Thinxtra has completed the main rollout of its New Zealand Sigfox IoT network, in what the company claims is the first full nationwide Low Power WAN network for IoT in the Southern Hemisphere.
The newly completed network – which has taken two years to build – now reaches 94 per cent of the population and includes “comprehensive redundant Sigfox coverage in every population centre throughout New Zealand”. The network was built by Kordia and is monitored by Thinxtra’s Network Operation Centre.
Renald Gallis, Thinxtra VP of ecosystem and marketing, told Telecom Times the network’s reach could extend as high as 97 per cent by year-end, with the company currently expanding the network in rural and remote areas via specific ‘projects’. “The last percentage are for hard to reach areas and very rural places,” Gallis said.
Gallis said there are already more than 150 projects underway on the network in New Zealand with demand from the agricultural sector expected to pick up “big time.”
He said the key areas of use so far have been agriculture, with monitoring of water tanks, cattle and frost among the projects; cities, where speed signs, lights, water meters and bin levels are all being monitored; and industrial, where monitoring machines are obtaining real-time information for predictive maintenance and asset tracking.
He said New Zealand’s cities were embracing the potential of IoT. “Expect smart parking, street lighting monitoring, traffic counting, sewer monitoring (to avoid overflow)…” he said. “Plenty of things which were not connected will be able to send relevant data for faster actions.”
Aaron Olphert, Kordia chief digital officer, expects the network to help fast-track IoT solutions in New Zealand in the coming year. “With previous barriers to adoption – namely cost and power consumption – now removed, our customers are starting to get more and more excited about what IoT can do for them,” he said.
“The conversations our team has been having in the past few months alone have been incredibly positive and there are certain sectors, particularly agriculture, local government and logistics, where we’re seeing a real step-change attitude towards IoT solutions as a business enabler,” added Olphert.
Datacom, which is also a major network partner, has been working to integrate Sigfox data streams into a customised Datacom IoT platform and joint go-to-market strategy.
“Datacom sees IoT as a significant growth opportunity across ANZ for the next decade,” said Datacom GM of software and integration, Josh Little.
Thinxtra’s Australian network is currently at 74% and is expected to be completed within six months.