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By Phumza Dyani, Sales and Marketing Chief Officer for  Broadband Infraco

By 2025 according to the Economic Development in Africa Report 2018, Africa will have 50 of the largest cities in the world accounting for 40% of the GDP (now 13%). By 2030 Africa will account for 40% of the global population (greater than China and India). SA Africa’s 2nd largest economy contributing 0.4% to global GDP, (Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy contributes 0.5% to global GDP) and Sub-Saharan Africa growing at 3.1% a geography that is experiencing gradual reforms and cautious growth outlooks.

If left unattended, the digital divide that currently exists across the African continent can have dire consequences on the country and the continents growing population.

Business leaders in all industries are actively looking to take advantage of IoT’s potential to transform everything from customer offers and relationships to internal processes and operations.

Technology and communications providers are the ones that will deliver the power of IoT to everyone. With this in mind, organisations are looking for various techniques and methods of addressing the widespread connectivity challenge. It is the responsibility of leaders in the technology sector to help society transform and be empowered for the digital world. More so given the volume of exciting things that are happening in the digital space at the moment.

Forrester predicts that IoT platforms will become the customer backbone of the future. IoT Edge computing will help open new possibilities in IoT with decentralized computing – more businesses will push the processing and analysis of data to the edge of the network, cutting data integration costs and reducing network latency.

IoT enabled businesses will drive cohesive business processes and increase their focus on running businesses. Security will be a key consideration for open IoT eco-systems and block-chain can have a pivotal role to play in securing IoT devices and platforms.

What’s important now, and should be our focus going forward, is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. To fully capitalise on the opportunities housed in this movement – organisations should be honing on small and medium enterprises. It’s essential that we facilitate business transformations, to ensure that business is well-equipped and ready for the digital world. We should be assisting business with internet connectivity, connectivity to the digital world, in a digital way.

We’ve seen numerous IoT advancements in our modern-day vehicles, all of which work towards collecting data that will keep us safer on our roads, maintain vehicle efficiency and even reduce drivers’ insurance premiums.  To truly unlock the power of connected vehicles, however, we’ll require continuous and reliable network connectivity.

The telecommunications industry is driving the connected vehicle revolution, which provides the technology and connectivity that enables us to not only connect to, but also communicate with our vehicles. Currently, our 4G network’s ability to support connected vehicles is limited. To transition into a world where driverless cars roam our roads, we’ll need more scalable 5G networks, technologies and infrastructure. With these innovations in hand, we’ll be able to develop end-to-end solutions for future mobility and truly help transform the transportation services.

The introduction of a 5G network technology will help equip vehicles with human-like reflexes, which will remove the need for any human element whatsoever when the vehicle is in operation. 5G will be instrumental for introducing speeds never experienced before as well as enable scale in connectivity in densely populated environments.

IoT is a and 5G network are key to providing customers with services that allow them to control and manage their assets and run their businesses efficiently through informed decisions. End-to-end fleet management solution for example allows companies to monitor the movements of all their vehicles resulting in the safety of its people and assets by helping reduce theft, assisting in the recovery of stolen assets as well as preventing accidents. Other benefits include driving style improvement, better fuel management leading to reduced cost, reduced insurance costs due to reduction in the risk of loss and saving on the maintenance costs through optimized fleet utilisation.

However, it must be stressed that massive upgrades of backhaul will be required as existing infrastructure will now need to deal with multiplied data at high speeds as well as inputs from various sources in the instance of IoT devices.  

Spectrum would be of particular importance in order to allow use of high demand spectrum for better propagations purposes. Security will also need to be of significant consideration as the vulnerability of the network will be a major issue from all forms of attack. Fibre will still be central to this as 5G connect to the base stations via fibre. From Broadband Infraco’s perspective, we are ready to support high capacity requirements from our customers through our backhaul.