BBOXX ensures reliable energy for remote communities worldwide using Vodafone IoT

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Case Studies | April 2015

BBOXX was founded in 2010 to provide “an on-grid experience in an off-grid world”. The company’s smart solar units can be activated, updated and managed centrally. It distributes to 40+ countries, though its primary markets are Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda. BBOXX aims to have four million smart solar units in operation by 2020.

solar panel house

An estimated 1.3 billion people go without reliable electricity. This has a tremendous impact on health, education and productivity across large parts of Africa and Asia. These communities tend to be rural and hard to reach. On-grid solutions are unlikely.

Business Need

BBOXX is the brainchild of three graduates of Imperial College, London. The final-year project to deliver electricity to a village in Rwanda has turned into a serious, global business proposition designing, manufacturing and distributing solar systems. Fundamental to this solution is connectivity and the means to manage this globally from a single platform.


The BBOXX solution is a smart solar power generator, capable of being managed centrally. Remote monitoring allows BBOXX to check for faults, install firmware updates and shut down the units in the event of missed payments. Vodafone Global SIMs installed in every solar unit mean BBOXX can deploy quickly anywhere in the world. Five thousand units have already been deployed, there are a further 6,000 in production and 8,000 on order. BBOXX aims to have 100,000 units in the market by the end of 2016, mostly in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.

Business Benefits

  • Enables BBOXX to launch robust, off-grid power unit, with means to serve rural communities
  • Single Global SIM enables the business to plan for expansion from 1,000 units to four million within six years
  • Provides a real-time view of customer usage, payments and SIM control from a single Global platform
  • Builds a detailed picture of off-grid energy use, invaluable for next rounds of funding
The units can be up and running almost out-of-the-box. Activation takes less than an hour, managed from London. We have units operational in more than 12 countries, from Ghana to Pakistan – this would not have been possible without Vodafone. Chris Baker-Brian, Chief Technology Officer, BBOXX