Green solutions for sustainable IoT


An increasing number of industries are focussed on ensuring an environment-friendly approach to daily operations, and technology– and Internet of Things- (IoT-) based industries are similarly challenged to operate in a more sustainable way.

Global IoT communication service provider Sigfox offers a combination of low-cost and low-power technologies that aim to help the IoT industry go green.

The technologies are supported by a global network, owned and operated by 75 independent and exclusive local operators. The discovery of the network was premised on connecting physical objects with the lowest possible power consumption, over long ranges using a highly frugal network architecture that transmits small data packets.

Sigfox chief revenue officer Glen Robinson explains that the company’s objective has always been to reduce waste, reduce loss and increase utilisation of re-usable assets as well as monitoring, management and billing of watergas and electric utilities. “We are focused on delivering IoT solutions with the lowest total cost and environmental impact. Basically, proving that when it comes to IoT, less is more, and the planet will thank us too.”

The network is designed to enable businesses to gain visibility and track assets worldwide allowing large-scale businesses such as utility companies and manufacturing, supply chain, smart facilities and logistics service providers to deploy massive IoT solutions in a fast, cost-effective and highly scalable way­ – from tracking of shipping containers and monitoring fire hydrants, to securing buildings and helping farmers monitor irrigation levels.

“Most wireless technologies are designed for high data volumes and high-speed throughput. This means more power consumption, more electronic componentry and more batteries in the environment. Through our frugal architecture, there is no pairing needed and no information technology servicing or re-charging of the device for the lifetime of the asset. This is why it is mandatory for IoT to scale to its full economic and environmental potential,” adds Robinson.

Director for Africa Dharmesh Goshalia says that South Africa’s adoption of IoT is at different stages of the technology adoption cycle, depending on the use case. The increasing implementation of IoT is evident in a range of sectors in South Africa, such as :

  • Home security and stolen vehicle recovery
  • The insurance industry
  • Utility metering solutions
  • Asset tracking across postal, logistics and supply chains
  • Cold chain monitoring
  • Start-up businesses

“South Africa is a key focus for us with the African continent having massive potential for IoT deployment, making life easier, creating employment and upskilling the next generation. We are working with CIVH and other partners on an initiative that will secure the sustainability and longevity of the network in SA as well as accelerate the adoption of IoT solutions in this region. It’s safe to say that Sigfox is here to stay and leading the market with its economically and environmentally sustainable approach to IoT,” concludes Robinson.