Inmarsat and Actility deploy city-wide Internet of Things network in Kigali to support smart city initiative

12 May 2017

Internet

The LoRaWAN infrastructure will enable the development of innovative IoT applications for Smart Africa’s flagship smart city project in Kigali, Rwanda

11 May 2017: Inmarsat will deploy LoRaWAN (a form of LPWAN or Low Power Wide Area Network) infrastructure around the city of Kigali to support the Rwandan capital’s flagship smart city project. The network, which will be active for an initial period of a year from 1st May, will be the connectivity platform for a variety of Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and will provide a blueprint for smart city projects throughout Africa. The deployment coincides with the Transform Africa Summit (10-12th May), a forum that will bring together African Presidents, other dignitaries, and leading technology innovators, to discuss plans for building a smarter Africa.

The LoRaWAN network has been developed in partnership with Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks for industrial IoT, and a business that Inmarsat has recently invested in. The solution will provide city-wide coverage that enables a variety of organisations to develop and deploy IoT applications on a large scale, as well as allowing entrepreneurs to easily connect their front-end IoT devices through a middleware layer. Applications could address any number of urban needs, including transport, utilities, health and education.

To demonstrate the IoT’s transformative potential, Inmarsat will, in conjunction with partners such as Actility and Jersey Telecom, deploy a number of proof of concepts and technology demonstrations around Kigali. These include: environmental monitoring that will include sensors being deployed in buildings to monitor air quality; a smart bus which will be equipped with satellite internet, providing ubiquitous connectivity for remote communities, and LoRaWAN-enabled providing real-time data acquisition in communities that it services; and a precision farming initiative, intended to increase crop yield and better manage water resources.

Creating an IoT ecosystem across an entire city requires smart connectivity to a reliable network. Gudonis spoke about Inmarsat's and Actility's role in enabling this: "The ambitious scope of the Kigali smart city project has implications for the kind of infrastructure that needs to be in place, with a requirement for stability and speed when dealing with large and complex data volumes across an urban environment. We worked closely with Actility to bring their large-scale LPWAN expertise together with our satellite networks, building this vital framework all within a single network.”

Source: Press Release