FastNet announces Africa’s first dedicated M2M network and IoT developer academy

FastNet, a subsidiary of Telkom SA SOC Limited, has announced the launch of the FastNet IoT Academy. This announcement was made at My World of Tomorrow, South Africa's premier IoT conference, hosted by Business Connexion.

FastNet is encouraging developers of IoT applications and sensors to participate in the FastNet IoT ecosystem, by registering their interest at http://developer.fastnet.co.za. Upon screening, developers can start using FastNet's dedicated M2M access network within their applications. This network, christened “FastNet LoRaWAN”, is currently available in more than 40% of South Africa, covering 8500km2 across Gauteng, Cape Region and the east coast of KZN.

The message based network offers developers and customers greater operational benefit for their M2M applications relative to public GSM or satellite technologies. FastNet's rollout of this LPWAN is the first in Africa, and amongst the first five in the world. LoRaWAN is a low power, wide area network radio technology boasting extreme practical value for M2M operators, including long battery life on sensors (up to 10 years), bi-directional data interchange over a range of up to 15km and great indoor penetration. FastNet is a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, a consortium of telcos, vendors and interested parties.

Globally, applications seen on LoRaWAN include smart water metering, distribution leak detection, irrigation and energy load balancing. Once enhanced features such as localisation are released by the Alliance, tracking through the network will yield accuracies comparable to existing technologies. This is part of FastNet’s rollout planning as the LoRaWAN specification reaches maturity.

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