Reshaaad Sha
Reshaaad Sha, CEO of SqwidNet (Photo Credit: SqwidNet)

SqwidNet now has an Internet of Things (IoT) network that covers all South African cities.

The IoT network will create opportunities for businesses small and large to come up with innovative solutions.

The operator told Techfinancials on Tuesday that its IoT network has been deployed across all of South Africa’s eight major metros and cover more than 49% of the population.

The company, which is a subsidiary of South Africa’s Dark Fibre Africa and a licensed Sigfox operator, added that the IoT network will exceed 85% population coverage in South Africa by the end of the year.

“We started building the network at the beginning of this year, when we received our first shipment of base stations from France,” Reshaaad Sha, CEO of SqwidNet, told Techfinancials in an interview on Tuesday at their corporate offices in Centurion.

“Today, we cover 49% of the population in South Africa with our IoT network,” he said. “Gauteng as the entire province is covered by our IoT network. It’s been a rapid rollout.”

SqwidNet's IoT network in South Africa
SqwidNet’s IoT network in South Africa (Image Credit: Sigfox)

The operator, was launched in November 2016 to deploy an ultra-narrowband IoT radio network in South Africa.

The IoT is the internetworking of physical devices, vehicles, buildings, and other items – embedded with electronics, software, sensors, actuators, and network connectivity that enable these objects to collect and exchange data.

Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), also known as the Industrial Internet, brings together brilliant machines, advanced analytics, and people at work. It’s the network of a multitude of devices connected by communications technologies that results in systems that can monitor, collect, exchange, analyze, and deliver valuable new insights like never before. These insights can then help drive smarter, faster business decisions for industrial companies.

The most conservative independent estimates place spending on the IIoT worldwide at $20 billion in 2012, with spending expected to reach $500 billion by 2020. More optimistic predictions of the value created by the IIoT range as high as $15 trillion of global GDP by 2030

The SqwidNet IoT network is being expanded to cover all the national roads as the operator focuses on providing solutions to key verticals, including utilities, transport and logistics, security, supply chain, and retail services.

internet of things with smartphone on city background
internet of things with smartphone on city background (Photo Credit: www.shutterstock.com)

The IoT network is being built on technology developed by France’s Sigfox, which is a mobile style system that is able to listen to billions of objects broadcasting data, without the need to establish and maintain network connections.

The objects are not attached to the network and Sigfox network provides a software based communications solution, where all network and computing complexity is managed in the Cloud, rather than on devices. This reduces energy consumption and costs of connected devices.

The SqwidNet’s network will span the entire country by 2018.

Asked what will make him happy with the deployment of SqwidNet’s IoT network, Sha said: “Being able to solve problems that have been inhibiting growth in the country, not just utilities and public-sector space but across industry verticals. IoT is promising a lot of efficiencies and enhancements to processes and procedures. What’s going to make me happy is to see some of those come to life.”

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