The internet has brought everyone together and created a common world without borders. But the Internet of Things, IoT promises to make this world more secure. The IoT is a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people that are provided with unique identifiers and the ability to transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.
It is a totally new industry which is estimated to be worth about $1 billion in the next five years. The global IoT market is currently estimated to be worth about $1 trillion and Nigeria is one of the emerging markets with appreciable potentials to make a kill from the huge pervasive market. For instance, there are estimated 40 million homes in Nigeria without one smoke alarm; 100 percent of those homes also do not have any intrusion detector.
In the same vein, almost all offices in Nigeria appear not measuring temperature, carbon dioxide, and a significant percent do not have a fire alarm. Experts say these inadequacies are not necessarily because both homes and offices are not interested in those safety and live support measures but apparently lack knowledge, tools and knowhow to put them in place. Today, agriculture is not monitored by any means; there are no devices in the field to monitor moisture, acidity and alkalinity, nitrate and temperature levels.
These inadequacies too, affect the crops and reduce yield, accounting to low food production. However, these are problems the IoT devices will conveniently solve. An IoT device is capable of telling a farmer which parts of the field require fertilizer. It will cut the use of fertilizer by as much as 50 percent and give a farmer same or more result as they could have gotten with overuse of fertilizer.
Tech expert and CEO IoT Africa Networks Ltd, Lanre Ayoola said his company has evaluated all problems and potentials of IoT in Nigeria and decided to attempt a remedy. Ayoola said IoTAfrica has partnered global communications service provider, Sigfox to bring IoT solutions and services to Nigerians in a more affordable and understandable way. According to him, “IoT Africa is the exclusive partner of Sigfox France in Nigeria. This means that we will build the low power wide area network, and we will allow connectivity of Sigfox compliant devices to connect on the network.
The relationship is one of over 65 relationships in the world. Over 65 countries today have Sigfox technology running in their IoT. Nigeria is one of the 65 countries. IoT Africa is the Sigfox operator for Nigeria. Ayoola said that in the partnership, IoTAfrica has the responsibility to build the network, operate, maintain, support and build the channel partners who will sell connectivity to the network.
“Our job also, for now until our channel partners take over, is to provide sufficient devices and solutions, software platforms, dashboards and other components of the IoT ecosystem to be able to supply the customers with a complete solution. Our job is also to provide our partners with technical support, marketing training and marketing support and ensure customer service is first class.
Executive Director, Sales, of the company, Melanie Ayoola also said that with IoT Africa as a Sigfox operator in Nigeria, the country’s economy should expect a substantial boost. She said: “The provision of IoT services and solutions in Nigeria enables improved productivity, minimizes waste, maximizes loss prevention, makes decision making much faster by providing a massive amount of data that can be analyzed and presented for decision-makers.
For instance, the Insurance Industry will benefit tremendously because the industry will no longer receive information about a house or factory that has burnt down. However, as the fire is starting the insurance company will know that the fire is starting. It will also help the work of the fire brigade and the police.
The IoT will provide very quick information about very many things and enable very quick decision making to make sure that loss is prevented. You can put sensors on bridges and tall buildings so that when the columns are starting to fall, there will be a contraction or an expansion which will tell the engineers that something out of the ordinary is happening to this load-bearing column and somebody should look at it.
Therefore, the incident of a building collapsing can almost be almost totally eradicated at least to the extent you will be able to get every occupant out of that building on time” On job creation, she said: “Imagine how many technicians will be required to fit 40 million homes with safety and security devices. Imagine how many people will be required to fit offices with fire alarms. It will be a dramatic transformation on all sectors” she added.