Inmarsat in partnership with Jersey Telecom and Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks for industrial IoT have deployed LoRaWAN (Low Power Wide Area Network) infrastructure around the city of Kigali, Rwandan to provide a blueprint for smart city projects throughout Africa.
The LoRaWAN network will provide city wide coverage that enables a variety of organisations to develop and deploy IoT applications on a large scale, as well as allowing entrepreneurs to easily connect their front-end IoT devices through a middleware layer. Applications could address any number of urban needs, including transport, utilities, health and education.
According to Paul Gudonis, President, Inmarsat Enterprise, “Whilst many commentators have enthused about the possibilities of the IoT for the urban environment, from increasing utility usage efficiency to enabling a smooth network of autonomous cars, the reality is that it is still relatively untested and in its infancy. Kigali is taking the lead with its smart city project, creating an IoT ecosystem where both private and government organisations can experiment with this technology in a vibrant and lively city.”
Some of the applications already on the network include environmental monitoring that will include sensors being deployed in buildings to monitor air quality, a smart bus equipped with satellite internet providing ubiquitous connectivity for remote communities, the smart bus is LoRaWAN enabled providing real-time data acquisition in communities that it services; and a precision farming initiative, intended to increase crop yield and better manage water resources.
The Kigali smart city project is intended to shine a light on the possibilities that technology offers the continent. The Kigali project will expose a new generation of students, business leaders, and technologists to the potential of the IoT, and will create demand for innovative solutions to common urban issues in countries and cities all over Africa.
Inmarsat had announced a day earlier that it was working with the government of the Republic of Rwanda to launch a series of digital service initiatives across the capital, Kigali, a city of more than one million people. Over the coming 12 months smart cities project, which will enable environmental monitoring that will include sensors being deployed in buildings to monitor air quality; a smart bus equipped with satellite internet providing ubiquitous connectivity for remote communities. The smart bus will be LoRaWAN-enabled providing real-time data acquisition in the communities that it services; and a precision farming initiative, intended to increase crop yield and better manage water resources.
Inmarsat initiative to enable entrepreneurs and students in Rwanda to deepen their understanding of IoT. The programme will expose young Rwandans to the transformational capabilities of IoT. It will include a three-month student internship, an IoT boot camp for students and entrepreneurs, and a partnership with the winner of Rwanda’s 2016 Ms Geek competition.
Inmarsat’s Global Government team will also set up a range of mission critical unified communications solutions which will enable Government officials to see very directly how their security agencies and disaster response organisations can benefit from access to real-time video surveillance, integrated push-to-talk radio networks, and enhanced command and control, and situational awareness, linking their mobile and remotely deployed personnel back to the operational HQ.