MTN launches pan-African IoT platform
African operator MTN has launched what it claims is the first pan-African internet of things platform (IoT) aimed to provide the region's enterprises with greater control and management features for their connected devices.
The IoT service is live in South Africa, where MTN is based, and is expected to roll out in other MTN operating countries over the next year.
The platform provides a dedicated network to connect devices and systems which, according to MTN, removes significant cost and accessibility barriers and enables development on a broader scale. The open platform is designed to enable networked devices to exchange information and perform actions, responding intelligently to their environments without human intervention.
"To ensure a seamless customer experience for our customers, wherever MTN has presence, the IoT platform has a dedicated network, separate from the consumer network, for operational and business systems support. As a result, the platform is dedicated to managing all MTN’s machine-to-machine functions," said Mteto Nyati, MTN group chief enterprise officer.
The launch also saw the introduction of a global machine-to-machine sim card, which offers customers the same rate for M2M across the company's footprint in Africa.
"In South Africa, the wholesale M2M market – one aspect of IoT – is already worth an estimated 350 million rand ($30 million) and expected to grow to 1.2 billion rand by 2017. This means there are significant business opportunities for aspiring developers in South Africa and the rest of the continent," Nyati added.