/ Energy / gridComm, Somerset Group Bring Smart Street Lighting Sensory Network to Africa

gridComm, Somerset Group Bring Smart Street Lighting Sensory Network to Africa

Parul Dubey on October 27, 2016 - in Energy

SINGAPORE – gridComm, a leader in smart street light solutions and IoT sensor networks, and civic-minded investment firm Somerset Group have partnered to install smart street lighting sensory networks across the Kingdom of Swaziland.

A developing country with a small economy, Swaziland — a member of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) — is flanked by the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Mozambique. A majority of Swaziland is undeveloped, and its economy is highly focused on agriculture, forestry and mining. With these industries only accounting for approximately 13 percent of the gross domestic product, there is an urgent need to bolster productivity and increase the standard of living.

gridComm’s unique smart street lighting sensory network technology delivers intelligent, eco-friendly lighting to Swaziland, saving energy and money while also limiting carbon emissions. Concurrently, based on the existing street lighting infrastructure, the technology establishes a ready-to-use internet of things (IoT) sensory network which can be used to monitor crops, weather and more via data analytics. This will assist Swaziland’s farming communities by helping to optimize productivity and increase agricultural output.

gridComm’s smart street lighting sensory network system is built with hybrid communication technologies comprised of a next-generation multi-channel OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) power line communication (PLC) transceiver (gridComm’s GC2200) and a wireless physical layer. gridComm uses its PLC and digital power supply technologies to convert traditional street lighting into energy-aware and remotely managed and monitored web-based networks.

“By deploying gridComm’s solution, the practice of sending engineering experts physically out into the field to fix connectivity issues becomes a thing of the past, as they can now be remotely monitored,” noted Mike Holt, CEO for gridComm. “Our technology has been thoroughly proven to be exceptionally robust and reliable, and our recent successes in more than 12 cities across Asia underscore this fact. We look forward to delivering more deployments in Swaziland and other parts of Africa in conjunction with Somerset Group.”

As the preferred technology for street light control, PLC is more reliable than wireless technologies — particularly low-power radio frequency technologies — which are more prone to interference in outdoor environments. Because many IoT sensors run on batteries, hybrid power line and wireless communication technology ensures connectivity between these sensors when they are in the vicinity of smart street lights. With gridComm’s solution, IoT sensors can be introduced to the network as they are needed. gridComm modules are designed to automatically attach to the nearest gateway without onsite tuning or configuration — for true ‘plug-and-play’ connectivity.

“For a developing country like Swaziland, adopting the right technology solutions is crucial to shaping a sustainable environment,” noted Henri Thompson, group managing director of Somerset Group, South Africa. “We envision that gridComm’s smart technology will deliver the data analytics needed to boost crop yields and positively affect Swaziland’s economic development. We intend to bring gridComm technology and all of its benefits to other countries on the African continent as well.”

For more information on gridComm’s power line communication solutions and how they enable the transformation of traditional power grids into smart grids, please visit www.gridcomm-plc.com.

About Somerset Group
The Somerset Group is a diversified industrial services holdings collection of companies established to invest predominately in expansion stage companies as well as sustainable enterprises. Somerset adds value to entrepreneurial activities in the industrial service sector area, while delivering returns that are competitive with investments in this asset class. The management team are experts in driving new business within South Africa and the SADC region. With links to large business, qualified identified sources of deal flow, the group is able to consistently bring opportunities to a successful conclusion on a regular basis.

About gridComm
Singapore-based smart city solutions company gridComm provides hybrid power line communications and systems that enable cities to transform their street lights into smart city networks.

gridComm turns urban street lights into dynamic, resource-efficient platforms by using proprietary sensors and wireless-augmented power line infrastructures to create ultra-reliable, real-time smart city networks. By communicating data across a city’s existing power lines, gridComm’s unique solution paves the way for connectivity between street lights and the smart city applications of the future, including environmental sensors, traffic monitoring and connectivity to third party IoT/M2M devices such as autonomous vehicles.

gridComm’s patent-pending chip technology and reliable network configuration enable interoperable, reliable, robust communication in noisy power line environments. To learn more about gridComm, please visit the company website at www.gridcomm-plc.com, follow them on LinkedIn and Twitter, and like them Facebook.

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