Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Digital Inclusion

World Telecom Labs Teams Up With eWATERpay

Article Image
PRESS RELEASE -- AfricaCom 2018 -- World Telecom Labs (WTL) has partnered with eWATERpay to include the provision of water into its multi-award–winning Vivada Rural Infrastructure Ecosystem.

The Vivada system from WTL has been deployed across Africa winning multiple awards in the process, including Best Connectivity Solution for Africa at the 2016 AfricaCom awards.

As well as providing voice and data in rural and semi-urban areas, Vivada also generates solar power that can be connected to a mini-grid to provide power to homes and businesses living off-grid or in areas with unreliable grid supplies.

The provision of metered water using eWATERpay’s award-winning business model has now been incorporated into Vivada following demand from a number of organisations active in rural Africa.

eWATERpay will extend the water supply to villages and install taps. Its technology allows people to pre-pay for water using cash or mobile money, made possible by WTL’s Vivada wifi and GSM network. Water credit can also be purchased and shared by government (to schools and health clinics) or urban diaspora (to family).

eWATERpay also provides water authorities with a digital dashboard that captures and processes real-time data on litres of water sold, revenue collected, number of users at each water point, and any detected leaks or malfunctions in the water system.

Alex Burton, eWaterpay’s CEO said: “This is a very exciting relationship with WTL but most importantly it offers transformation to rural communities by providing a one stop utility service that is sustainable and robust. We are very much looking forward to seeing Vivada being deployed in more rural communities across Africa.”

Leigh Smith, MD of WTL, said: “Our Vivada system was originally developed to provide voice and data. However, in many areas we are the only infrastructure company and so people continually ask us to provide other services. We are delighted to now be able to add the supply of water to our portfolio as we know from first hand experience that demand is extremely high.”

WTL continues to champion the National Roaming model across Africa to increase coverage, improve service levels and encourage competition.

National Roaming has two components:

- Building new shared networks in rural areas where there is little or no coverage at the moment. These would be built by a neutral service provider and used by existing operators. Allocating USF money to the CAPEX cost of such networks would reduce the risk.

- Enabling people to use the network of other service providers where their own service provider does not have a network or has limited network coverage. In effect, operators share their infrastructure thus eliminating the need to lay duplicate infrastructures in areas where this is not commercially feasible.

With infrastructure sharing now being considered across Africa, WTL firmly believes that the removal of the CAPEX cost of building a rural network will encourage previously reluctant operators to start offering services in these areas.

WTL is already working with MNOs and wholesale operators across Africa to build rural networks, with power and water provided as appropriate.


Innovation hub


Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up