Sandton: Friday, 29 July , 2022 – Macrocomm recently joined Community Investment Venture Holdings (CIVH) and other major investors for the launch of Sigfox South Africa – the country’s largest 0G IoT network – at an event in Sandton. Through network assets previously owned by Sqwidnet, as well as additional infrastructure investments, the new entity currently covers 95% of the country’s population, as well as 90% of its national roads.
Sigfox is a French – based operator with presence in approximately 73 countries and entered the country through its partnership with Sqwidnet – a pioneer of local IoT technology. While Sqwidnet eventually closed its doors, there is consensus that the South African market is ripe for the technology as local use cases continue to grow.
CIVH CEO Raymond Ndlovu said that the new consortium was committed to ensuring the sustainability of the network and were confident it its commercial and technical viability.
The other members of the consortium are Macrocomm, Discovery Insure, Fidelity ADT and Buffet Investments.
He explained that when CIVH made the announcement to close Sqwidnet, they had to continue to service the users who had become reliant on the Sigfox network and added that CIVH completely understood and appreciated the importance and impact that the network had throughout the country. “I am proud and pleased today to announce the launch of Sigfox South Africa – the 0G network which is the result of months and month of painstaking work, negotiation discussion amongst five partner including CIVH, “ he said.
Ndlovu also announced the new leadership of Sigfox South Africa, which will be headed by Sumeshin Naidoo – as Chief Commercial Officer – and comprises a number of former Sqwidnet executives.
Henri Bong, the co-founder and CEO of UnaBiz, which runs the Sigfox network globally, said that South Africa was by far the fastest growing in adopter of IoT in the Middle East / Africa region. He stressed what makes IoT relevant for the region is the low cost, low energy and long-range coverage nature of Sigfox’s 0G network. “Low cost is at the core of the design of the design of Sigfox” he said. Bong discussed several current and potential applications that support the commercial viability of the technology.
Highlighting the importance of bridging the gap between academia and industry, Professor Thinus Booysen , the Professor and Chair in the Internet of Things at the Faculty of Engineering at Stellenbosch University, said the biggest challenge for innovation is not the ideas but use cases. “We don’t want kids to just go to school and get all these great ideas – we want them to do,” he said.
Speaking on the sustainability of the Sigfox network, Macrocomm CEO Sivi Moodley believes that its strength lies in the partnerships that are being formed by the consortium which, along with the support of government, channel partners and the academic fraternity, will create a robust, and sustainable IoT ecosystem. “We are looking at the big picture – how can we improve productivity and how can we improve operating costs and build a distinct advantage,” he said.
Macrocomm is a premier innovation and technology agnostic led provider of data driven digital solutions. Our solutions are not just focused of connectivity and technology, but they aim to solve societal problems in a Smart Made Simple way. The Macrocomm group of companies play across all stages in the digital value chain including devices, connectivity, platforms, application and software development, systems integration and training and development. This enables us to innovate across the digital value chain to deliver bespoke as well as generic solutions in a manner that leverages both scope and scale. We service a range of verticals including municipalities, fleet, agriculture, facilities management, health, mining, retail, and logistics. Our key partners include Vodacom, Sigfox, University of Stellenbosch, Orange, MTN, Bosch, Cell C, Unabiz, and BCX.