Leveraging LoRaWAN for a smart city initiative in Africa
The project, located in Rwanda’s capital Kigali will provide a blueprint for additional smart city projects in Africa
Global mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat will deploy LoRaWAN infrastructure around the city of Kigali, in Rwanda to support the city’s flagship smart city project.
Inmarsat said that the LoRaWAN network, which will be active for an initial period of a year, 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 LoRaWAN network has been developed in partnership with French company Actility, which focuses on Low Power Wide Area Networks for industrial IoT.
The solution will provide city wide coverage that enables local organizations to develop and deploy IoT applications on a large scale. Applications could address any number of urban needs, including transport, utilities, health and education, Inmarsat said.
As part of its project, Inmarsat, together with partners such as Actility and Jersey Telecom will deploy a number of proof of concepts and technology demonstrations around Kigali, such as environmental monitoring that will include sensors being deployed in buildings to monitor air quality, a smart bus equipped with satellite internet providing ubiquitous connectivity for remote communities and a precision farming initiative, intended to increase crop yield and better manage water resources.
“Kigali is taking the lead with its smart city project, creating an IoT ecosystem where both private and government organizations can experiment with this technology in a vibrant and lively city,” Inmarsat Enterprise President Paul Gudonis, said.
“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,” the executive added.
“We believe passionately in the power of the IoT to transform cities, industries, and agriculture,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “We are proud to support this initial network rollout as the foundation on which smart cities across Africa will be able to build better futures for their citizens.”