuts down on electricity costs.
It will be interesting to see how impactful IoT is in the country and hopefully Zim will also be following suit sooner rather than later
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