Liquid Telecom deploys first IOT service in Kenya

Liquid Telecom will deploy over 3,000 air quality censors to map pollution across Kenya and provide actionable data to stakeholders.

The service, delivered in collaboration with Code for Africa (CfA), will use the telco's Sigfox Low Power Wide Area IOT network launched in August 2018.

The rollout will be done in phases, beginning with Nairobi's business central district.

According to Liquid Telecom and CfA, the IOT network will reduce operations costs for each sensor from Kshs 18,000 a year when using traditional Wi-Fi, to Kshs 1,200 per year. The hope is to reach Mombasa and Nakuru in the coming months.

The sensors will provide detailed neighbourhood measurement of air pollutants every two-and-a-half minutes.

Chege James, CfA technologist and sensors.AFRICA lead, said urbanisation, an increase in traffic and weak disposal of refuse has made pollution worse.

"The nationwide rollout follows a pilot exercise in Nairobi with sixty air sensors managed by CfA's sensors.AFRICA. The pilot has confirmed widespread and dangerous air pollution in the city, supporting estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) that 20,739 Kenyans are dying each year from air pollution," according to a statement by the company.

CfA and Liquid Telecom plan to make the findings public using a dashboard.

"The authorities know pollution is bad, but no-one has until now had localised evidence about exactly how bad, or where the hotspots are. Liquid Telecom Kenya's new IOT network will help sensors.AFRICA create a detailed map of the problem, so that everyone can understand the scale and nature of one of our nation's biggest killers," said Liquid Telecom East Africa Chief Executive Officer Adil El-Youssefi.