By Gugu Lourie
XLink Communications – a provider of wireless data machine-to-machine (M2M) communication services – has signed a non-exclusive distribution deal with UK-based and London-listed Cyan Holdings, a specialist in smart metering for electricity, gas and water, and lighting control.
Under the transaction, XLink will distribute Cyan Holding’s smart energy communication technology, which enables the measurement and control of energy consumption for the metering and lighting markets, helping to increase energy security and reduce costs.
The agreement includes an order for Cyan’s smart metering hardware and software, CyLec, for a 100 unit Proof of Concept project in SA.
“Given that the US Trade & Development Agency forecasts that South Africa will spend R128-billion on grid modernisation over the next decade; demand is growing for smart energy solutions at the right price point. Our position as a trusted advisor in the field of M2M solutions, allowed us to recognise the strategic benefit of Cyan’s experience in next-generation economies, which makes their solutions ideal for our market,” says Hymie Marnewick, XLink Communications Chief Commercial Officer.
To date, XLink manages M2M solutions for more than 68 000 businesses in Africa, facilitating 35 million M2M connections. M2M allows a variety of devices and machines – including utility meters, vehicle sensors, point of sales terminals, security devices, consumer electronics and many more gadgets – to talk to each other.
XLink says it can remotely provide, track, maintain and monitor more than 125 000 SIMS and 80 000 units in the field. It has also expanded its business to provide special M2M solutions for clients that include Spar, Mr Price, Montecasino, Wimpy and petrol stations.
XLink’s technical support team is aiming to deploy this project in the first half of 2015, for a leading provider of energy management systems, to demonstrate and evaluate the benefits delivered by CyLec.
“We are pleased to be partnering with XLink to distribute and deploy our smart energy solutions in South Africa. XLink can offer customers the peace of mind of dealing with one company to provide integrated solutions for smarter energy. Our technology will help XLink’s customers increase energy efficiency through cost savings and a reduction in energy losses, resulting in revenue growth,” says John Cronin, Cyan’s executive chairman.
Cyan is an integrated system design company based in Cambridge, UK. It provides a communication platform that enables the measurement and control of energy consumption for the metering and lighting markets, helping to reduce energy losses. Cyan’s wireless mesh networking platform offers ‘last mile’ connectivity between millions of devices and enterprise software, supporting bilateral communications with the end customer.
This transaction is likely to assist XLink, which eyes M2M to grow its offering, to reach its target to generate in excess of R200m in annuity-based revenue in South Africa in 2015.
XLink Communications was established in 2004, pioneering GPRS-based electronic funds transfer (EFT) data communication solutions in South Africa. It is currently the largest carrier of EFT services across the GSM network.
In 2007, Vodacom bought a 35% shareholding in XLink and later upped its stake to a 50.1% share to take opportunities in the M2M value chain.
Pan African Equity Fund 1 holds 25.1% of XLink and the remaining 24.8% is owned by XLink management.
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