Show me the money.
Vodacom is making money from the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Vodafone-owned telco is flirting with R200 million in revenues from the connected world.
The telco announced on Thursday that its IoT business generated R192 million in revenues in the first quarter to end-June 2017, reflecting a 28% rise compared to the same period last year.
The big question remains, and Vodacom is not disclosing on its financials, whether the telco is making a profit from its investment in IoT.
In June 2016 Vodacom, which wants to be the driver for IoT ecosystem, upped its stake in South Africa’s IoT provider XLink to 100%.
The mobile phone operator believes this buy will enable it to execute across the full IoT value chain by developing new IoT verticals, whilst using X-link as managed services provider. XLink has operations across the continent.
Furthermore, Vodacom and MTN in partnership with Huawei are investing in NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT). NB-IoT is a new technology that will extend the utilisation of IoT by making it more efficient to connect objects requiring a long battery life and are in hard to reach areas to the Internet by ways of mobile connectivity. This Low Power Wide Area technology will connect more objects to the Internet of Things.
Vodacom rivals MTN and Telkom are also not disclosing if whether they are making any money from IoT solutions.
Vodacom recently launched a connected farmer solution.
Vodacom connected farmer is a mobile phone-based solution for Agri-businesses to interact and transact with Smallholder Farmers.
With an estimated combined investment about R21 million over three years, the ‘Connected Farmer’ platform, a cloud-based web and mobile software solution, will link thousands of smallholder farmers to the agriculture value chain enabling access to information, services, and markets.
For more read: The Connected Farmer: How Vodacom is Making Farming Cool