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Sigfox relaunches IoT network in South Africa

Sigfox South Africa has officially launched its operations – the next step in enabling the transformational power of Massive Internet of Things (IoT) technologies across the African continent to drive innovation and foster inclusive economic growth and job opportunities.

The Sigfox public 0G Network continues to operate under this new brand, following an extensive restructuring of network licences and assets that SqwidNet formerly managed.

Sigfox South Africa is a fully licensed national 0G Network Operator focused on commercialising the country’s prominent and growing Sigfox 0G network coverage. The Sigfox 0G Network in South Africa has been built over a number of years and is considered a tier 1 network amongst it global operators covering 95% of the population, and 90% of national roads. The newly established network company is backed by notable investors comprising Community Investment Venture Holdings (CIVH), Discovery Insure, Fidelity ADT, Macrocomm, and Buffet Investments.

“The Sigfox 0G technology is a critical connectivity service in South Africa due to its positive and significant impact on a large value chain that depends on its sustainability and viability locally. The investment from all the partners provides a strong platform and support for use case development, adoption and accelerated growth”, said the non-executive director, Sivi Moodley.

Massive IoT is essential to the modern world, relaying crucial data and decisions between physical devices and the digital world. The IoT Industry Council of South Africa (IoTIC) has urged more focus on low-cost, effective new technologies to ensure South Africa is 4IR ready. Sigfox 0G technology has demonstrated IoT can be put to work for communities, people and businesses, including improved security systems, more efficient city services, and automated mining and manufacturing operations.

According to IoT Analytics, in 2022, the global IoT market will grow by 18% to 14.4 billion active connections and reach 27 billion connected IoT devices by 2025. However, Massive IoT is still a developing market, full of opportunity and risk. When Sqwidnet launched in 2016 as the licensed Sigfox operator for South Africa, it helped establish the credibility of IoT investments in the country. However, in mid-2021, Sqwidnet’s stakeholders agreed that the company required a fundamental restructuring to incorporate lessons learned over the previous five years.

Sigfox South Africa is the outcome of this restructuring. Working with investors, Sigfox South Africa aligns its operations and strategy to the changing nature of the local IoT market.

The Sigfox 0G Network continues to grow to deliver even more value to current and future customers.

“We’ve taken past lessons to heart, but we also learned that our customers are loyal and proactive because they see the direct value Massive IoT creates for them and their customers. In technology, you learn from risks and never lose sight of meaningful, market-relevant innovation. This is the ethos of Sigfox South Africa, and we look forward to helping IoT make even more positive impacts for everyone”, states fellow non-executive director Raymond Ndlovu.

Such a realignment is not unusual in the fast-growing and dynamic IoT market. For example, the Sigfox 0G technology has been recently acquired by UnaBiz, a proven Massive IoT service provider that started as the Sigfox 0G Network Operators in Singapore and Taiwan but has since achieved global success connecting over 10 million devices and servicing 1,500 customers globally.

“UnaBiz is pleased to welcome Sigfox South Africa to the global 0G Network Operator community. As one of the fastest-growing IoT markets in the MEA region, Massive IoT adoption has accelerated significantly in South Africa over the last few years. We look forward to working closely with Sigfox South Africa to bring down the cost and complexity of massive IoT adoption in a vast number of sectors including energy, manufacturing, agriculture, healthcare, logistics etc,” says Henri Bong, CEO and Co-Founder of UnaBiz.

Sqwidnet’s customers, now supported by Sigfox SA, enjoy uninterrupted access to the Sigfox 0G Network. Having serviced the South African market and local customers, LPWANs have consistently demonstrated the best reliability, performance, and cost to keep IoT devices online. The ability to provide connectivity to devices without the need for external power sources is a significant win for the African market and its ability to roll out digital solutions.

Africa offers many cases where IoT can make a difference, bringing the power of digital technology to all corners of the country and continent. Sigfox South Africa heralds a new era for growing and maturing Massive IoT in South Africa and Africa, a significant catalyst for growing African economies, economic inclusion, community development and personal success.

CT Bureau

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