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Activate Group, SqwidNet confirm IOT partnership

Activate Group, SqwidNet confirm IOT partnership

Activate Group, an end-to-end Internet of Things (IOT), mobile solutions and IOT-as-a-service provider, has signed a partnership with SqwidNet, the licensed Sigfox IOT network operator in South Africa.

Sigfox, a global IOT network, has established an ecosystem reaching 45 countries. Through SqwidNet, the network currently reaches 81% of the population in South Africa, with a target of reaching 85% by mid-2018.

The partnership will see Activate Group roll out 14 pilot projects in the retail and logistics vertical with an estimated roll out of more than 100 000 units on SqwidNet's network by 2019.

According to the companies, the pilot projects are still in their early stages and are retail focused. The objective, the partners explains, is to show cost savings, automated tasks and business processes, real-time data for improved decision-making, improved visibility of corporate assets and improved operational efficiencies.

"This is a significant milestone for us," says Rodney Taylor, CEO at Activate Group. "We have seen significant interest in our IOT solutions in the market and through this partnership, we will be able to bring them to life. SqwidNet's extensive coverage has given us the ability to reach clients in areas we were unable to before the partnership."

The value proposition the alliance looks to push is the combination of SqwidNet's current and future reach with Activate Group's suite of IOT solutions.

Gartner forecasts that the number of connected things will grow to nearly 21 billion by 2020 and International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the worldwide IOT market will grow to US$1.7 trillion in the same year, representing a significant opportunity for every industry in the world.

"Partnering with Activate Group enables us to leverage on their capability and existing IOT platform solutions to further the digitalisation efforts that are underway in South Africa," says Reshaad Sha, CEO at SqwidNet.

"While IOT has been a buzz word for a long time, we are seeing it come to life now, as our clients are now being able to take advantage of strategic IOT and mobile technologies that drive innovation, agility and creates new revenue opportunities while giving them a competitive edge," says Taylor.

The companies say budget constraints often inhibit mainstream IOT projects and this is why the IOT-as-a-service offering features what is described as "flexible, affordable financing options".

"There is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to IOT. So, we evaluate each customer based on their individual needs and the craft the solution based on that. That said, a large focus and the reason for our success is that Activate has total control of the costings as there are no middle men in the layers of the total IOT solution. Activate have created an affordable model for African clients which are well below what the European IoT solutions cost, making it attractive and creating a ROI for the client," the companies say.

While the partnership is focused primarily on South Africa, Activate Group says it has exclusive rights to several IOT applications and the Yodiwo IOT AEP platform for the African continent.

The company says it has plans to extend to other parts of the continent, but this will be determined by market and client needs.

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