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By 13 November 2018 | Categories: news

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If there is one thing we have seen a great deal of this year, it is the use of emerging technologies, like Internet of Things (IoT) and AI, in real world scenarios to address pressing problems. The latest development to fall under this category is the announcement today from Huawei Technologies and MTN South Africa.

The companies have joined forces to launch an animal tracking solution powered by IoT. Explaining at the Huawei IoT Forum at AfricaCom, currently underway in Cape Town, the tech giants explained that the Connected Animal Solution is aimed at solving the problem of livestock loss due to theft and track endangered wildlife such as rhino, which are prone to hunting.

Dean Yu, President of Huawei Southern Africa Carrier Business Group, Wanda Matandela, CEO of MTN SA’s Enterprise Business Unit and Brian Xu, Huawei Cloud Core Sales and Marketing VP

Keeping track

Mor specifically, the solution enables livestock farmers to benefit from improved animal management and health screening through activity and movement monitoring and analysis. Farmers are also able to receive actionable insights and early warning information pertaining to their livestock. This then enables them to make decisions that improve livestock management, while increasing efficiency and reducing costs.

“Using IoT we can help the farmer have near real time visibility of his livestock, which acts as a deterrent to stock theft and helps the famer track straying animals. A similar wildlife tracking solution allows for the monitoring of our precious Rhino populations in our game parks, giving rangers better tools to fight poaching,” elaborated Wanda Matandela, CEO of MTN SA’s Enterprise Business Unit.

The solution is being trialed by local livestock farmer Ntuthuko Shezi, founder and CEO of Livestock Wealth. “This will help us build more trust in our business models with existing and prospecting investors. With such solution we can also expand the ecosystem of farmers to more areas and allow small scale and communal farmers to be incorporated into our value chain in an efficient way,’’ enthused Shezi.

The next step

Both companies further spoke about the use of technology to solve a variety of social and business focuses, noting that they have been working closely to this end. Two other initiatives where the companies have teamed include their  co-launched NB-IoT strategy, aimed at solving low power and wide area coverage problems in 2016. Last year, the MTN and Huawei launched a connected car solution to promote safe-driving and enable usage-based-insurance business model.

The announcement follows Huawei’s most recent announcement about its plans to launch its own datacentres in South Africa, along with explaining their burgeoning focus on meeting the cloud demand locally. It also follows on from its recent elaboration on artificial intelligence in Shanghai, where the company detailed its strategy moving forward as to how its plans to democratize AI across the board.

Commenting on the joint project, Dean Yu, President of Huawei Southern Africa Carrier Business Group assured that Huawei is working closely with local partners to help Telcos quickly launch successful IoT businesses in China, Asia Pacific and Europe. “We are ready to utilise our experience and understanding of the African market to work with national telcos so as to bring digital to every person, family and organizations in the continent,” he concluded.

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