Vodacom announced on Wednesday that it has exceeded 3 million Internet of Things (IoT) connections in South Africa.
The Vodafone-owned mobile phone operator added that it was averaging 55 000 new connections per month.
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.
With a market valuation of more than $900 billion, both manufacturers and those looking to adopt Internet of Things (IoT) solutions are aware of its potential.
Estimates are that by 2020, there will be 50 billion things or IoT devices – smart cars, fridges, toasters, streetlights, heart monitors, chairs, door locks, etc. – connected to the Internet.
“Vodacom is pioneering the next wave of connected things in South Africa. It’s worth noting that it took us eight years to get to two million connections and it took us only one year to get to three million,” says Deon Liebenberg, Managing Executive for Vodacom IoT.
“The rate of IoT adoption is picking up speed locally and with the commercial rollout of NarrowBand-IoT, this is only going to accelerate even faster. The Internet of Things is no longer hype – it’s real and it’s becoming more and more a part of our daily lives.”
In February this year, Vodafone announced that it had become the first global IoT mobile provider to exceed 50 million connections, demonstrating growth of around one million new connections a month, with particularly strong performance in the automotive, healthcare and utilities sectors.
Vodacom opened a Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) laboratory at its Vodacom World campus in June to commercialise machine-to-machine and IoT systems using Narrowband low power.
Vodacom announced in 2016 that it had started its NB-IoT network build and it continues to invest in the expansion of its IoT offering, a key strategic growth area.