Vodacom to enterprises:  Take advantage of IoT

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Vodacom Business Nigeria has advised entrepreneurs in Nigeria to take advantage of the growing popularity of internet of Things (IoT) to maximise returns on investment (RoI) and optimise cost.

The Managing Director of Vodacom Business Nigeria, Lanre Kolade, who gave the advice in a keynote speech at NigeriaCom 2017 organised by Informa Telecoms Group, said the constantly evolving world of today, IoT has become one of the fastest growing technologies, stressing that iIt is therefore essential to seize the vast opportunities that this growth presents in transforming businesses.

He said across all industries, IoT solutions have been adopted to provide a host of different benefits, from increased RoI to developing stronger relationships with customers’, with far reaching benefits projected for the future.

According to Kolade, today, telcos are facing a period of flat growth for core services and significant decline in Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). This drastic change threatens the survival of the telecoms industry, as substantial declines in user spending on voice and text services have caused a decline in telco revenue. IoT has delivered a big growth opportunity for the industry due to the volume of connections expected and experts have projected the market will reach $14.6 trillion global market size by 2020.

Kolade advised telecom operators to adapt to the changing times and source other revenue streams to replace what is being lost in the continuing revolution of communications.

He said: “The IoT offers significant growth potential and the opportunity to take a role in new vertical markets, such as automotive, healthcare and smart cities. As these sectors seek to adopt more IoT services, the opportunities that exist are vast. Whether you are a hardware manufacturer or connectivity reseller, adding IoT solutions to your portfolio will open up new revenue streams from selling hardware, software and connectivity services, to a broad range of value-added services, such as consulting, integration and support.  Telcos will have to look at the Internet of Things as a potential revenue generator to offset the declining revenues from core services.”

By 2020, more than seven billion people and businesses, and over 30 billion devices, will be connected to the internet. The question is no longer about the adoption of IoT but rather its application to drive business success. Vodacom’s IoT solutions support wireless payment devices and e-readers, energy usage and smart metering, chilling cabinets, remote asset monitoring systems and community health management solutions.

Vodacom recently partnered with Kaduna State Government to launch a mobile technology-based healthcare program, SMS for Life 2.0, in the state which aims to increase the availability of essential medication by monitoring drug stock levels and improving the delivery of healthcare for citizens who access public health services. Vodacom is the technology partner for the initiative, which is a public-private partnership with Novartis and the Kaduna State Ministry of Health. Vodacom has concluded the training and deployment of SMS for Life 2.0 in Kaduna, with over 250 facilities using the platform to date. This initiative is planned to be implemented in all thirty six states.

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