SqwidNet, the newly established subsidiary of Dark Fibre Africa, is making quick progress with the deployment of its Internet of things (IoT) network, already providing coverage to many parts of Gauteng.
SqwidNet CEO Reshaad Sha, speaking to TechCentral in a podcast interview on Friday, said the company started rolling out the network a few weeks ago.
We already have coverage from the north of Pretoria all the way to Vanderbijlpark. Of course, the city of Johannesburg is covered extensively, and so is the city of Ekurhuleni and Tshwane, Sha said.
The plan is to cover 85 per cent of the population of South Africa, and by the end of this year we will have singular coverage across that footprint. We will then build in redundant coverage as we continue to roll out the network.
Redundancy is important, he said, in light of the fact that SqwidNet intends offering service-level agreements to clients promising minimum network availability.
Dark Fibre Africa signed a network operator agreement with Frances Sigfox, a leader in IoT that owns and operates several IoT networks and provides the technology behind the SqwidNet roll-out in South Africa.
We are putting down micro base stations, computer equipment that connects to an antenna on an existing tower. We are not building new towers, but rather co-locating on existing towers.
The network uses the 868MHz radio frequency band, which is shared spectrum, or an industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band.