Published On: Fri, May 12th, 2017

Africa’s first Narrow Band IoT site goes live

huaweiJOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – A PARTNERSHIP between Huawei and Vodacom has culminated in the launch of Africa’s first live Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT) site.
The site is fully compliant with the standardised 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) NB-IoT specifications.
Vodacom and Huawei have been able to implement the NB-IoT launch by way of a software upgrade to an existing 4G base station, illustrating the speed at which Vodacom is capable of executing its NB-IoT rollout.
The live site is on the roof of the data centre on Vodacom’s campus in Midrand, Johannesburg.
NB-IoT is a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network technology enabling new use cases for IoT solutions.
LPWA networks are able to communicate to devices where radio penetration has traditionally not been feasible and with a low power overhead in the communications process. A key characteristic of LPWA devices is power efficiency, resulting in devices being deployed in-field with batteries which could last up to many years.
Vodacom’s NB-IoT network runs on its existing licensed spectrum, ensuring integrity of the communications channel as well as the delivery of data from the device to the end point.
The launch of the first live site follows Vodacom’s announcement at AfricaCom in Cape Town during November 2016, where it performed a demonstration of the technology and also announced its plans to rollout NB-IoT across major metropolitan areas.
Wider rollout of Vodacom’s NB-IoT network is already in progress, and will be opened to commercial customer traffic soon.
Vodacom and Huawei have successfully launched an end to end NB-IoT water metering solution on Vodacom’s campus which is also considered to be the first of its kind in Africa using an actual live NB-IoT site.
The solution enables the automation of accurate water meter readings, and in addition also enables real time monitoring of water usage on Vodacom’s campus as well as the detection of leaks.
CAJ News

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