Why the Market Needs IoT Telcos

In 2017, a handful of analysts and big tech companies predicted the number of IoT devices connected to the Internet would exceed 50 billion by 2020[1]. Now that 2020 is here, estimates vary about how many IoT devices are actually connected. Some put the number at 9 billion, others closer to 30 billion[2]. Whatever the number, it is clearly below the optimistic 2017 forecasts.

Why the gap? Because designing and deploying real enterprise IoT is hard. Cisco famously reported 76 per cent of IoT projects fail and 50 per cent of IoT projects stall at the concept stage[3].

The reality is that, in our experience, although many businesses operate in the same vertical, nearly every business environment is unique. These operational differences, even within the same industry, means it is particularly difficult to ‘cookie cut’ IoT solutions to business problems.

Successful IoT implementations have no choice but to use fit-for-purpose solutions that take into account the unique landscape of each business and the asset-based insights the business needs to unlock to solve problems and deliver value, at-scale and cost-effectively. The right fit-for-purpose IoT solution can only be created with deep hands-on IoT experience and expertise that truly connects the physical operational world with the digital universe, along with an utterly obsessive focus on two key elements:

  1. the ‘last mile’ of a project. That is, the nuts and bolts. How much torque does each screw need to attach IoT sensors to physical assets? What type of screw is needed? The size, weight, salinity resistance and more have to be taken into account. All these details must be ironed out or else the project will stall instead of scale.
  2. the ‘so what?’ factor. Once a customer has connected hundreds, or thousands, of sensors, ‘so what’? What’s next? How do they realise value out of all the IoT data they will be able to produce?

This is why traditional technology vendors and telcos, accustomed to smoothly packaging products and services at scale to meet a clear customer need, struggle with IoT. If you are not born in IoT, it is hard to anticipate all the traps surrounding the ‘last mile’ and the ‘so what’. We see again and again that it is the devil in this detail that can prevent the incredible value IoT can deliver. This is certainly one of the key reasons many forward thinking telcos partner with IoT solution providers like Thinxtra.

We believe what the market wants, and needs, are commercially attractive, operationally sound industrial mass IoT solutions. These are best delivered by providers who have the skills, expertise and passion to do what it takes to answer the ‘so what?’ customer question. Device-to-cloud providers who know how to get hands on with the infamous nuts and bolts of the last mile.

There was no term to describe this kind of emerging IoT solution provider in the market, so we invented one: The IoT Telco. That is how we’ve built Thinxtra.

We are The IoT Telco. Exciting times lie ahead.

—————

[1] Huffington Post article Cisco: enterprises are leading the Internet of Things innovation, April 28 2017 https://bit.ly/2VY3dof

[2] Security News Desk article 41 billion missing IoT devices: the biggest prediction miss in the history of IoT?, January 14 2020 https://bit.ly/3axW02m
Statista Research Department, Internet of Things – number of connected devices worldwide 2015-2025 Nov 27 2016 https://bit.ly/2vQKwZ1

[3] IoT For All article Why 76 per cent of IoT projects fail to achieve success, April 22 2019 https://bit.ly/2IuMXTR

Thinxtra Announces New Cellular IoT SIM Offering in Partnership with Soracom

Welcome to 2020! I hope you enjoyed some rest and recuperation over the holiday period and have a prosperous, healthy and productive new year ahead. It’s been a busy start to the new year for the Thinxtra team as we’ve continued to expand our capabilities as “The IoT Telco”. It’s with great satisfaction we’re announcing a powerful new partnership which will revolutionise the role of IoT connectivity providers. Thinxtra is joining forces with Soracom to create an exciting new cellular IoT offering for Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong to complement the Sigfox 0G network, allowing us to always offer truly fit for purpose IoT connectivity.

Soracom began as an IoT focused start-up, formed by a group of enterprising cloud and telco engineers. Their focus was to democratise IoT connectivity to enable businesses to productise IoT solutions faster, cheaper and more securely. Today Soracom’s connectivity management platform lets customers connect and control IoT networks, whether one SIM or millions. The user-friendly console allows businesses to remotely manage devices, build dashboards and create private IoT networks on the go; all covered by a ‘fit-for-IoT’ pricing model that allows users to pay on a consumption basis.

The new Thinxtra cellular IoT offering delivers a global pay-per use consumption model, self-serve routing options, enhanced security and minimised data management. Our partnership with Soracom delivers connectivity management that overcomes some of the most problematic challenges to successful IoT deployments, including cost blowouts, long lead times and the inability to easily scale. As a specialised IoT Telco focused on enabling and supporting successful IoT projects, we’re excited to extend our Sigfox 0G network with Soracom.

By working at the coal face of IoT development over the last five years, the Thinxtra team knows what it takes to deliver successful IoT projects. As importantly, we understand what our customers need to give their IoT deployment the best chance of success.

A key ingredient for IoT success is the ability to scale with a predictable cost profile, without a corresponding increase in operational complexity. The ability to seamlessly dial-up and consume more enabling services as a deployment grows is critical to frictionless growth. Our friends in the cloud world have made a huge contribution to IoT growth by ensuring this is possible for the software and compute side of a solution; but what about connectivity?

A decade ago, companies like Jasper led the way to improved connectivity with SIM management platforms. These platforms were great at solving some of the commercial challenges of scaling cellular connectivity while maintaining cost control. However, SIM management platforms really only helped local deployments. The concept of global expansion still causes CFOs sleepless nights as they mull over the lesser of two evils: expensive global roaming rates, or local procurement in every country you want to target.

Technically, managing APN infrastructure has been known to cause similar grief, with long lead times, cost blowouts and lack of flexibility often stalling successful and high growth IoT projects.

This new offering delivers many benefits for our customers and partners. First, the innovative commercial model offers customers a true ‘pay-per-use’ consumption model for cellular connectivity in over a hundred countries. One contract deployed globally, with access by the day, and usage by the megabyte, ensures customers can focus on making their business successful with the peace of mind that comes from predictable costs and limitless potential. This is a game changer for companies and developers with global ambitions.

Second, the cellular offering extends a full feature set of self-serve routing options. This allows customers to connect SIMs securely to their application, whether it’s located in a private data centre, a public cloud, or both. All configured directly by the customer within the platform in a matter of minutes.

This new offering includes many more features designed to enhance security and minimise the data management required for IoT applications. Our partnership ensures that connectivity management can now be an enabler, not a hindrance, to scale IoT projects demanding cellular activity.

 

We’ll be sharing more information about our new offering later this month. Contact our Sales team if you have any questions or would like to register to receive more information.

 

Thinxtra Enables HKBN To Become The First HK Telecom Carrier To Deliver IoT Solutions On The Sigfox 0G Network

Hong Kong Broadband Network (HKBN) is a leading information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider in Hong Kong offering a comprehensive range of premier ICT services to enterprise and residential markets.

As a fast growing HK telecom provider, HKBN wanted to offer cutting-edge services to customers, and gain competitive advantage, by adding scalable, affordable IoT solutions to its portfolio.

Most successful IoT use cases rely on wireless sensors to send small data messages, however HKBN did not have access to a wireless IoT network. Previous approaches by HKBN to delivering IoT solutions built on traditional cellular networks, had presented significant challenges including expensive costs, excessive energy consumption and complex deployment and maintenance.

HKBN selected Thinxtra to build its IoT offering because Thinxtra is the exclusive Australian, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macau operator of the global Sigfox network. As the innovator of the global 0G network standard, Sigfox is the world’s leading connectivity provider for IoT.

Billy Leung, co-owner and CEO of HKBN Enterprise Solutions says, “Our work with Thinxtra empowers our customers with game-changing technology and IoT applications to significantly enhance operational efficiency and generate new business opportunities.” 

Thinxtra’s subscription model allowed HKBN to efficiently manage capex to build its new wireless IoT network and roll out new services quickly and effectively using existing resources.

The partnership with Thinxtra allowed HKBN to remove traditional barriers to IoT effectiveness and become the first Hong Kong telecom carrier to launch IoT platform solutions based on the Sigfox technology standard. Within months of going live, the new network and IoT capabilities catapulted HKBN to become a market leader providing local telecoms.

Post deployment, Thinxtra enabled HKBN to offer four key benefits to customers:

  1. Wide coverage. HKBN has provided connectivity support to expand the Thinxtra-operated Sigfox 0G network to deliver 97 per cent coverage of Hong Kong, making Hong Kong’s IoT connectivity one of the highest in the world.
  2. All-in-one solution. HKBN offers a one stop IoT solution to customers that covers everything from sensors and connectivity to a centralised management portal and remote application.
  3. Cost effectiveness. Customers can realise Improved operational efficiency with low power consumption, low costs and a minimal data footprint.
  4. Easy to use. A device-to-cloud approach that is easy to deploy, maintain and scale to meet different enterprise needs.

HKBN’s IoT solutions portfolio has empowered the company to pursue multiple new market opportunities across private and public sectors. These include energy savings solutions, real-time locational monitoring, smart city and smart school solutions. HKBN also offer customers a Solutions and Facility Management bundle and are preparing to explore residential B2C solutions over the coming months.

“The key to successful IoT mass deployment is the power to provide proven end-to-end business solutions that deliver long-term value. This is exactly what this strategic partnership between Thinxtra and HKBN Enterprise Solutions delivers, reaching from connectivity to devices and supporting services,” says Joe Sun, general manager, Thinxtra, Hong Kong and Macau.

 

“Globally, the Sigfox 0G technology is becoming the standard for mass IoT solutions,”
Loic Barancourt, CEO, Thinxtra – Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macau.

 


About Thinxtra

Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC, an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

Visit Thinxtra for more information about how its solutions create a more connected, profitable and sustainable world.

Visit HKBN to explore affordable, efficient one-stop solutions for monitoring assets over the Internet using IoT solutions.

 

Adding Artificial Intelligence to IoT Solutions for a Stronger Proof of Value

The purpose of this article is to present the actual applications of combining AI and IoT being used in industry to generate strong value, and to demonstrate important trends that will create even more compelling future use cases.

So, there is a clear connection (no pun) between the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

If IoT is about connecting (usually wirelessly) machines and making use of the data generated from those machines (via visualisation platforms or App), AI is about adding an extra software layer, using that data to bring more intelligent behaviours in machines of all kinds.

IoT needs AI and vice versa: As IoT devices will generate large amounts of data from different sources and type of sensors, then AI will be functionally necessary to deal with these huge volumes to make more sense of that data. Data is only useful if it creates an action. With IoT, you can geolocate & monitor equipment, you can receive alerts if a sensor data is outside of thresholds, you can receive meter index…. But to make data truly actionable, it needs to be supplemented with context. IoT and AI together is this context, i.e. ‘connected intelligence’ and not just connected devices.

Traditional methods of analysing structured data and creating action are not designed to efficiently process the vast amounts of real-time data that stream from IoT devices. This is where AI-based analysis and response becomes critical for extracting optimal value from that data.

AI is beneficial for both real-time and post event processing:

In fact, it is machine learning (a component of the more generic AI term) that provides the ability to detect patterns in data presented. It learns from these patterns in order to adjust the ways in which it then analyses that data or triggers actions. With machine learning embedded into an IoT environment, you get more ‘connected intelligence’:

  • Predictive analytics – ‘What will happen?’

At the most basic level AI enables the power of prediction to forecast and mitigate risky events. This enables organisations to use real-time data to determine when machinery and equipment is likely to break down – so action can be taken to prevent failure and its associated cost via pro-active intervention.

  • Prescriptive analytics – ‘What should we do?’

A second level is the power of prescription. Equipping intelligent sensors with logic to drive action means outages or disasters can be avoided. For example, railway track sensors can warn against track failures, or autonomous vehicles can course-correct when the car veers away from the centre of the lane.

  • Adaptive/continuous analytics – ‘What are the appropriate actions or decisions?  How should the system adapt to the latest changes?’

At an even more advanced level, AI with IoT can deliver an adaptive or autonomous response. This means solutions can incorporate continuous data feeds – where the system learns to take the optimal action without human intervention. So, for example in Agriculture, soil monitoring let’s you determine the nutrients and water level of your soil, so currently farmer can precisely determine the level of fertilisers to be applied and in which areas. But with autonomous tractors, we could easily imagine that all this could be done automatically and precisely and even taking into account the weather forecasts from your own connected weather station.

To give another example that takes into account the 3 parts above, let’s have a look at HVAC monitoring. Predictive: by closely monitoring HVAC systems, you can establish patterns that will determine its over power consumption, malfunctioning or even failure if you wait too long. Prescriptive: the units could be serviced at the optimal time, not too early because it would be near pointless but just before it starts overconsuming, consequently saving on maintenance cost and energy consumption. Adaptive: Imagine, taking into account multiple sources of data such as weather conditions or traffic flow into the building, for even more precise HVAC usage & potential issues with a system that could also clean itself when required. We are not far but not there yet.

 

Potential Future Uses for AI-Powered IoT Devices

Today’s IoT applications are useful in understanding trends, as they lay out areas in which “traction” is proven and directions where big-company and venture money is already moving. Beyond driverless cars or predictive maintenance of equipments at the tip of the iceberg, there are other potential IoT+AI applications. Hereafter a few useful articles for insight into potential combinations of IoT and AI:

 

AI and IOT, complementary technology for value creation

IoT, augmented and enhanced by Machine Learning, is effectively multiplying the impact and benefit to businesses who are adopting these complimentary technologies.  In fact, AI can be an integral element for success in today’s IoT-based digital ecosystems.

The reason is simple. Combining IoT with rapidly advancing AI technologies can create ‘smart machines’ that simulate intelligent behaviour to make well-informed decisions with little or no human intervention.

As new technology applications emerge where IoT works hand in hand with AI – the resulting innovations are proving how IoT can create new markets and opportunities, disrupt traditional business models and dramatically change the competitive landscape. Thus, the companies looking to make the most of opportunities to positively impact revenues, safety, resilience and customer experience are being fast on the uptake of this powerful pairing of transformative technologies.

We’re now seeing significant investment in the convergence of IoT and AI. Worth reading the article on the Top 25 IoT Startups To Watch In 2019. Those start-ups are concentrating on how to make IoT a growth catalyst for enterprises by designing in AI integration at the platform level. Also a good read is why are AI and IoT perfect partners for growth?

The result is an acceleration in innovation which can significantly boost productivity for the organisations involved. Little wonder then that the IoT and AI markets are developing rapidly and in tandem.

Conclusion

However, just as AI and IoT can ultimately empower organisations with strong value creation, so the same, strong combination is requiring a more adaptive strategic response from the management of those organisations. If data is the new oil and knowledge is power, most managers are still at the beginning of the learning curve, with few implementing small minor IoT projects before even thinking of adding AI capabilities, for the cases where AI indeed complements IoT.

This leads to teams without the real motivation (or committed resources) to drive an actual result. Businesses must pick a major problem to have a high likelihood of being solved. What mission-critical business information are you dying to know, but can’t currently access and that could be resolved by first, having IoT data and second, refining that everchanging data with AI? Then with that in place, how would you implement it in your business? IoT & AI often involved change of processes that must be embraced by staff as well as customers to be successful. This goes beyond value creation, this is digital transformation at its finest, but this is not for everyone…

One last word, we mainly talked about “Narrow AI”, where AI is used in combination with IoT to perfect one task, either perfecting HVAC monitoring or perfecting soil cropping. But the near future lays in “General AI”, where systems could adjust to solve any tasks, taking info from the web, humans or any IoT sensors talking to each other. Will the be the judgement day of the Terminator?


A Short Glossary of AI and IoT

This article has been written with the professional or executive in mind, rather than the researcher. So we provide hereafter a short broad definitions (and related links) of IoT & AI terms:

Internet of things: Network of physical objects that contain embedded technology to communicate and sense or interact with their internal states or the external environment (Gartner). 2 main categories:

  • Consumer IoT: the fitbit style solutions attached or close to humans, to monitor their personal environment, behaviour or health. The devices are usually only linked to a personal App.
  • Industrial IoT (IIoT): This is usually referring to industrial or smart cities applications, connecting multiple devices to create efficiencies by better monitoring &/or geolocating equipment. The devices are usually linked to an IoT platform, which is usually integrated to CRM or ERP systems.

Artificial intelligence: an area of computer science that deals with giving machines the ability to seem like they have human intelligence and being able to identify some human senses such as hearing (eg speech recognition and interaction) and sight (eg visual or facial recognition). It is divided into different sub categories:

  • Machine learning: a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. Using algorithms that iteratively learn from data, machine learning allows computers to find hidden insights without being explicitly programmed where to look (SAS), eg. predictive maintenance.
  • Deep learning: a branch of machine learning based on a set of algorithms that attempt to model high-level abstractions in data by using multiple processing layers with complex structures, or otherwise composed of multiple non-linear transformations (Wikipedia), eg. IBM Watson debating capabilities

Want to know more about AI, read this article.

Inaugural Australia summit 2019 Morgan StanleyWatch recording of the Morgan Stanley Inaugural Australia Summit -June 2019 where Catriona Wallace (CEO @Flamingo AI), Cheesun Choong, (CTO @ Hyper Anna), Scott Helfstein (Global Co-Head of Market Research and Strategy @ Morgan Stanley) and Renald Gallis (VP Marketing & Ecosystem @ Thinxtra) were talking about AI & IoT as the new current disruptors.

 


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Macao by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems with the ultimate aim to create more efficiencies in a carbon constrained world.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com

A case study on why IoT water metering makes sense, even in remote NZ

Arthur D. Riley & Co Ltd (ADR) is one of New Zealand’s most experienced fieldsmart technology companies for the Utility industry. This is the story about the challenges and benefits of one of their first IoT projects.

New Zealand is generally not short of water, so not the first place you would think of for monitoring water consumption. However some areas of the Country experience water scarcity, especially in the hot summer months. This is the case for Duvauchelle, a small town of mainly holiday homes situated at the head of Akaroa Harbour on Banks Peninsula, an area service by the Christchurch City Council (CCC).

As a beach-side holiday town the population of Duvauchelle triples in the summer months, and so does the water consumption. To the point where water is brought in by truck to cover the essential needs of the inhabitants, at a very high cost to the CCC.

Clearly the town was under “water stress”. With the advent of IoT and the SIGFOX New Zealand National Network there was technology available with near real-time metering of the water consumption, enabling the CCC to better understand demand and potential water leaks. ADR was appointed to help with designing and implementing this smart technology.

The objectives were very clear: previously water meters in the settlement were read once every two years. The CCC now wanted six reads per day to better identify potential over-consumption patterns, high users and leaks. Overall, they wanted to get greater visibility of water usage as well as share the data with wider stakeholders (community and water utilities).

A few challenges presented themselves with project. The area is quite remote with limited cellular coverage, so the use of IoT technology required the installation of a wireless network base station in the right location to cover for the hilly terrain. Also, the water meters were below ground level  and had to be secured under heavy duty plastic or metal lids (reducing radio reception quality of wireless sensors). To add to the difficult, the project had to be completed in difficult weather conditions.

water meter installation sigfoxWorking in conjunction with ADR, Thinxtra installed a solar powered Sigfox base station on an ideal high point in Duvauchelle. ADR then retrofitted 266 water meters in town with IoT pulse dataloggers, and started monitoring consumption data from each water meter via ADR’s bespoke water management platform.

Within a few weeks, ADR were getting some interesting insights, which needed to be checked live. For example, sites with hidden connection to the main pipes, householders diverting pipes before the meter, people removing their dataloggers, trucks passing by and refilling from CCC water tanks, overflowing water tanks, and the usual 10% leakages.

From the beginning of the project, based on the difference between sourced water and the captured water from the meters, 60% of the water was missing. By going through each individual meter consumption insights and determining the real issues on site, and at the same time fixing them over a three month period, they were able to reduce the unaccounted water figure to 30%. This 30% unaccounted water loss will reduce further as more leakage issues on the network are identified and fixed.

Bruce Franks from A.D.Riley commented: “From now on, not only are the users properly allocated their consumption, but Duvauchelle doesn’t require as much water to be brought in by truck during summer, a previously highly inefficient and costly exercise for this small, remote place. From this early experience in dealing with IoT smart metering, ADR and the CCC have gained a lot of insights on consumer water consumption in Duvauchelle, such as previously unknown major leaks, unaccounted for home and commercial excess water usage – gains that could be easily replicated to larger scale projects in an even shorter period. “ Additionally – “This project also enabled ADR to develop PowerBI dashboard for analytics which has been instrumental in solving leakage and loss identification”


About A.D.Riley & Co Ltd (ADR) – making utilities smarter since 1909

ADR’s founder, Arthur D Riley, was an engineer renowned for his entrepreneurial spirit, something the company continues to embody as providers of fieldsmart technology. ADR are always there for our customers, with technology and expertise that keeps operations running in the field. From high voltage power distribution, water revenue metering and system control, to data acquisition and parking management systems, ADR offers a proven, fieldsmart solution backed with technical expertise.

More info at http://adriley.co.nz
Contact: Bruce Franks (Marketing and Development) bfranks@adriley.co.nz


About Thinxtra New Zealand

Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things by commercialising and operating the first nationwide LPWA network in New Zealand (based on Sigfox connectivity technology) as well as enabling and promoting a full eco-system of partners that provide IoT solutions and services to increase productivity, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life, and find more economical solutions to common problems.
Thinxtra is leading this IoT revolution, by connecting the un-connected, for a more sustainable future.

Contact: Shaun McBride (NZ BDM) shaun.mcbride@thinxtra.com

 

Why Sustainability with IoT is a Priority for Thinxtra?

For Thinxtra, IoT is all about creating efficiencies and thus empowering businesses and government with sensible IoT solutions to bring new business opportunities and reduce costs of doing business (while reducing carbon footprint at the same time).

For the past 3 years, Thinxtra has been hammering, mainly on Linkedin (targeting leaders and CxOs), on the importance of combining IoT and sustainability as the winning formula for a brighter future. This is how Thinxtra is thriving everyday to make a difference: Supporting local partners to develop the right solutions, embedded with compelling economics to make IoT a reality. We believe businesses would get more involved with IoT if there were clear and obvious benefits to their bottom line. If on top of that, the solutions are opening new business opportunities, and, are good for the environment, then, there are no more barriers for implementation.

In short, IoT benefits are the cake, sustainability is the icing.

Thinxtra focus on 3 levels of sustainability where there are opportunities with IoT:

  1. LPWAN technology

Thinxtra is the Sigfox network operator in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong and has rolled out the low power, low-cost connectivity nationwide networks to reduce the carbon footprint of companies by using connected devices combined with intelligent platforms. Clean Energy Finance Corp invested in Thinxtra for that purpose: “help lower Australia’s carbon emissions by investing in renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.”

Lower cost IoT solutions mean the threshold to be involved with IoT is lower, the ROI is higher and thus less friction to get businesses starting their journey towards efficient monitoring and tracking thus reducing wastes.

IoT can have an impact in pretty much any industries and hereafter some simple business opportunities with positive and green aspects:

    • Crop management

Implementing IoT into the agriculture sector has many benefits. First off, crop management uses various small and smart sensors that monitor humidity, temperature thus maximising water use with regards to weather conditions. Therefore, farmers may now gain a better overview and control over their lands and consequently reduce fertilizer use as well as optimise irrigation.

    • Smart bins

Trash bins that embed smart IoT devices improves waste collection as sensors detect whether bins are full or empty, thus optimising the trucks’ route, not only saving fuel and time but also reducing traffic and pollution. Read the use case and case study made with Brimbank City Council.

    • Smart buildings

Buildings are the biggest consumers of energy. Any solutions reducing power consumption brings value. For example,  aggregating IoT sensors into air conditioning systems help building managers monitor air quality, predict optimal maintenance interventions and therefore avoid electricity overconsumption or pollution. Some global manufacturers from Japan (confidential) are already embedding Sigfox technology into their HVAC systems for that purpose: Improving service and the performance of their equipment is their first objective with the added bonus of reducing power consumption.

    • City trees & Bushfire monitoring

With Climate change comes new challenges and new issues. An obvious one is about trees.

An underestimated issue is the stress on city trees which are dying, at an unprecedented rate the past 3 years, in the Australian cities (specially in Sydney and Adelaide). Replacing trees is more expensive than efficiently watering them. Few projects are emerging to potentially connect millions of trees with Sigfox in Australia.
Another one is the increase in bushfires. Stopping bushfire is easier when you have early signs. A new solution is to be announced next month.

    • Ocean floor monitoring

The LobsterNet project turns lobster pots into a smart traps with sensor connected via Sigfox, collect high resolution data about ocean conditions at scale and over time, and generate information products of value to all commercial and recreational fishermen, researchers, and the larger blue economy.

 

“IoT solutions exist in Australia to fix all those issues and the economics are now compelling with Thinxtra’s Sigfox LPWA Network. Not just compelling but those simple IoT solutions have open the door for new business opportunities, while being relevant to reducing carbon footprint.” says Loic Barancourt, CEO of Thinxtra.

 

  1. Energy harvesting devices and green batteries

When you think that by 2025 there should be 20 billions IoT devices*, with most devices battery powered, this is a massive potential hazard to the environment that needs to be addressed now. Sigfox’s low-cost connectivity makes IoT a viable option to connect everything. Sigfox technology as the preferred choice for IoT is 100 times less power-consuming than 3G. Sigfox is able to reduce power consumption and therefore the size of the batteries with no impact on battery life because the messages transferred use smaller amounts of data and devices only work for one or two seconds several times a day.

Thinxtra is collaborating with device makers & universities to focus more on energy harvesting solutions. Thinxtra wants to reduce its carbon footprint by providing and promoting devices that are self-recharging, using photovoltaic cells, temperature differential, piezo or kinetic movements integrated into the design of the IoT products. Such devices would then last for decades on minimal battery size or even could be battery less. Indeed, Sigfox is working on solution for passive battery less devices by 2020 (read more here).

Another alley, we are investigating is low cost green batteries made of hydrogen or sodium-ion, clearly not polluting, and the good news, Australia is a leader in this field of research.

 

“This is another opportunity to differentiate and bring to the global Sigfox ecosystem unique solutions, made in Australia (and more likely manufacture in Asia) and distributed by Thinxtra Hong Kong hub.” commented Renald Gallis, VP Marketing & Ecosystem

 

  1. Recycling 

Australia’s government has announced in 2018 new planned waste recycling targets. It provides a national framework for waste and resource recovery in Australia. It outlines roles and responsibilities for collective action by businesses, governments, communities and individuals.

The whole ecosystem of IoT solutions providers are not there yet as IoT is still in its early days and so, not that many products (if any) are at end of life, but, Thinxtra is already in the process of developing a recycling policy with its local partners to ensure that they integrate reusable components and that they facilitate the shipping of end-of-life devices back to treatment facilities. Even though it would be hard to create a circular economy with IoT devices, this should be envisioned in the future.

Some may see this as a constraint, Thinxtra sees this as an opportunity to further differentiate our offering. Nobody will ever blame you for being green.


Sustainability is a priority for Thinxtra because, beyond the green aspect, it opens the door for many new business applications and opportunities.


Overall,
Thinxtra’s goal, along its partners, is to provide, promote and support ecological and sustainable IoT solutions that have positive impacts on the businesses and the environment.

 


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems with the ultimate aim to create more efficiencies in a carbon constrained world.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com

*IoT Analytics research 2018

IoT Coverage where you need it, plug & play.

2019 is kicking off with the best offer so far in the LPWAN market in the region.
Thinxtra now covers 87% of the ANZ population & 97% of HK population, on track to reach 95% target overall. However there will always be challenging environments such as deep indoor or remote locations. Now, a single plug & play Sigfox Access Station Micro can cover, for example, large rural areas or underground parkings to connect hundreds of devices in the vicinity.

The days of complexity of installation, configuration of IoT devices and overall high cost are finally gone.

Coverage… Where you need it
Discreet with integrated antenna and sleek design, Sigfox Access Station Micro can be installed anywhere: hidden or on display, indoor or outdoor, in an attic or underground, in warehouses, buildings, shops, farms or offices… With the sealing cover, the Access Station Micro is dust and water resistant (IP65).

Coverage… Made easy
With its compact form factor and integrated antenna, Sigfox Access Station Micro can be easily installed within minutes. Accessories are included in the box to start using the Access Station Micro straight away. Power-over-Ethernet allows flexible installation and do not require professional assistance. The Access Station Micro connects to Sigfox Cloud via existing LAN infrastructure and Internet access, but it also has the possibility to use a 3G/G USB dongle (optional) for quick and versatile installations.

Coverage… Affordable
Sigfox Access Station Micro addresses the challenges of affordable coverage densification by keeping the RoI of any IoT solution deployment and operations low. Designed with great sensitivity it can cover an entire building, or easily cover 3-4km around your farm (with no specific installation, just plug it to your current router via ethernet or uses the 3G/4G dongle) and and can process up to 70 000 messages per day. With extremely low energy consumption, the Access Station Micro is compatible with smart solar panel deployment enabling untapped application connectivity where no power source is available.

To make it easy for everyone to access LPWAN coverage, Thinxtra decided to make it very affordable at a lease price of only $20 exc.GST / month + set up fee. (T&Cs applies)

With low prices and a plug & play installation, there are no more barriers to connect your smart things wherever you are.

More info on our offering and Sigfox Access Station Micro


About Sigfox
Billions of objects worldwide will be connected to the Internet; their data will be stored in the cloud and will participate in the digitalization of our environment. Having a global, simple, low-cost and low-power connectivity solution is fundamental. This is the challenge that Sigfox addresses by deploying a low-bandwidth dedicated network, already present in 60 countries.

Created in 2010, Sigfox is a recognized global pioneer and leader in a sector that is already disrupting business models and will revolutionize the whole of society. The ambition of Sigfox, embodied in the slogan “Make Things Come Alive“, is to give a voice to the physical world around us and to allow these billions of objects to play a role in economic and social development.

For more information please visit: www.sigfox.com


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com

 

Geolocating Machinery Parts to Save Time

Rail Maintenance Services Pty Ltd (RMS) delivers industrial projects in a number of key industries including mining, metals, oil, gas, water, waste water, infrastructure, and power generation. For that purpose, they have an extensive fleet of earthmoving machinery and road-rail vehicles for all types of rail works, from maintenance and renewal activities to construction. They also have a comprehensive catalogue of specialised rail attachments which are very hard to locate in the field and often stay idle or simply get lost or forgotten.

RMS was already monitoring their powered machineries & vehicles with standard 3G trackers connected to the vehicles’ battery and getting geolocation data in realtime to a monitoring dashboard. So they were interested to see if it would make sense to track those side parts too.

These parts, even though highly valuable, are the typical pieces of equipment that are not tracked. Why? It is just too hard. Too hard to affix bulky GPS trackers, too hard to power, too costly,… , until now.

For those attachments, the solution was in fact quite simple using new technology: GPS tracker connecting wirelessly via low power consuming Sigfox LPWAN network are less costly, much less power consuming and way smaller. On top of that, this new breed of trackers still connect and send data to the same Bigmate IoT Platform. The data -including equipment location and level of utilisation- is only sent few times a day to reduce battery consumption. Sufficient info to determine where the attachments are sitting idle, ready to be retrieved/used or if they need to be serviced (in case of over usage).

For RMS, the benefits became obvious:

  • Find quickly any valuable asset on site, potentially lost otherwise.
  • Optimise the time spent by the team members to access a piece of equipment for a specific job.
  • An overall cost of implementation recovered within the first project.

George De Domenico from RMS, added few more benefits: “Implementing controls and measures to ensure expenditures are applied to correct vehicles, obtaining reports to assist with preventive maintenance strategy.  Ascertaining real time in vehicle positioning, ensuring safety of personnel and protect company capital expenditure.”

On the technical side, The IoT solution deployed included:

  • The device (Oyster GPS tracker), a simple rugged (IP67 casing) GPS tracker with 5 years battery life. The most complex task was to find a good solution to affix with heavy duty rivets the small rugged devices in the right location (to avoid damaging them) to hard metal pieces of equipment.
  • The platform: Bigmate IoT platform can easily geolocate all pieces in the field with 10 meters accuracy
  • The wireless IoT network by Sigfox was installed by Thinxtra on the required sites within a week notice.

About Rail Maintenance Services (RMS)
Started as Axiom Plant Hire in 1971, RMS is now one of the largest road-rail fleets in Australia and the preferred partner for companies involved in rail construction and maintenance operations. RMS has an extensive fleet of earthmoving machinery and road-rail (hi rail) vehicles for all types of rail works, from maintenance and renewal activities to construction. They also have a comprehensive catalogue of specialised rail attachments for hire.

More info about RMS


About Bigmate
Part of the 2SG Technology Group, Bigmate was established with a vision to be one of the leading innovators in the global field of Internet of Assets (GPS monitoring and asset management technology). Today, with over 15 years’ experience in the field, they are one of the brightest australian telematics and Internet of Assets (IoA) solution providers, offering cutting-edge GPS monitoring and productivity solutions to a broad range of industries and markets.
Bigmate’s solution can unlock the assets’ voice and allow them to speak, revealing information than can help monitor assets, save on operational expenses and providing information that can assist in greater business understanding – thus enabling better business decisions to be made.

More info at bigmate.com.au


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by operating the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as enabling a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services partners to connect the non-connected, to increase productivity, to accelerate decision making, to improve quality of service and quality of life, and to find more economical solutions to common problems.

Sigfox is the world’s leading provider of connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT). The company has built a global network to connect billions of devices to the Internet while consuming as little energy as possible, as simply as possible. Sigfox’s unique approach to device-to-cloud communications addresses the three greatest barriers to global IoT adoption: cost, energy consumption, and global scalability.

Thinxtra is backed by the CEFC (Clean Energy Finance Corporation), an Australian Government fund with a mission to accelerate local transformation towards more efficiencies.

PR Contact: Renald Gallis – VP Marketing +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com