Providing Better Coverage Across South Africa with LoRaWAN®
Founded in 2017, LNX Solutions provides self-hosted infrastructure as a service and tailored solutions to resolve IT problems in a creative and effective way. By building their own LoRaWAN network, LNX Solutions is enabling a wide range of IoT solutions across South Africa.
Network Coverage Across South Africa
The cellular coverage in South Africa varies depending on the region and can be spotty and unreliable. The country has been in an energy crisis since the late 2000s and is now in their 6th period of load-shedding to ration power between the different electrical grid areas across the country and urban areas. The most recent period sees power blackouts of up to 6 hours a day (BBC).
During these blackout periods, cellular coverage can be lost. LNX Solutions’ ability to build and temporarily deploy LoRaWAN networks is highly beneficial and well-suited due to its low-power, high-range communication capabilities.
South Africa has harsh environments, making it extremely challenging to use standard off-the-shelf technologies that will not stand the test of time. The Digital Matter products are durable and have proven themselves under harsh environmental conditions.
Providing Better Coverage for Mass Participation Events
Since 2021, LNX Solutions has been providing tracking solutions for prestigious large-scale sporting events across South Africa, such as the Cape Town Cycle Tour, the RMB Ultra Trail, and the Old Mutual Double Century to name a few. During these mass participation events, the health and safety of participants is extremely important. Ambulances and logistics crews are provided with LoRaWAN trackers so that if an emergency situation arises, the nearest resources are dispatched from the control center. By deploying LoRaWAN networks during these events, LNX Solutions can provide reliable and consistent coverage during the entirety of the event in challenging environments where traditional GSM technologies do not work.
Using the Oyster3 and Yabby3
The ultra-rugged Oyster3 and Yabby3 are placed inside the vehicles and participants’ backpacks. They allow logistic crews to locate participants when they call for assistance and the nearest ambulance sweep truck to pick them up.
The battery-powered devices have been optimized to send location updates every minute, providing full visibility of the participants as they progress through the events.
“The hardware design of the device is extremely important. We rent out the devices for the events, so they are going to get thrown around, go through water, and dropped, and then we’re going to have to find them,” says Matt Feinstein, CEO, LNX Solutions.
The devices’ robust IP68-rated housing means they can withstand being knocked around whilst out on the courses. These compact and lightweight devices fit easily inside the packs of cyclists and runners without causing them any strain or disadvantage.
After trialing several different devices, LNX Solutions found that the Oyster3 and Yabby3 were without comparison in quality and performance. Digital Matter LoRaWAN devices feature a versatile and open payload format, which facilitates integration into third-party platforms. The devices integrate seamlessly into LNX Solutions’ custom-built platform, the ‘Merged platform,’ allowing LNX Solutions to build and deploy LoRaWAN networks and effortlessly monitor their devices remotely.