Thursday, 25 May 2017 11:51

Tassie set to have state-wide IoT coverage Featured

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Tasmanian IoT network tower being installed Tasmanian IoT network tower being installed

Tasmania expects to be the first state to become IoT-ready, with 95% of the population set to be covered by a dedicated IoT network before the end of this year.

The island-state’s IoT network is being built by Tasmanian-owned and operated digital services provider TasmaNet in partnership with Internet of Things and communications services vendor Thinxtra.

When completed, the network will enable the use of devices such as smart meters, temperature probes for aquaculture, GPS trackers for agriculture assets and complete development kits with free connectivity for most schools.

Under the partnership Thinxtra, which is deploying a nationwide wireless network dedicated to IoT using Sigfox technology, has committed to deploying up to 55 communications towers across Tasmania by the third-quarter of the year.

And Hobart-based TasmaNet is providing access to its towers, its network for backhaul, and engineers for ongoing maintenance and support of the sensory network.

TasmaNet managing director Joel Harris said Thinxtra was approached, as many of the company’s customers in the aquaculture, farming and education spaces want to deliver solutions via sensory networks, “but the lack of a suitable network has been holding back their projects”.

“We invited Thinxtra to work with us to approach these markets, and the results are spectacular,” he said.

Sam Sharief, Network Deployment Director for Thinxtra, said the IoT network would cover all major cities, from Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, to Burnie and Ulverstone, making it the first Australian state to become fully IoT-ready.

He said Thinxtra would also support TasmaNet for additional coverage in regional projects throughout the state.

“Our low cost, low power, long range IoT network is perfect for deploying simple solutions to make cities smarter, agriculture more sustainable and industry more cost efficient. It can also be used for better monitoring of the exceptional Tasmanian environment, and provide solutions to reduce bush fires or control the quality of water in lakes and rivers.”

Harris said that information from countless IoT devices around the State would “turn up in the company’s Hobart data centre, ready for use by customers”.  

“I cannot understate how big this is for Tasmania – it’s going to be huge.”

Under the partnership, technology will facilitate the use of automated power meters and Harris says he also saw devices working with community support establishments, where care givers could wear devices to pick up information about patients’ whereabouts, well-being and distress.

And he foresees TasmaNet putting in free or low-cost equipment in schools, so they can do coding and develop their own sensors for any purpose they choose. 

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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