FastNet, a leading Machine-to-Machine (M2M) operator in South Africa, recently announced plans to build a network which is specifically designed for the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) in South Africa.
FastNet, which is part of the Telkom SA Group, will be utilising LoRa (Long Range) technology from Semtech, a global semiconductor company, to target low power connectivity for Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The LoRa network deployments will be aimed at devices and services that require long battery lifetime at a low price point. This will complement FastNet’s other cellular M2M services that are optimal for high data throughput applications, where an ample power source is available.
The Internet of Things enables the ubiquitous access of everyday objects to the internet. Gartner has predicted that 4.9 billion connected devices would be in use by next year, and that the number will rise to 20 billion by 2020. More than 50% of these applications will be low power devices, requiring long battery life.
“We believe that Semtech’s LoRa RF technology is the most appropriate choice to deploy IOT services, thanks to its long range and secure, bidirectional communication capabilities,” said John Myers, CEO of FastNet. “LoRa satisfies the requirements of our customers for smart grid, industrial automation, asset tracking, metering, security and many other applications. The value proposition of the LoRa technology is convincing major industries to deploy IOT applications and services which were previously unrealisable.”
Marc Pegulu, Vice-President of Marketing for Semtech’s wireless sensing and timing business unit added “This step allows application developers in the region wanting to attach low cost monitoring and metering devices to this network to do so without the cost and overhead of developing their own wireless infrastructure.”
According to Gartner, the IoT will become a powerful force for business transformation, with its disruptive impact being felt across all industries and all areas of society.