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Vendors look to capitalise on Africa's bustling smart home market

Vendors look to capitalise on Africa's bustling smart home market

Connectivity solutions provider D-Link has announced that it will be broadening its smart home offering to power retailers and ISPs in the Middle East and Africa in 2017.

The vendor says the move to strengthen its focus on smart home products in these regions is due to expected growth in demand from the market over the next year.

Sakkeer Hussain, Director of Sales and Marketing at D-Link Middle East and Africa (MEA) says the company is taking a different direction to focus on the smart home segment to complement its networking, wireless and ISP business.

"We are delighted with the direction we have taken to provide integrated holistic solutions from networking, wireless, routers and smart home solutions."

Hussain says while the impact of the oil price and currency volatility in several markets across MEA has affected the IT industry negatively, on the whole, the networking sector has remained stable mostly due to the growing Internet broadband penetration in the region, which he says has resulted in greater investment by telecom operators in new telecoms infrastructure.

The company has developed smart home products based on its Mydlink Cloud Platform, which was launched in 2010.

"We are talking to our ISP customers in MEA with the aim of growing our smart home business. To make a home really smart, we have made monitoring a truly simple experience, through the Mydlink.com portal. By simply downloading the free mydlink app on a smartphone or tablet, users can integrate smart home products like IP cameras, smart plugs, water and motion sensors."

Leveraging improved connectivity

D-Link's announcement of plans to capitalise on the smart home market in Africa follows similar intentions revealed by Samsung in February.

Samsung says its focus on delivering more smart home solutions to the South African market, in particular, is as a result of the surge in fibre networks and reductions in data costs in the country.

Michael McKechnie, Director: Digital Appliances at Samsung South Africa says the company looks to move its smart home offering beyond the smart TV which has been available in South Africa for several years with the addition of washing machines, smart fridges and smart cooking appliances over the next 18 to 24 months.

"2017 will be the beginning of an exciting new phase in SA's evolution to smart living. Now that the high-speed connectivity infrastructure is in place and data costs are dropping, the foundations are ready for highly advanced, connected digital appliances to take their place in South African homes. A key driver for Samsung in 2017 will be enabling a happier home. By providing a range of intelligent, linked home appliances to South Africa, we are opening the door to new lifestyle possibilities, giving people more ways to connect and reducing the time they must spend on household chores – all of which contributes to a happier home."

Samsung says its smart home offering will be priced for a wide range of budgets, although it expects premium customers to be the first to buy into the smart home concept, with the mid-to-entry-level markets following soon after.

"Consumers might see smart home appliances as a gimmick at first, but as soon as they experience the convenience of living within that smart and connected environment, they will look to build on their smart home ecosystems," concludes McKechnie.

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