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

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The Actility Newsroom

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

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 (LSE:ISAT.L) 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 equipped with satellite internet providing ubiquitous connectivity for remote communities, the smart bus will be 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.

Paul Gudonis, President, Inmarsat Enterprise, elaborated on the significance of the smart city initiative: “Whilst many commentators have enthused about the possibilities of the IoT for the urban environment, from increasing utility usage efficiency to enabling a smooth network of autonomous cars, the reality is that it is still relatively untested and in its infancy. Kigali is taking the lead with its smart city project, creating an IoT ecosystem where both private and government organisations can experiment with this technology in a vibrant and lively city. The project will therefore begin to take the potential of this exciting technology beyond futurist visions and into a real world scenario and we look forward to seeing the creativity of Kigali’s many entrepreneurs, students, and businesses unleashed on the IoT network.”

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.”

“We believe passionately in the power of the IoT to transform cities, industries, and agriculture,” says Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “But more importantly, we think IoT can change people’s lives for the better, and nowhere more so than here in Africa. We’ve come here to learn, and 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.”

As part of the Transform Africa Summit, the Kigali smart city project is intended to shine a light on the possibilities that technology offers the continent. 

Dr Hamadoun Touré, Executive Director at Smart Africa, the summit’s organiser, commented further: “We at Smart Africa are very pleased with our partnership with Inmarsat. Africa’s single digital market can be a reality with such partner. The time is right. Africa is on the rise. African ingenuity has sometimes been restricted by the infrastructure available to us in the past, but now new possibilities are opening up as technology transforms how our cities operate.

“The Kigali project will expose a new generation of students, business leaders, and technologists to the potential of the IoT, and will create demand for innovative solutions to common urban issues in countries and cities all over Africa. Inmarsat and Actility have built the gateway to a smarter future for our cities.”

Inmarsat and Actility empower next generation of students in Rwanda to harness the IoT for a more sustainable future

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The Actility Newsroom

Inmarsat and Actility empower next generation of students in Rwanda to harness the IoT for a more sustainable future

23 May 2017: Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has announced the commencement of its Smart Cities Education Programme, a range of initiatives supported by Actility, designed to educate and empower the next generation of students and entrepreneurs in Africa. The programme, which has been launched initially in Rwanda but will be replicated in other countries in the continent, aims to accelerate the deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city solutions, providing the foundations for a more sustainable future.

Coinciding with Smart Africa’s Transform Africa Summit 2017, the programme will expose young Rwandans to the transformational capabilities of IoT. It will include a three-month student internship, an IoT boot camp for students and entrepreneurs, and a partnership with the winner of Rwanda’s 2016 Ms Geek competition. In addition to providing knowledge, mentoring and coaching, Inmarsat and Actility have deployed LoRaWAN infrastructure around the city of Kigali for an initial period of a year, which will provide an IoT network for students to explore ideas and enable them to deploy their innovative ideas in the a real-life environment.

Inmarsat is mentoring Rosine Mwiseneza, the winner of Ms Geek 2016 – an annual competition designed to inspire female university students to employ technology to overcome issues faced by Rwandans. Specifically, Inmarsat is collaborating with Rosine and her team to implement a prototype IoT-based agricultural irrigation solution for potential commercialisation. The goal is to create a scalable solution that can be used across Rwanda as well as Africa and the rest of the world, thanks to Inmarsat’s global networks.

Paul Gudonis, President, Inmarsat Enterprise, commented: “These types of initiatives are about overcoming the challenges Rwanda faces by providing students and the next generation of entrepreneurs with the knowledge and tools they need to create a more sustainable future. Equipping students with the means to experiment with precision farming techniques has the potential to completely rewrite agriculture as Rwanda knows it. But beyond that, we want to expose students to the art of the possible and get them thinking about how IoT can drive innovation across all sectors. I expect we’ll see students imagining new and novel IoT solutions, many of which we may not have even considered yet.”

Inmarsat is also offering a three-month internship to one student from the Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Kigali. The selected student will learn about the importance of satellite communications in the IoT ecosystem and will work with the Ministry of Youth and ICT to initiate some early IoT deployments. The intern will be responsible for managing the network, the application layer and the sensors involved in these deployments.

Additionally, Inmarsat hosted an IoT developer boot camp, supported by FabLab, IoT networking partner Actility and ICT Chamber. The boot camp took entrepreneurs, developers and students through a complete IoT journey, demonstrating how to build sensors, how to collect and analyse the data, the applications involved and how to build them, along with an exploration of different agricultural and environmental use cases.

Inmarsat and Actility deliver world’s first global LoRaWAN™ network to power IoT applications

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The Actility Newsroom

Inmarsat and Actility deliver world’s first global LoRaWAN™ network to power IoT applications

Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today reveals how its LoRaWAN -based Internet of Things (IoT) network, developed in partnership with Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), is delivering on its strategy to bring the IoT to every corner of the globe. Early applications in Asset Tracking, Agribusiness and Oil & Gas are helping businesses in remote regions of the world become more efficient, reduce costs and drive new revenue through IoT-based solutions.

Inmarsat and Actility’s three early IoT applications cover:

  • Asset tracking: Tracking the location, movement, health and other key statistics of cattle on a remote ranch in Australia, replacing the manual process of sending an employee to look for cattle that have strayed. An alert is sent out to the ranch manager when an animal is at risk of being lost, is behaving erratically, or is nearing the perimeter of the ranch, enabling the owner to take immediate action.
  • Agribusiness: Monitoring the water levels in reservoirs and soil moisture at the roots of plants across the breadth of a large, remote palm oil plantation in Malaysia to deliver water to where it is most needed and achieve maximum crop yield. This enables smarter resource management in an area and reduces the amount of land required for production.
  • Oil & Gas: Remote monitoring of oil platform processes where cellular coverage is patchy or non-existent to identify potential failure points so that they may be addressed and costly downtime avoided. An upstream production site continuously measures operational parameters and transmits them to a control room where a SCADA system adjusts set-points and provides control settings.

The Inmarsat LoRaWAN network, powered by Actility’s ThingPark™ LPWA platform, is the world’s first global IoT network. It allows customers and partners to cost-effectively bring to market IoT solutions that can be delivered anywhere in the world, to any type of business, with LoRaWAN-based connectivity on the ground and satellite connectivity as the network backbone. The integrated platform provides an end-to-end solution that transmits site-specific data to applications in the cloud for analysis, delivering insights and supporting decision making, and creating value for the end customer.

“These three early applications are indicative of the industrial IoT market in general: businesses don’t need an off-the-shelf IoT solution for Agribusiness or Asset Tracking; they need a specific solution for a specific problem,” said Paul Gudonis, President, Inmarsat Enterprise. “Through our collaboration with Actility, we have the building blocks to tailor solutions for each specific opportunity, no matter where it is in the world.”

“Actility has worked on many large-scale nationwide LPWA network deployments, but this is bigger: we’re fantastically excited about being part of the first truly global IoT network in partnership with Inmarsat,” said Actility CEO Mike Mulica. “Our collaboration with Inmarsat allows us to provide customers with an end-to-end solution to connect their assets and fulfill their IoT business needs anywhere in the world. We’ll be working alongside Inmarsat every step of the way to help global customers address their specific needs with more efficient, best-fit solutions.”

Inmarsat and Actility last year announced a partnership that combines Inmarsat’s global L-band satellite connectivity platform with Actility’s ThingPark IoT management platform to deliver an integrated solution for IoT, linking connectivity, services and IoT devices from a single application and service management point, to connect objects deployed anywhere on the planet.

Actility is also now part of Inmarsat’s Certified Applications Provider Programme (CAPP), which allows third-party companies to develop applications and solutions that are compatible with Inmarsat’s satellite communications network.

Inmarsat and Actility partner to deliver single, global platform for Internet of Things (IoT)

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The Actility Newsroom

Inmarsat and Actility partner to deliver single, global platform for Internet of Things (IoT)

Actility and Inmarsat will provide a single, global solution to meet evolving IoT requirements

Inmarsat (LSE:ISAT.L), the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, today announces its partnership with Actility, the industry leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), and a founding member of the LoRa Alliance, to enable an end-to-end IoT solution to connect assets over public and private networks, anywhere in the world.

This partnership combines Inmarsat’s global connectivity with Actility’s ThingPark™ IoT management platform to deliver an integrated solution for IoT, linking  connectivity, services and IoT devices from a single application and service management point, to connect objects deployed anywhere on the planet, even in the most remote and hostile locations.

“Inmarsat already has a long and successful history in providing remote connectivity,” said Greg Ewert, President, Inmarsat Enterprise. “This partnership enables additional flexibility for IoT networks – meaning systems integrators and customers using Inmarsat’s connectivity and Actility’s solution – to connect all of their assets on one platform, without having to spend the time and resource dealing with multiple connectivity providers, or the cost and complexity of multiple roaming agreements. It also puts Inmarsat in closer proximity to the wider IoT market.”

Inmarsat recently announced its membership in the LoRa Alliance, a non-profit organisation that promotes the connectivity standard LoRaWAN for Low Power Wide Area networks (LPWAN). This partnership means that assets that use the LoRa standard can now be connected over Inmarsat’s global networks for seamless integration and interoperability, even in areas where cellular or terrestrial coverage is unavailable or unreliable.

This new partnership brings with it new capabilities and a global reach to IoT network solutions, leveraging the explosive growth in highly capable and affordable IoT sensors and applications.

“Actility is thrilled to be collaborating with Inmarsat to provide global customers with an end to end solution and a single service management point to connect their assets and fulfill their IoT business needs anywhere in the world with our ThingPark™ LoRaWAN platform,” said Olivier Hersent, CEO & CTO at Actility.

Join us at Mobile World Congress 2016, Booth 8.0E40 and view our smart building demo at Inmarsat Developer Conference in London on February 29-March 1st.