South Africa awards smart water meter contract to Sigfox

South Africa awards smart water meter contract to Sigfox
South Africa awards smart water meter contract to Sigfox

The government of South Africa has awarded Sigfox South Africa (SA) contract for the adaptation or replacement of approximately 15 million water meters with smart, connected metering devices marks a significant step forward in South Africa’s efforts to improve water management.

This contract, known as RT29, was closed in November. The National Treasury issued a request for information (RFI) in May 2022 for this smart meter rollout. The RFI and the subsequent RT29 tender were issued after Sigfox’s technology was rescued from receivership by Unabiz, a Singapore-based IoT developer, in April 2022.

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Tech innovation

Sigfox SA emerged from this restructuring, supported by new funding from investors like Discovery Insure, Fidelity ADT, Macrocomm, and Buffet Investments. The contract is expected to boost the local IoT and system integrator ecosystem in South Africa.

The new smart water meters are expected to improve revenue collection and service delivery for water utilities. Sigfox technology is touted for its superior signal range, penetration, and power efficiency, which are crucial for meters often installed in challenging environments.

Sigfox devices claim a battery life of over 10 years with one reading per day, far exceeding the three-year lifespan stipulated in the tender. The CEO of Sigfox SA, Greg Rood, emphasized the robustness of their technology and its established track record in supporting large commercial utility deployments in the country. Sigfox South Africa’s network covers 91 percent of the South African population.