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IOT will drive smart community development in Africa – Huawei

IOT will drive smart community development in Africa – Huawei

Since its affirmation to aggressively push its IOT offering to emerging markets, underpinned by its LTE-based NB-IOT infrastructure and OpenLabs investment earlier this year, Chinese multinational ICT firm Huawei has continued in this line and this week used the 2017 GSMA Mobile 360-Africa conference in Tanzania to outline is vision to support and promote 'smart communities' in Africa.

Huawei South Africa's, Director for Strategic Partnerships & New Technologies, Dr Bello Moussa says, "Huawei's vision for IOT is to enable and promote a smart society, where everything is intelligent, connected and sensing. A network should be in place to unlock the connectivity that empowers a smart community."

The company has also emphasised the importance of partnerships in being able to successfully tap into IOT.

Jimmy Ju, IOT Regional Director at Huawei, has previously reiterated the call for a more united effort to enable the possibilities of IOT.

"As Huawei we are looking forward to cooperating with any of our local industry partners and local developers including MTN to understand how we can bring our businesses together to create a profitable ecosystem in South Africa."

This year the company announced the launch of 15 new OpenLabs as part of a three-year investment plan. An OpenLab has been established in Johannesburg and will be used to manage, among other local technology adoption, the rollout of IOT solutions.

The firm also confirmed plans to link up with SAP and Oracle on these solutions.

Dave Holescher, marketing director for IOT solutions at Huawei, says the message to the South African market is that IOT has moved from being mere discussion and is happening right now.

"Using narrowband networks to connect to a lot of hard-to-reach devices is, I think, a really important trend," says Holescher.

According to a new GSMA study, more than half a billion people across Sub-Saharan Africa will be subscribed to a mobile service by 2020.

The GSMA says building a connected network to support the growth of smart communities is critical.

Huawei states that its goal with IOT solutions is to generate new revenue streams for its carrier customers in a diverse range of vertical industries including smart-home, smart metering and the connected car.

The company says NB-IOT is widely accepted as the best solution for Africa "because the technology supports low-powered wide-area networks, allowing for wide and deep coverage."

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