Safaricom going big on IoT

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Harry Hare Chairman CIO East Africa and Ahmed Yeyia CIO Safaricom during the Fireside Chat at #IoTAS2017 held in Nairobi Kenya.

Day two of Africa IoT Summit in Nairobi, Kenya kicked off with so much vigor and excitement following a fireside chat on IoT with Safaricom CIO Ahmed Yehia.

The conversation led by Harry Hare, Chairman, CIO East Africa was reckoned as timely considering Safaricom’s recent announcement of investing Ksh 38 billion total CAPEX to begin network roll-out and enhance its IT Systems.

Out of the Ksh 38 billion, Ksh 200 million will be used to set up a lab that will include some aspects of IoT widely relying on Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technology.

The NB-IoT is a standards-based low power wide area (LPWA) technology developed to enable a wide range of new IoT devices and services. It purposes to significantly improve the power consumption of user devices, system capacity and spectrum efficiency, especially in deep coverage.

Yehia noted that Safaricom is building the end-to-end lab that will offer solutions in the IoT ecosystem. Currently, Safaricom is testing some IoT solutions that border on management of conservancies in an effort to manage wildlife in partnership with conservationists.

“For Safaricom, IoT is the future. Things have changed from M2M to IoT and now we are moving to Internet of Everything. This presents a huge opportunity for organizations willing to collaborate on the broadened IoT arena.  We have started discussions around Narrow Band IoT since Safaricom is considering to become an IoT provider plus an IoT enabler,” said Yehia.

“For Safaricom, IoT is the future. Things have changed from M2M to IoT and now we are moving to Internet of Everything. This presents a huge opportunity for organizations willing to collaborate on the broadened IoT arena.  We have started discussions around Narrow Band IoT since Safaricom is considering to become an IoT provider plus an IoT enabler,” said Ahmed Yehia.

So far, we are having discussions with partners. Safaricom is all about transforming lives and through the IoT innovations, Yehia pointed out that the company was looking into deploying solutions that could transform lives, whether it is education, healthcare or even finance.

He pointed out that it was too early to point out what exactly they have done, but so far, they have created a platform that will help them to be ready and agile for IoT.

“The biggest benefit of IoT is having value of the analytics that can happen behind the data mined. We are busy trying to have the right IoT set-up since we believe this is more important than the user cases themselves,” added Yehia.

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