Augmenting traditional tracking with IoT
Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, has concluded a partnership with SqwidNet, the Sigfox Operator in South Africa. The agreement will see Netstar, the pioneer of the stolen vehicle tracking and recovery (SVR) industry in South Africa, move beyond traditional vehicle tracking by availing new opportunities made possible by Sigfox’s technology. Netstar’s product range will see new cost-effective telematics devices introduced using this technology. A Sigfox communication module will enhance the existing RF network to offer new IoT opportunities to the Netstar solution.
“In order to evolve our IoT solutions, we realised that we needed to enhance connectivity within our suite of solutions,” says Pierre Bruwer, Netstar’s Group Managing Director. “With over 600 000 vehicles already in our cover, the Sigfox network is going to provide additional connectivity that will enable us to enter new markets as well as develop new solutions for our existing customers,” he says.
The partnership between SqwidNet and Netstar accelerates the uptake of IoT in South Africa, with an end-to-end ecosystem of specialist providers that can help with more sustainable solutions to customers. Digital transformation needs to be experienced in various ways, low power wide area networks (LPWANs) help business realise problem solving through receiving data from other sources, for improved insights or measuring specific applications.
“We are certainly excited with a partnership with Netstar, as an enabler to taking our technology to new levels of innovation. Netstar has ensured that their devices are Sigfox Ready(tm),” says Chetan Goshalia, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer of SqwidNet. “This means all assets tracked by Netstar will be visible, with message delivery under an SLA, in South Africa and in any of the 45 countries Sigfox operates in at no extra cost. This results in significant operational efficiencies for Netstar.”
“The first dual device has already been developed with Sigfox connectivity, and we plan to roll out more solutions using this technology to capitalise on the value and benefits,” says Shaun Brashaw, Chief Technology Officer at Netstar.
As the Sigfox operator in South Africa, SqwidNet currently covers over 85% of the population with its network. This technology opens up endless opportunities to apply solutions to problems that they were not traditionally intended for, but, by design, end up solving. At SqwidNet, we drive innovation through IoT and enable our partners to do just that, to create new revenue streams to ensure they succeed in the fast-paced digital age,” says Goshalia. “Through embracing IoT, Netstar will be able to augment their signatory solutions and bring new solutions to the market, providing their clients with even more value.”
“Furthermore as part of our global expansion, we will be able to bring IoT solutions to new markets that will provide our clients with even greater peace of mind in our hyper-connected world,” concluded Bruwer.
SqwidNet was launched in November 2016 as the Sigfox operator in South Africa. SqwidNet is driving innovation through a nation-wide IoT network that is low-cost and low-power. With its growing partner network, SqwidNet gives business access to an IoT ecosystem that brings their assets to life.
The company began through a partnership between Dark Fibre Africa (DFA) and global IoT operator Sigfox. Sigfox today has presence in 45 countries and covers over 800 million people with its global network, allowing Sigfox Ready™ devices to roam at no extra cost. The SqwidNet network currently covers over 85% of the South African population, enabling millions of physical devices to be connected to the digital world.
For more information, please visit www.sqwidnet.com.
About Netstar, a subsidiary of Altron
Netstar pioneered the stolen vehicle and tracking recovery industry in South Africa in 1994, and is a market-leading provider of digitally connected fleet management, tracking and recovery, and vehicle telematics services and solutions.
Owned by the JSE listed Altron Group and a member of Altron TMT – a high-technology telecommunications, multimedia and IT (TMT) solutions group – Netstar is based in Midrand, with regional and branch offices in all major South African centres. Netstar operations extend into Africa, with service providers in 12 African countries, as well as international operations based in Australia and Malaysia.
Digital fleet solutions include dynamic routing and scheduling software; on-board camera systems; fleet life cycle management software; specialised trailer and forklift monitoring products; and satellite, bureau and web-based solutions. www.netstar.co.za.
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