Thinxtra, the Australian company with the licence to build and operate Sigfox low powered wide area networks in New Zealand, Australia and Hong Kong, is hailing New Zealand as the first country in the Southern Hemisphere to have a nationwide LPWAN network, saying it has completed its Sigfox rollout.
“The network is now complete with 94 percent of the population within coverage, including all major cities and regional cities, and as far as Hawera and Invercargill,” Thinxtra said. “Every population centre throughout New Zealand now has comprehensive redundant Sigfox coverage.”
The company says it is now focussed on expanding the Sigfox network in rural and remote areas, to support NZ agriculture exporting to Australia and worldwide.
Thinxtra says there are now Sigfox networks in 47 countries and 2.5 million ‘live’ connections. It claims to have 275 partners and solutions makers in Australia and New Zealand. These include, Kordia, which rolled out the NZ network, and Datacom.
Kordia said in March 2017 that it aimed to sell one million IoT connections over the next three years.
Rakon was an early investor in Thinxtra but sold down its shareholding in October 2017 to 18.3 percent realising a profit of almost $NZ2 million
Thinxtra says its network is already enabling commercially deployed smart city and agriculture projects, including monitoring waste bins in Christchurch, monitoring speed and school signs in North Island, water tank level monitoring in farms in Waikato, monitoring temperature of Paua tanks, with “many more industrial and smart city projects in progress to be announced soon.”
One customer is agricultural IoT company Knode. Managing director, Richard Wildman said: “Prior to Sigfox, the devices on offer were quite expensive with a limited battery life and the farming community faced challenges of little to no cell coverage… With the Sigfox NZ network, Knode is able to provide full end to end solutions for monitoring farm assets – this includes monitoring water flow, checking for leaks, measuring tank levels and an increasing host of other data points on farm, including soil moisture and weather data.”
Read more: New Zealand urged to embrace Industry 4.0