Vodacom launches M2M in Nigeria

Pan-African mobile-phone operator Vodacom has reportedly launched an M2M service in Nigeria aimed at boosting the country’s retail and financial sectors.

The offering appears to be a mobile-payments service, using GSM network connectivity to link retailers’ terminals to central servers and banking systems.

According to press reports, Vodacom (Bloemfontein, South Africa), majority owned by Vodafone (Newbury, UK), is using a secondary GSM network as a backup in case of an outage, but says users will be oblivious to any changeover.

Pan-African mobile-phone operator Vodacom has reportedly launched an M2M service in Nigeria aimed at boosting the country’s retail and financial sectors.

The offering appears to be a mobile-payments service, using GSM network connectivity to link retailers’ terminals to central servers and banking systems.

According to press reports, Vodacom (Bloemfontein, South Africa), majority owned by Vodafone (Newbury, UK), is using a secondary GSM network as a backup in case of an outage, but says users will be oblivious to any changeover.

The operator has also been touting the security of its M2M technology – a chief concern for financial institutions, in particular.

“Our solutions are built on a secure network and all transactions are encrypted over the Vodacom MPLS network,” Abu Etu, a product manager for Vodacom Business Nigeria, was quoted as saying. “We have put in place IPSEC tunneling, private APNs, SIM authentication and a host of security measures to provide much-needed peace of mind.”

Etu was also reported to have said that the M2M services are available in commercial districts and remote locations across all 36 states of Nigeria, taking advantage of the widespread coverage of Vodacom’s GSM network.

“At 99% guaranteed availability, Vodacom’s M2M solutions offer businesses the ability to improve service delivery and increase their competitive advantage,” Etu is quoted as saying. “What’s more, M2M solutions are highly cost effective and offer real-time monitoring. They provide the customer with direct visibility of the usage and availability statistics of their devices.”