Drop Wireless, Switch Electric, IoTeX to Establish Community-Built LoRaWAN Coverage for Smart Meters Across Sub-Saharan Africa

Drop Wireless, Switch Electric, IoTeX to Establish Community-Built LoRaWAN Coverage for Smart Meters Across Sub-Saharan Africa

The IoTeX ecosystem strikes again in its quest to bring DePIN to everyone! Switch Electric and Drop Wireless, long term members of the IoTeX ecosystem, are partnering up to enable Switch Electric's sustainable and decentralized energy initiative through the establishment of LoRaWAN coverage in underserved regions of Sub-Saharan Africa. Switch Electric will leverage Drop Wireless LoRaWAN infrastructure to establish network coverage for smart meters using the token-incentivized M3tering protocol. The program will start in five prominent Nigerian cities, including Lagos, with plans to expand into Uganda and Kenya. Through this initiative, the goal is to substantially enhance renewable energy sharing across multiple countries in the global south.

Switch Electric has recently unveiled the inaugural smart meter designed specifically for decentralized energy projects, granting individuals the ability to produce and market their own electricity. "Access to energy remains a pressing issue in Sub-Saharan Africa," stated I. Christwin, CEO of Switch Electric. "Our collaboration with Drop Wireless enables us to leverage their established LoRaWAN network, empowering local communities through financial incentives for wireless gateway ownership. Paired with our M3tering protocol-enabled smart meters, this creates a formidable solution for enhancing energy accessibility and promoting sustainable development."

In an effort to ensure the economic sustainability of the Switch Electric collaboration, Drop Wireless plans to evaluate any underutilized gateways within its community and strategically redeploy them in targeted areas to maximize societal benefits on a global basis. These gateways will be distributed under leasing agreements, and the usage fees paid by Switch Electric will be distributed among community members who contributed their gateways, along with mining rewards. This presents an innovative economic model wherein underutilized wireless assets can be fully utilized in underserved regions, creating more sustainable hardware distribution models and helping local economies.

Dr. Andrew Baek, CEO of Drop Wireless, expressed excitement about the partnership with Switch Electric and the opportunity to contribute to their impactful mission. He stated, "This collaboration exemplifies the potential of DePINs to incentivize collaboration and address real-world challenges."

Since its inception in 2018, IoTeX has been one of the leaders and pioneers of the intersection of IoT and Blockchain. The idea of a “machine economy” underlined by community owned infrastructures was first formalized by the IoTeX research team in 2021, and was then called MachineFi. Fast-forward to 2023 and this same concept has since been universally recognized as DePIN. The name might have changed, but the mission is always the same, encapsulated by IoTeX’s motto: “DePIN is for Everyone!”.  The collaboration between Drop Wireless and Switch Electric within the IoTeX ecosystem is a step in this direction, and it paves the way for similar partnership across the whole IoTeX ecosystem, and possibly beyond, as cross-ecosystem interoperability becomes a standard for the mass adoption of DePIN.

“We’ve been working with Drop Wireless and Switch Electric for a while now, and their contribution to our ecosystem cannot be understated. It’s so great to see them come together with this initiative. This is a great example of what DePIN can do on so many levels: Incentivizing sustainability by repurposing devices, empowering underserved communities, creating a better community owned physical infrastructure, and boosting local economies. Our “DePIN for Everyone” motto couldn’t have been better represented! We’re really proud of the work iChristwin and Andrew have done!” stated Giuseppe De Luca, from the IoTeX core team.

IoTeX is a DePIN-specific blockchain that currently boasts over $1 billion in on-chain assets, more than 400,000 users, and over 45,000 devices across hundreds of dApps. As a one-stop modular infrastructure for DePINs, IoTeX offers a comprehensive suite of building blocks and tools, ranging from hardware abstraction layer, off-chain computing layer, all the way to its Layer-1 blockchain layer serving as the trusted anchor for identity, governance, dApps, etc., to significantly simplify the deployment of DePIN projects.  

The IoTeX ecosystem is constantly evolving, and it is currently the second largest after Ethereum, within the DePIN sector. Some of the most notable projects, across various verticals, include DropWireless, Switch Electric, Wayru, Ator, PowerPod, Inferix, Network3 and enviroBLOQ, to name just a few.

Switch Electric has introduced the first smart metering platform designed specifically to bridge the gap between distributed energy resources (such as rooftop solar assets) and the web3.0 economy, allowing individuals to generate & sell their own power. Their vision is to displace centralized power generation, and enable cost-effective decentralized energy supply for all of Africa's 1 Billion people by 2100.

Drop Wireless is predominantly dedicated to harnessing its state-of-the-art technologies to establish Decentralized Physical Infrastructure Networks (DePIN). This endeavor is geared towards ushering in captivating and engaging applications within the upcoming era of extensive interconnectedness. Moreover, our commitment extends to furnishing tools that foster a community-centric infrastructure and ecosystem.