BBOXX provides clean energy solutions to off-grid communities

09 December 2020

Power for those who need it most

Power for those who need it most

Companies operating in the most remote locations, with products purpose-built for off-grid, rural, and often hostile environments, require a reliable global mobile network that provides consistent connectivity worldwide to enable effortless remote monitoring of energy systems. To overcome these many life-critical, energy-delivery issues, there is significant need for reliable GSM and CDMA connectivity to deliver functional, energy saving solutions.

The World Energy Outlook estimated that 1.2 billion people, equivalent to 16% of the global population, did not have access to electricity in 2016,
with many more people living with an electricity supply described as poor quality or unreliable. More than 95% of those living without electricity arein sub-Saharan Africa and developing Asia, 80% of which live in rural areas. The United Nations Foundation has stated that “energy powers the world’s economic engine,” adding that, “from the perspective of jobs, security, climate change, food production, or increasing incomes, access to sustainable energy for all is essential for strengthening economies, protecting ecosystems, and achieving equity.”

Case in point: BBOXX— energising the world

BBOXX designs, manufactures, distributes, and finances innovative plug-and-play solar powered systems to improve access to energy across Africa and the developing world. The company recognizes the importance of sustainable energy and, as such, aims to provide 20 million people with electricity by 2020. Through a vast network of shops and outlets, BBOXX focuses on giving people, many in off-grid communities, access to electricity, while offering superior customer service. Its core products are a range of solar powered battery boxes that sit in a home and allow users to power small appliances, such as lights, mobile phones, refrigerators, or computers.

BBOXX needed to use real-time data to identify device issues early — with pro- active alerts sent to customer service agents to ensure that system problems could be fixed before they evolved. Because of this, the company required a reliable cellular network that enabled effortless remote monitoring and access to real-time data, as well as the ability to configure and adapt each system so as to maximise battery life and provide cost-effective solutions for both itself and its customers.

Additionally, BBOXX products are manufactured without a known destination and, as such, with certain mobile network providers, a local SIM card would have to be inserted into the device following sale and then would require local configuration. This process required additional time, cost more, and hindered operational effectiveness. Therefore, mass global deployment of solutions only was possible by working with a reliable cellular network partner that provided end-to-end monitoring, no matter wherein the world systems are deployed. And a partner that could connect to multiple carriers, regardless of location.

Aeris IoT solution: reliable network connectivity enables global deployment

Aeris offers multiple, non-steered network connectivity in east and central Africa, the principle areas where BBOXX deploys, thereby enabling real-time gathering of actionable data. Aeris’ global support of major cellular technology standards, such as GSM, CDMA, and LTE, also ensured that BBOXX could deploy its devices in any location during global expansion.

With the Aeris IoT Services platform, BBOXX can install the Aeris global subscriber identity module (SIM) at the point of manufacture, reducing both supply chain costs and deployment time. Also, by utilizing Aeris’ single global access point name (APN), the solar-powered BBOXX system could
be deployed on a simple plug-and-play basis, without the need to reconfigure to local network settings.

By utilising the Aeris connectivity management platform, AerPort, for IoT devices, BBOXX was able to have real-time access to data usage, alert management, and device connectivity management over the SIM life cycle.

An easily-deployed and remotely monitored global clean energy solution

Aeris IoT Services’ network connectivity enables BBOXX to remotely monitor its devices. Configuration and deployment times have been reduced significantly. Predictive and proactive maintenance help lower ownership and maintenance costs. And, these plug-and-play devices can be switched off from a central location if troubleshooting issues arise or if payments are not met. All this adds up to the lowest possible TCO for an IoT solution.