Augmenting traditional tracking with new technology

Netstar, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Altron, has concluded a partnership with SqwidNet, the Sigfox operator and network provider in South Africa.

The agreement will see Netstar move beyond traditional vehicle tracking by availing new opportunities made possible by Sigfox’s technology. Netstar’s product range will see new, cost-effective telematics devices introduced using this technology. A Sigfox communication module will enhance the existing radio-frequency network to offer new internet communication opportunities to the Netstar solution.

“In order to evolve our internet communication solutions, we realised that we needed to enhance connectivity within our suite of solutions,” says Pierre Bruwer, Netstar’s Group MD. “With over 600 000 vehicles already in our cover, the Sigfox network is going to provide additional connectivity that will enable us to enter new markets, as well as develop new solutions for our existing customers,” he says.

The partnership between SqwidNet and Netstar accelerates the uptake of internet network communications in South Africa, with an end-to-end ecosystem of specialist providers that can help with more sustainable solutions to customers.

Digital transformation needs to be experienced in various ways. Low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs) help business realise problem solving through receiving data from other sources, for improved insights or for measuring specific applications.

“We are certainly excited about the partnership with Netstar, as an enabler to taking our technology to new levels of innovation,” says Chetan Goshalia, chief sales and marketing officer of SqwidNet. “It means that, for no extra cost, all assets tracked by Netstar will be visible, with message delivery under a service-level agreement. This will apply in South Africa and in any of the 45 countries in which Sigfox operates, and will provide significant operational efficiencies for Netstar.”

“The first dual device has already been developed with Sigfox connectivity, and we plan to roll out more solutions using this technology to capitalise on the value and benefits,” says Shaun Brashaw, chief technology officer at Netstar.

“Through embracing internet connectivity, Netstar will be able to augment its signatory solutions and bring new solutions to the market, providing its clients with even more value. Furthermore, as part of our global expansion, we will be able to bring internet network solutions to new markets that will provide our clients with even greater peace of mind in our hyper-connected world,” concludes Bruwer.

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Focus on Transport

FOCUS on Transport and Logistics is one of the oldest and most respected transport and logistics publications in southern Africa.
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