The modern life of connected people and intelligent things to the Internet depends on flourishing, stable and secure telecommunications networks.
“Information Communications Technologies (ICTs) have transformed the way people live and the manner in which countries develop. They have the potential to enable us to solve many of the critical problems confronting us,” the late ANC leader and South African President Nelson Mandela, succinctly pointed out the way modern life is changing during his address at the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecom World Conference in 2009.
“If this potential is to be realised, then we must find ways of turning these technologies into a resource for all people despite the challenges they face within their communities.”
By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population is expected to live in mega-cities. How all those people live, and what their lives are like, will depend on important choices leaders make today and in the coming years.
Some cities are starting to realise that for them to be successful and respond to the needs of its citizens they should embrace ICT’s.
Cape Town, South Africa’s second largest city by population, is emerging as one of the world’s smart cities, but its smart city strategy is at present not focused on Internet of Things (IoT) opportunities. For more read: Cape Town Is Emerging As One Of The World’s Smart Cities
“A smart sustainable city is an innovative city that uses ICTs and other means to improve quality of life, efficiency of urban operation and services, and competitiveness, while ensuring that it meets the needs of present and future
generations with respect to economic, social, environmental, as well as cultural aspects,” according ITU.
The main emphasis of Cape Town smart city strategy is on e-Government to provide better access to and more efficient delivery of human facing services. Providing social and economic development by improving ICT skills is also an area of priority.
Technology has the power to help people live in communities that are more responsive to their needs and that can improve their lives. For more read: How to ensure smart cities benefit everyone
This is about to change for Africa
Chinese-based telecoms giant Huawei wants to support and promote the concept of “smart communities” in Africa.
The global ICT solutions provider participated at the 2017 GSMA Mobile 360–Africa conference that took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. This year’s event focused on putting mobile connectivity at the forefront of national digital strategies and leveraging the power of mobile to build smart communities and a digital Africa, inclusive for all.
During a key note speech at the Mobile 360 event, Huawei South Africa’s, director for strategic partnerships & new technologies, Dr. Bello Moussa said:
“Huawei’s vision for IoT is to enable and promote a smart society, where everything is intelligent, connected and sensing. A network should be in place to unlock the connectivity that empowers a smart community.”
GSMA wants to see smart communities in Africa
According to a new GSMA study, more than half a billion people across Sub-Saharan Africa will be subscribed to a mobile service by 2020.
The GSMA says building a connected network to support the growth of smart communities is critical.
“The IoT market in Africa is huge; as a platform provider, we see our role as a key enabler for the growth and development of IoT on the continent. Once deployed, IoT has the potential to create socio-economic growth in Africa. Many organisations are either already using or planning to implement IoT in their operations,” said Dr. Moussa.
Global ICT consulting and advisory firm International Data Corporation (IDC) forecast IoT revenues in the Middle East and Africa will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 21.3% over the next four years to total more than $14.3 billion in 2020. This growth would be led by IoT investment in manufacturing, transportation, and utilities.
Huawei’s role in digital transformation
The goal of Huawei’s IoT solutions is to generate new revenue streams for its carrier customers in a diverse range of vertical industries including smart-home, smart metering, and the connected car.
“Huawei is devoted to establishing a better IoT ecosystem by cooperating with leading global IoT players. We want to collaborate with our clients, developers, and industry players to build a better-connected Africa together, said Dr. Moussa.
NB-IoT is widely accepted as the best solution for Africa because the technology supports low-powered wide-area networks, allowing for wide and deep coverage. For more on Huawei and NB-IoT in Africa read: Huawei, Telcos to Help Make Smart Agriculture a Reality in Africa