Dialog Axiata is building an IoT lab for Sri Lankan developers


The Internet of Things. If you’re in the tech industry, then by now you’ve probably become familiar with this term. But in case you’re lost, Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept where everyday objects like your car or toaster share data on the internet. Many like Dialog Axiata expect this to be the future. And that’s why they’re opening a lab for Sri Lankan developers to build IoT products.

So what exactly is Dialog Axiata’s IoT lab offering?

In a nutshell, this is a lab by Dialog Axiata that’s focused towards NB-IoT devices. In case you’re lost, NB-IoT stands for Narrowband IoT and is a radio technology standard. It was developed to facilitate a large number of IoT devices on a single network. These devices would be cheap, use very little data, and have long battery lives.

Recently, Dialog Axiata launched South Asia’s first Massive IoT network. As such, the company now wants to encourage and facilitate developers to build products for this network. Thus, after conducting an NB-IoT hackathon, the company is now taking the next step.

Supun Weerasinghe - Dialog Axiata CEO announcing the first Sri Lankan NB-IoT lab
Supun Weerasinghe – Dialog Axiata CEO announcing the NB-IoT lab

Supun Weerasinghe – CEO of Dialog announced the initiative saying, “We have come forward to set up an NB-IoT lab in Sri Lanka, in partnership with GSMA. It will be where you can all come in, you can experiment, and will have the facilities to create applications for this ecosystem.” Furthermore, this is expected to be open before Google I/O.

Speaking to ReadMe, Shafraz Rahim from Dialog Ideamart shared that this NB-IoT lab is aimed at those Sri Lankan developers and entrepreneurs that want to build IoT products and take it forward. As such, the lab would offer a variety of facilities.

This includes an R&D facility, PCB designing and printing support, and support to build a prototype. Besides technical support, Ideamart itself would offer guidance and workspace for startups building products for the Internet of Things in this lab.

Though where exactly are we in terms of IoT?

The connected cars have already started appearing. One of the best examples we can take is the car by Tesla. They’re fast, gorgeous, and electric. They also have an app, which besides giving basic details also allows you to summon the car. Additionally, in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Tesla increased the range of its vehicles by merely updating their software.

Similarly, there’s also the wide range of home speakers gaining popularity. From the Amazon Echo to the Google Home to the Apple Homepod. These speakers not only play music. They also answer questions and allow you to control other smart devices in your house. As such, some can argue that they act as a gateway to the Internet of Things.

One software update later, Tesla inceased the range of its vehicles
One software update later, Tesla increased the range of its vehicles

There are so many more examples like the Philips Hue smart bulbs and the Nest thermostats. But these are just the Internet of Things devices we see as consumers. The Internet of Things is also famous in the enterprise arena as well. According to Forbes, the Internet of Things is expected to offer up to $11 trillion in savings by 2025 and boost profits by 21% by 2020.

Needless to say, the hype around the Internet of Things is very real. We’re yet to see the smart cities where anything and everything is connected. But if you’re a Sri Lankan developer or entrepreneur interested in making that a reality, Dialog is interested in working with you before Google I/O kicks off.


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