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.

Emerging Tech

Vodafone UK builds up IoT offering with SA's IoT.nxt

Article Image
Vodafone UK flagged plans to expand its Internet of Things (IoT) offering for enterprise customers, building on the expertise of South Africa-based IoT.nxt.

Vodafone-owned Vodacom Group acquired a 51% stake in the IoT solutions provider in 2019 as a way to accelerate its IoT strategy.

At the time, Vodacom said the deal would allow it to take advantage of what IoT.nxt has already been doing in the IoT market and combine this with the IoT activities of Vodacom Business.

According to Scott Petty, chief technology officer at Vodafone UK, the group is now realizing its intention of bringing IoT.nxt to the global stage.

"We really hope to accelerate its growth in the UK and across Europe in the coming months," he said.

IoT.nxt provides hardware – in the form of smart sensors and IoT gateways – and software that is used to provide IoT solutions through an end-to-end platform.

The combination of its protocol-agnostic information layer and flexible architecture allows for rapid solution development, it claims.

Money where your mouth is

Vodafone plans to work with IoT.nxt to develop IoT offerings that are tailored to particular applications and business needs, with the aim of creating additional revenue streams in different parts of the IoT value chain.

Through IoT.nxt, it plans to offer customers "every part of an IoT solution," with a single data management platform, and the capability to integrate old and new devices in one system. Vodafone will provide IoT sensors and devices, create a data management platform, and offer ongoing professional services.

Petty said an IoT solution has five main components: sensors and devices, edge gateways, connectivity, platform orchestration, and professional services.

He indicated that Vodafone UK is particularly focused on the development of commercial opportunities around IoT.nxt's Raptor-branded smart edge gateway, which he said helps enterprises manage the integration of legacy equipment along with newer devices.

Vodafone UK has itself deployed IoT.nxt's Raptor basestation-monitoring technology in its basestations. The technology enables an operator to monitor environmental factors such as humidity and heat, in order to control energy consumption and reduce harmful emissions.

Petty noted that enterprises would have a choice of a range of connectivity options including narrowband IoT (NB-IoT). He added that Vodafone UK is generally pleased with the uptake of NB-IoT to date, despite recent adverse reports about the technology's progress.

From startup to Vodafone IoT engine

IoT.nxt had already hinted that more projects were afoot following the acquisition.

Speaking during a podcast with TechCentral earlier this year, CEO Nico Steyn said there are "some really exciting developments that are very close to being announced" in relation to IoT.nxt and Vodafone.

In November, the IoT specialist beefed up its management team to handle its global growth.

Shane Cooper, previously chief of operations, was appointed IoT.nxt managing director for Africa.

Brett Grobbelaar, previously vertical lead for industrials, is now managing director for IoT.nxt UK, and Mark Beets, previously general manager, is now the business development director of MPN (Mobile Private Networks) and Vodafone Global Partner Markets.

Founded in 2015, IoT.nxt now employs more than 300 people and generates annual revenue of around $US35 million.

*This article was originally published by Light Reading on 11/24/2020.

*Top image source: Vodafone UK

Anne Morris, contributing editor, special to Light Reading

Innovation hub


Africa can leverage GenAI for economic growth – Microsoft

A whitepaper on generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) and the future of work has found that the African continent, with its young population, can leverage AI to drive economic growth.

Registration opens for Africa Tech Festival 2024

Registration has opened for the 2024 edition of Africa Tech Festival, the continent's leading platform for technology innovators, specialists and thought leaders.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Sponsored video

More videos

Follow us on X

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Upcoming events

Cyber Revolution Summit
August 9, 2024
Gaborone, Botswana
Africa Tech Festival 2024
November 11-14, 2024
Cape Town, South Africa
More Upcoming events

Africa Tech Perspectives


Uber's Marjorie Saint-Lot on inclusion and sustainability in Africa

Uber's Country Manager for Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire, Marjorie Saint-Lot, shares how the ride-hailing company is approaching public-private partnerships, environmentally friendly initiatives and gender inclusion in Africa.


The 100 most influential African leaders in 2023

A new report from Africa Tech Festival and Connecting Africa puts a spotlight on the top 100 African leaders in the telecoms and technology sector in 2023.


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.

More Africa Tech perspectives

Guest Perspectives


How e-mobility could transform Africa's transport sector

By Francis Hook

ICT analyst Francis Hook delves into Africa's e-mobility sector and unpacks the challenges faced locally and the benefits the move to electric vehicles could bring to urban transport systems.


Omdia View: April 2024

By Omdia Analysts

April 2024's telecoms highlights in the Middle East and Africa included a license for Starlink in Ghana, new mobile termination rates in Ethiopia, and 6G trials in Bahrain – that and more in the latest Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up
Tag id test-002