Safaricom and KBL partner to connect coolers across Kenya

Safaricom has officially announced a partnership with Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) to connect and enhance its coolers.

The connected coolers are wired with sensors which leverage on the Internet of things (IoT) – the inter-networking of “smart” devices that collect and exchange data. They will be provided free of charge to retailers and outlets countrywide.

Jane Karuku, Managing Director, Kenya Breweries Limited said: “Over the years, we have been looking to bring more efficiencies in our route-to-consumer channels and we have found technology to be a critical enabler. As we move towards improving our cutting-edge technology in manufacturing and logistics, we are redoubling our efforts in our marketplace as well, to ensure that consumers enjoy our products the way they should.

This project will also enable us extend our capability to track and invest in coolers and we hope that our existing products and innovations will reach consumers with minimal cost, delays and wastage.”

Commenting on the launch, Rita Okuthe, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Safaricom PLC. “We developed an IoT solution that consists of devices installed in the coolers that will have sensors which will transmit various data to a platform which generates business insights that will assist KBL to optimise the coolers. For instance, EABL distributors can now tell where their assets are located, if the assets are in use or not (on/off), whether the assets are at the optimal temperature and how many times the door of the cooler is opened. Over 2,000 coolers are already connected”

Looking ahead to 2020, Safaricom aims to be a digital partner of choice for businesses by providing solutions that improve the efficiency with which they do business, saving them money and therefore creating additional value for their end-users.

Besides the connected coolers project, EABL is already partnering Safaricom in driving a cashless payment model among its distributors, who now transact on M-PESA when dealing with retailers.

Safaricom is also planning to bring valuable solutions by leveraging on IoT to deliver smart water metering and animal tracking system. The new Internet of Things (IoT) network will tap into the Safaricom existing 4G network.
In the first half of the financial year 2019/2020, Safaricom invested KES 17 billion in infrastructure by increased network rollout and acceleration of broadband and fibre deployment.