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Vodafone pushes IoT acquisition to deliver green agenda

Nico Steyn IoTnxt 16x9.jpg

Vodafone is using last year’s acquisition in the internet-of-things (IoT) business to support its plan to help reduce carbon emissions.

The company’s South African offshoot, Vodacom, last year bought a 51% stake in local IoT start-up, IoT.nxt, and it is using this to boost the mobile operator’s activities in the sector.

“We’re making it easy for any business to adopt IoT,” said Anne Sheehan, business director of Vodafone UK today. “We’re taking away complexity, and making it simple to deploy, simple to manage, and simple to see the return on investment.”

Vodafone said that, as part of the new range of services, it will provide IoT sensors and devices, create a data management platform, and offer ongoing professional services. “This complete offering will ensure IoT is accessible to all businesses, including those that do not have specialist capabilities in-house.”

It said that markets that can most quickly benefit from IoT adoption include utilities, logistics, public transport, healthcare, manufacturing, and building management.

Nico Steyn (pictured), CEO of IoT.nxt, said: “IoT is perceived by many businesses to be complex and bespoke, but it doesn’t have to be. We hope to change that perception with a platform which can be adapted to any business, and type of connection, and any use case.”

The company’s UK operation said that investment in IoT in public sector buildings could reduce carbon emissions, reduce energy usage and save taxpayers up to £380 million a year. A report from Vodafone new technology could reduce carbon emissions by up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 a year and reduce overall energy usage in buildings by 15%.

Vodafone claimed that 87% of UK early adopters said they have already seen a return-on-investment for IoT, while 76% suggested they are able to do things they couldn’t do before. IoT is helping businesses adapt to the digital economy, but complexity has been a major barrier to adoption.

Sheehan added: “With our colleagues at IoT.nxt we can be unique in the UK market – we’ll grow our leadership position from here, and deliver customers a digital capability that will prove invaluable in meeting the pressures of business today.”

Steyn founded IoT.nxt with colleagues in Pretoria in 2015. South Africa’s Competition Commission approved Vodacom’s purchase of 51% of the company in August 2019. Neither company gave a price for the deal.