ZTE and MTN have launched a global machine to machine (M2M) SIM card, providing customers with a blanket rate for M2M activity across MTN’s telecom network in Africa.
MTN and ZTE have also launched an Internet of Things (IoT) platform that adopts technologies suited for developing markets. The new IoT platform is now live in South Africa, with other MTN operating countries set to follow over the next 12 months. The platform removes significant cost and accessibility barriers. In addition, the platform enables networked devices to exchange information and perform actions, responding intelligently to their environments without human intervention.
By 2020 there will be 50 billion connected devices around the world, facilitated by the growing use of IoT devices and M2M communication. In the Middle East and Africa (MEA), IoT and M2M technology will drive business growth in sectors such as banking, transportation, energy, and public services through smart cities.
MTN Group, a leading operator in Africa, aims to generate revenue from IoT M2M products and services by offering connectivity and end-to-end solutions, targeting businesses, government and consumers. MTN is working with a number of organizations to support the development of smart cities. In South Africa, the wholesale machine-to-machine (M2M) market — one aspect of IoT — is already worth an estimated R350 million, and is expected to grow to R1.2 billion by 2017.
Zhao Peng, VP of ZTE, said: “The new IoT platform provided by ZTE, which is live in South Africa and able to connect and manage machines across MTN’s African footprint, provides a dedicated network to connect devices and systems.”
“The IoT platform and its associated integrated network environment will enable MTN to introduce application services with the potential to enhance the socio-economic environment in South Africa and throughout the rest of the continent,” said Mteto Nyati, chief enterprise officer of MTN Group, in a statement.