MTN kickstarts IoT in Africa with ZTE

African operator MTN has announced the launch of an IoT platform alongside Chinese kit vendor ZTE. The platform is already live in South Africa, with plans to extend it through the continent under way.

ZTE reckons the new IoT service will help encourage business growth in various sectors throughout the emerging region, including banking, transportation, energy and public services. While in-depth information on the platform is scant at this time, MTN claims to have a clear growth strategy for the platform, as well as a suite of related products and services.

Zhao Peng, a VP at ZTE, reckons the vast range of applications for IoT in industry verticals requires a dedicated platform to manage the traffic generated by machines.

“Working across such a wide range of vertical markets, from automotive and healthcare to construction and utilities requires a level of flexibility and scalability that only a cloud-based platform can deliver,” he said. “The new IoT platform provided by ZTE, which is live in South Africa and able to connect and manage machines across MTN’s African footprint, provides a dedicated network to connect devices and systems.”

Meanwhile, MTN’s Chief Enterprise Officer Mteto Nyati is looking forward to reaping the benefits of the new service, which is one of the first telco rollouts of a dedicated IoT platform to be seen in the industry.

“At MTN, we are particularly excited by the opportunity that the IoT platform creates for African enterprises, entrepreneurs and developers, as they now have the means to enable and inspire growth in their markets,” he said. “In addition to this, the platform and its associated integrated network environment will enable MTN to introduce application services with the potential to enhance the socio-economic environment in South Africa and throughout the rest of the continent.”

To go alongside the new platform, MTN has also unveiled a dedicated SIM card providing a flat rate for all M2M connectivity across the telco’s network.

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