New data network to roll-out soon

A woman surfs the web on her tablet. Facebook is looking to tap its more than five million users in Kenya. [Courtesy, Standard]
You will soon be able to connect your home appliances and equipment to the Internet, signalling a new era for the country’s telecommunications sector.

This will be made possible following a new plan by Internet service provider Liquid Telecom to roll out the country’s first Internet of Things (IoT) network.

The low-powered local area network will cover up to 85 per cent of the country’s population, creating an exclusive backbone for transmitting communication between networked devices.

“The network will include 300 new towers that will cover a majority of the Kenyan population and will run separately from the existing networks and will allow users to connect virtually anything to the Internet,” said Joel Muigai, the head of IoT strategy at Liquid Telecom Kenya.

The network will be rolled out in partnership with Sigfox, one of the firms in the development of IoT infrastructure globally.

The new base stations will be connected to Liquid Telecom’s fibre network.

This will provide start-ups and software developers with new business opportunities including demand for software and hardware for IoT devices.

The announcement by Liquid Telecom is the latest move by device makers and network service providers in the region to drive adoption of the new technology.

Wireless connections

Samsung last year launched an IoT enabled the device for the East African market, allowing users to connect to plug their devices into IoT networks through wired or wireless connections.

The IoT has far-reaching applications for various sectors ranging from wildlife conservation to agricultural development and manufacturing.

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