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5G IoT set to dominate cellular by 2025

According to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, IoT Cellular Device Sales will undergo a transition to 5G as the dominant air interface in 2025.

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Strategy Analytics forecasts that sales of 4G IoT modules will peak within three years, sales of 5G modules will begin slowly in 2019, with 2024 a key inflection point as 5G module sales outstrip those of 4G modules. The Automotive vertical market will be the single largest consumer of IoT cellular modules across the forecast period, but will significantly increase its market share position by 2025.

SimCom was the global market leader in cellular IoT modules in 2017, where performance was significantly up on that of 2016 as a result of deals struck in China. Quectel displaced Sierra Wireless to become the no.2 ranked vendor, having displayed rapid expansion over the last few years.

Andrew Brown, Executive Director of Enterprise and IoT Research at Strategy Analytics, said, “The low latency/high bandwidth benefits of 5G will allow IoT use cases where near-instantaneous communications are required, while the projected ten year battery life capability of 5G modems will allow for mMTC (massive Machine-Type Communications), potentially matching the life of the 5G modem to the application. Of course, growth is dependent of a critical mass of 5G network deployments and in many cases low power 4G technologies (such as LTE Cat M and NB IoT) will remain perfectly sufficient in the medium term, while the dominance of Chinese vendors and large 2G deployments in China show that the death of 2G has been greatly exaggerated.”

Matt Wilkins, Senior Analyst IoT Research at Strategy Analytics added, “The changing flavor of cellular IoT module air interfaces represents just one of the challenges the end user community has to wrestle with as it deploys IoT. Yet the network-slicing benefits of 5G, such as being applicable for low as well as high bandwidth applications, will propel 5G to become increasingly important.”

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AppDate: Shedding light in our times of darkness

SEAN BACHER’S app roundup highlights two load-shedding apps, along with South AfriCAM, NBA 2K Mobile, Virgin Mobile’s Spot 3.0 and SwiftKey.

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Load Shedding Notifier

With all the uncertainty about when South Africans will next be plunged into darkness by Eskom, the Load Shedding Notifier tries its best to keep up with Eskom’s schedule. The app is very simple to use. Download it, type an area in and click the save button. The app automatically tells you what load shedding stage Eskom is on, the times you can expect to start lighting candles and for how long to burn them.

Multiple areas can be added and one can switch between the different stages to see how each one will affect a certain area.

A grid status is also displayed, showing how strained the country’s electrical network is.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

EskomSePush Load Shedding App

EskomSePush does much the same as the Load Shedding Notifier, but allows multiple cities to be tracked. However, they may just want to rethink the name of the app if they want wider respectability.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

South AfriCAM

South AfriCAM enables users to add branded stickers and frames from popular lifestyle magazine titles to their posts, including Huisgenoot, YOU, Drum, Move!, TRUE LOVE, Women’s Health and Men’s Health. 

In the process, they can earn JETPoints for their social influence: through the app’s built-in JET8 social currency, users are rewarded for their engagement. For every in-app like, comment, and share, users earn JETPoints, which can be used to redeem products online or over the counter across more than 2 500 retail stores in South Africa. Users are additionally awarded JETPoints for cross-posting onto external social media networks.

Platform: Android and iOS

Expect to pay: A free download

Stockists: Visit the store linked to your device

Click here to read about console quality graphics on a mobile phone, Virgin Money payments made easier, and an app that redesigns the keyboard.

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Drones to drive
Western Cape agritech

Aerobotics is set to change how farmers treat their crops by using drones and machine learning, writes BRYAN TURNER.

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The Western Cape is poised to be a hotbed of innovation in the agritech sector, with drone piloting set to playing a major role in in the tech start-up scene.

This is the view of Tim Willis, chief operating officer of pioneering drone company Aerobotics, a Cape Town drone company recognised as a world leader in agritech.

“Drone piloting is a key skill that feeds into the value chain of the budding 4th Industrial Revolution,” said Willis. “Cape Town and the Western Cape is uniquely positioned to be the melting pot for innovation in the agritech sector, as a leading agricultural exporter and a hub for creative tech start-ups.”

He was speaking at AeroCon, a drone expo organised by Aerobotics and held in Johannesburg this week aimed at providing opportunities for drone pilots to apply their skills in South Africa, and to show how drones are being used to collect data on crops. 

The event was supported by the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA), Wesgro, PROMMAC, MicaSense, and Rectron, among other

“We’re starting to sign up farmers across the country,” said Willis. “It’s exciting because farmers are starting to use drone technology on their farms. When a farmer wants a drone flown, they want it flown [now] so it’s important for us to capture that data as quickly as possible to show that drones are fast and effective.”

According to aerobotics, drone technology can help farmers reduce pesticide use on their crops by up to 30%. The result is environmentally friendly farming, reducing stressed crops and a healthier harvest. 

“We use aerial imagery from drones to recreate a 3D model of every single tree on a farmer’s orchard,” said Willis. “We’ve done this for millions of trees and it starts to give the farmers metrics of what they’re doing. We provide them with the health of the trees, the height, the volume, the canopy area, which enable the farms to make decisions on what to do next.”

Click here to read more about AeroCon and what it offers to those wanting to get into the drone industry.

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