iSERT, a company specialising in turnkey testing solutions for EMC, RF and safety testing, has collaborated with SqwidNet, the only licensed Sigfox operator in South Africa to become the first, and currently only, Sigfox accredited test laboratory in the southern hemisphere. The partnership allows iSERT to provide customers with testing facilities to ensure they will not degrade the Sigfox network. For SqwidNet, the partnership allows for further investment into South African innovation and development.
“South Africa has huge potential and can lead the way when it comes to innovation and development within the Internet of Things (IoT) sector,” says Phathizwe Malinga, Managing Director at SqwidNet. “We were looking for a local testing laboratory that could perform Sigfox-ready testing and iSERT’s openness and ability to adapt to new technology were deciding factors”.
Established in 2017, iSERT may be a fresh face in the market, but it has already made significant inroads into the industry. As one of the only labs in South Africa to offer a turnkey solution for EMC, RF and safety testing, it brings something crucial to the local electronics industry.
“With the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), we realised it was essential for a test lab to have the capabilities of testing products that incorporate the latest technology in one convenient location,” says Riaan van den Berg, managing director at iSERT. “Our partnership with SqwidNet and Sigfox ensures that products are of good quality and that they will not degrade the Sigfox network. It’s similar to PTCRB testing for cellular networks.”
“We live in an era of connectivity and IoT will invariably play a huge role in bringing devices together through wireless communications and technologies,” says van den Berg. “One of the biggest advantages provided by the Sigfox network is its penetration into rural areas that makes it ideally suited to Africa, South America and Australasia. We’ve seen some remarkable designs for rural areas over the past few years, from fire alarms for informal housing to health sensors. This partnership allows us to support these designs and initiatives and to play a role in changing lives”.
Multiple factors influence the design of solutions that meet the high standards of the Sigfox network, as well as local and international certification standards. For iSERT, two elements stand out – antenna selection and EMC. Both require forethought and planning to ensure that the design is ergonomic, the quality to a high standard, and that compliance is easily achieved. By eliminating the issues presented by poor EMC design and antenna investment early on, companies can minimise expenditure while maximising results.
Founded in 2017 by Riaan van den Berg and Johan Deysel, iSERT brings more than 30 years of experience in compliance testing to the market. The company has plans to build a pre-compliance lab to assist engineers in product development, providing EMC and RF performance testing equipment, antenna performance and optimisation testing equipment to ensure high quality from the outset.