The Internet of Things is Enabling Shared Economy Applications

The combination of IoT with what is termed “the shared economy is revolutionising our lives.

The Internet of Things is Enabling Shared Economy ApplicationsMTN is a strategic partner for Huawei and both companies share a common vision of accelerating South Africa’s IoT sector.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is forging the digital economic era.

Several countries are experiencing the influence of the digital economy, which is transforming the way we live and do things that matter to us.

The IoT, which is a concept of connecting devices – ranging from refrigerators, geysers, smart electric meters, coffee makers, etc. – to the internet, is changing the way humans connect with the world through integrated technologies.

The combination of IoT  with what is termed “the shared economy is revolutionising our lives.

The sharing economy is about using social networks to share resources, such as UBER – ride sharing and AirBNB – home sharing.

Chinese telecoms player Huawei wants to be a big player in the development of IoT and the shared economy.

Zhu Ming, Huawei’s IoT Regional Director, spoke about Huawei’s vision for Enabling and Promoting an Intelligent Society, where all things are intelligent, connected and sensing. “We can only do this by creating partnerships with all players; network operators, device manufacturers and application developers.”

“We want to enable the intelligent society, everything should be able to sense and connect together and we want all things to be intelligent,” says Ming at the MTN IoT Conference and Awards in Sandton, Johannesburg.

He added that Huawei was keen on building a profitable IoT ecosystem, but wanted to share the growth with its partners.

He emphasized that cooperating with partners, to build a profitable ecosystem, is the best way to accelerate the development of the Internet of Things in South Africa.

“In South Africa, IoT is still in its early stages of development, but already we are seeing significant demand for solutions in various industries, like utilities, insurance and manufacturing,” says Ming.

Huawei and MTN are already working together in the IoT space, which is focused on Smart Refrigeration, Smart Water and Usage-based Insurance Solutions.

“In Africa the opportunity is great for using Narrow Band IoT solutions (NB-IoT), because this network gives us wide and deep coverage and devices that are deployed have a very long battery life,” says Ming


To build a customized African IoT solution and enable operators to provide IoT as a service to verticals, Huawei is using its ‘GLocal’ ecosystem philosophy.

“GLocal means using Huawei’s global experience and engagement with leading international vendors and then partnering with local players to cultivate a Local ecosystem,” explains Ming.

Huawei’s OceanConnect platform is an open ecosystem built on IoT, cloud computing, and Big Data technologies. Right now, Huawei OceanConnect ecosystem have more than 500 partners all over the world

Ming also cited the sharing economy as an example of using IoT to solve problems associated with congestion.

Earlier this year, Huawei signed an agreement with Beijing-based bike sharing firm ofo to improve technology related to smart bikes. For more read: Ofo Partners With China Telecom, Huawei To Improve Smart Bike Tech

He asked delegates at the conference whether the bike sharing is solving the problem of the last mile in China.

However, Ming emphasised that the sharing economy will be enabled by IoT as a means of tracking, monitoring and managing resources.


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