April 17, 2018

Tata Communications and DTTech build new cloud-based network for African mobile and IoT providers

Partnership paves the way for borderless mobile and IoT experiences, enabling businesses and MNOs across the continent to introduce new digital services quickly without large upfront investments

London, UK: Tata Communications, a leading digital infrastructure provider, and South African ICT services provider Dreamtime Technologies (Pty) Ltd (DTTech), have joined forces to build a new cloud-based virtual mobile network to serve African mobile and IoT providers. It will act as the foundation for next-generation mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) services in sectors such as healthcare, transport, mining, agriculture, banking and retail. DTTech will also use the new cloud-based network to give mobile network operators (MNO) the flexibility to introduce new services and extend their geographical reach, which will help them attract new customers and generate new revenue streams without large upfront investments.

The new infrastructure will use the Tata Communications MOVE™ mobility and IoT platform, which – through Tata Communications’ collaboration with DTTech – will support regional break-out to Internet providers in Africa. This means that when a user accesses a data-enabled mobile or IoT app, the Internet connection is not routed the traditional way – via long distances and through multiple transit parties back to the home operator, which is slow and leads to a poor user experience. Instead, through Tata Communications’ collaboration with DTTech, the app will connect to the Internet in region. With direct connectivity to Tata Communications’ superfast subsea fibre network in international waters along the coast of Africa, the new infrastructure ensures a high-quality, seamless user experience for digital services across the continent.

The IoT market in Sub-Saharan Africa is set for significant growth over the next few years. According to GSMA Intelligence, the pervasiveness of IoT connections in the region is expected to yield CAGR of 20% during 2016-2025, outstripping growth in other parts of the world [1].

“We’re witnessing a mobile and IoT innovation drive in Africa, with new, disruptive services surfacing in all sectors,” said Karmanie Govender, founder and CEO, DTTech. “We look to become the partner of choice for businesses and MNOs that want to introduce new solutions, engage with their customers in new ways or boost operational efficiencies through these next-generation digital applications. Working with Tata Communications enables us to address our customers’ growing appetite for mobile and IoT services, while generating new revenue streams, as growth in Africa gains momentum.”

Through the use of Tata Communications MOVE™, DTTech’s healthcare, transport, mining, agriculture, banking and retail customers are able to buy mobile network access from MNOs across Africa cost-effectively, on a pay-as-you-go basis. As a result, companies of all sizes are able to launch new mobile and IoT services – without making large up-front investments in their own mobile infrastructure or service management.

The cloud-based, fully automated and API-enabled Tata Communications MOVE™ platform also simplifies and accelerates the roll-out of new mobile and IoT services for DTTech’s customers. This is because it is tightly integrated with their business processes, eliminating the complexity associated with the management of operations, including service activation, billing, promotions and value-added services.

“From vehicle fleet management and agriculture to healthcare and retail, mobility and IoT open the door to new, truly transformational services with regional and global scale,” said Anthony Bartolo, chief product officer, Tata Communications. “Yet, all too often businesses’ digital transformation ambitions are being constrained by the inherently local nature of mobile networking, marred by complex roaming agreements and patchy, unreliable connectivity in different countries. With our Tata Communications MOVE™ platform, and our partnership with DTTech, we bring businesses ubiquitous, high-quality connectivity for their mobile and IoT services in Africa, and enable them to capture, move and manage information securely and reliably across borders.”

Tata Communications MOVE™ is part of the company’s aim of creating global, borderless mobile experiences for people and things. It is underpinned by Tata Communications’ partnerships in the world’s mobile ecosystem and its global network, which today connects 4 out of 5 mobile subscribers and carries over 25% of the world’s Internet routes.

[1] GSMA Intelligence “IoT: the next wave of connectivity and services”, Sylvia Kechiche (3 April 2018)