NEC XON signs cooperation agreement for sub-Sahara Africa with INCELL International

NEC XON has partnered with INCELL International to use its smart lithium technology to serve the needs of wireless and tower communications operators, macro and small cell sites, and the commercial and industrial sectors specifically with off-grid, micro-grid and backup solutions.

INCELL develops some of the world's most advanced lithium batteries to provide backup power for telecoms sites and employs innovative engineering controls to successfully make lithium solutions that are safe for robust industrial-commercial applications.

"INCELL's smart lithium batteries use half the space of lead acid batteries, weigh a quarter, and provide five times the energy density. These smart lithium cells also have a much longer service life, especially in cyclic environments," says Magnus Coetzee, MD of NEC XON's Alternative Energy division. "They're designed for indoor and outdoor use so you can literally disconnect lead acid batteries, connect these, and walk away."

INCELL International CEO, Stefan Jansson, says, "NEC XON has a very strong presence in Africa. Our technologies meet some of the industry's greatest challenges on the continent, such as the need for a small footprint, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), anti-theft, automatic reconnect, and ease of use."

Coetzee adds that there is low electrical energy penetration across vast tracts of Africa.

"This partnership will help us take energy opportunities to previously neglected areas, coupled with renewable technologies such as solar and wind," he says.

Jansson and Coetzee believe the partnership will support the needs of the market in replacing lead acid batteries. Those batteries have comparatively short lifecycles at just a couple of years compared with greater than 10 years for INCELL smart lithium batteries in field tests. Lead acid is suitable for domestic use, which makes it a target for criminals, while lithium technology is useless to them.

Energy storage, particularly in the commercial and industrial sector, has traditionally not delivered the requisite returns on investment (ROI), says Coetzee. But innovative technologies encapsulated in the INCELL engineering have developed strong business cases for storage based on field use, particularly for backup, peak shifting, and peak shaving cases.

"Telecoms networks are becoming smarter," Jansson. "They increasingly need critical services such as emergency calls and connected security devices and they have to deal with regional challenges such as theft, remote solutions and solutions with small footprints," says Jansson. "Lithium technology and the intelligence we embed in the devices ensures operators get better availability, lower TCO, reduced theft, and the interrogative data they need to manage and control their services."

Jointly NEC XON and INCELL offer solutions and services for smart lithium power backup which will help the mobile operators and tower companies improve predictability and lower the operational cost.

This cost-effective energy storage also improves the case for photovoltaic solar energy solutions that are particularly beneficial across Africa's sun-profuse landscape. The continent is also characterised by vast distances, which make supporting generator solutions difficult and costly. Other socio-economic factors also make generator systems more lucrative targets for criminals.

INCELL is now launching its next-generation smart lithium batteries to sub-Sahara Africa through this exclusive distribution agreement with NEC XON. They introduce a new design with additional features and a technology platform developed for flexibility and robustness. INCELL's product portfolio covers the range from 30 to 250Ah, including 19"- and 23"-wide products and pole-mounted versions ideally suited to 5G rollouts, among others.

In cooperation with NEC XON, INCELL will prepare to manufacture in the African continental free trade area. The partners will establish manufacturing capabilities in South Africa with local services options by NEC XON to better serve continental customers by shortening lead times and reducing costs.

Caption: left to right Magnus Coetzee, MD of NEC XON’s Alternative Energy division and Stefan Jansson, INCELL International CEO Caption: left to right Magnus Coetzee, MD of NEC XON’s Alternative Energy division and Stefan Jansson, INCELL International CEO.

About NEC XON

NEC XON is the combination of XON, a Systems Integrator providing custom ICT and security services and solutions in Southern Africa since 1996 and NEC Africa, the African business of the global technology giant NEC Corporation. NEC Corporation implemented its first communication solution is Africa in 1963 and established NEC Africa in 2011 to grow its business ICT and public safety.

Kapela Holdings, XON's B-BBEE partner since 2012, continues as NEC XON's B-BBEE partner in South Africa with Israel Skosana as chairman of the board of directors of NEC XON.

NEC generates global revenues in excess of $30 billion by orchestrating a brighter world for public entities, enterprises, telecoms carriers, and providing system platforms for businesses.

The combined NEC Africa and XON (NEC XON) operations seek to more fully explore the opportunities for safe city, energy, cyber security, telecommunication solutions, retail, energy, managed services, cyber defence services and cloud (both public and private) among others in sub-Sahara Africa.

NEC XON maintains its head offices in Gauteng, South Africa with a footprint that covers all nine provinces in South Africa and 16 Countries in sub-Sahara Africa.

Media enquiries: Mark Harris, NEC XON
Contact details: (011) 237-4500, mark@nec.xon.co.za

Media enquiries: Simon McCullough, F5
Contact details: 084-713-4722, s.mccullough@f5.com

Issued by: Michelle Oelschig, Scarlet Letter
Contact details: 083-636-1766, michelle@scarletletter.co.za