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Why the Biggest Dairy Company (Fonterra, NZ) in the World had to Embrace the IoT

Fonterra is the largest company in New Zealand in terms of economic impact, and produces about 30% of the world’s dairy exports. Its size gives it many benefits – economies of scale, employment, high turnover, and an avenue to solidify New Zealand’s place as a country that produces high-quality products for local and overseas consumption.

But being as big as it is, also introduces a few issues. Not least of which are trying to find better ways to streamline production processes, save on power, and one of the biggest costs – maintenance of the company’s plant, infrastructure and tanker fleet.

Dave McPherson (Infrastructure & Global IS Engagement Manager at Fonterra), after attending the first Industrial Internet 4.0 Summit in Sydney in 2017, commented: “I was trying to get a handle on all the hype around IoT and Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing – all these buzz words that were relatively new to us and we were trying to get a handle on where we could drive some value from the stuff,” he said. “In particular, what we were really trying to find was what people were doing in this space currently and how we could leverage their learnings to speed up our journey.”

From knowing very little about the Internet of Things (IoT) 3 years ago, the company has now embraced the concept at so many different levels and save itself a lot of money. It was a matter of trying to find out what they could do and how they could implement processes into what they were doing. It didn’t take long.

“I have plenty of examples across our supply chain where we are using IoT.” he said. “What I call new IoT is gear supplied by third-party vendors, who are providing us low-cost, battery-powered solutions, which are connected by dedicated networks such as Sigfox, rather than traditional wireless networks. Alternatively, we are dealing with new vendors who are traditionally not in our supply chain.”

“There is a huge increase in availability of these low-cost devices, with new vendors coming to market all the time. It has given us a lot of opportunities to grow in this area,” he said. “On the farm we are seeing a rapid growth in the adoption of IoT sensors. Most of this is to do with compliance and sustainability as well as productivity and animal health and welfare. It all starts at the farms. Farmers, like a lot of industries today, are having to be a lot more compliant from a sustainability perspective – wastewater, effluent – everything we manage on farm needs to be measured or monitored.”

A big issue on all farms is the treatment of the aforementioned wastewater and effluent. Cow herds produce a lot of both and New Zealand has a lot of regulations when it comes to how these by-products are monitored and treated. IoT-enabled devices offer the perfect solution on the ground.

“One of the more interesting projects we have done recently is effluent management,” said McPherson. “We own the farms around most of our factories and that is for the purpose of getting rid of our wastewater. We’re tied by councils about how we irrigate the waterways. We set up a project whereby we used irrigators that were pulled out manually across the field. When [the irrigators] are pulled out we have to be sure that they are not getting too close to waterways to make sure the effluent doesn’t go where it is not supposed to go. It got to a point where one of our plants got shut down for a months because we weren’t doing a good job of it.

“We deployed GPS trackers on the irrigators, and, coupled with weather information, wind speed and wind direction. The pumps that control the irrigators couldn’t be shut down quickly if they started spraying effluent into the waterways.

“We came up with a very cost-effective solution by using new IoT sensors from a company we had never dealt with before. They came up with a real robust solution, which we learned about very quickly, and we were able to get that plant up and running again.”

Then there is the milk itself. The temperature of milk is regulated by the New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries for the dairy industry. Farmers need to get the milk down to four (4) degrees Celsius within four hours of starting to milk the cows and two hours within completion of the milking. The longer the milking takes, the longer it takes to cool, which then shortens the window Fonterra has to pick it up from the farm gate. With some new sensors, it is possible to measure the temperature in real time in the farm-based vats where the milk is initially stored.

“That information along with the volume and the fact that the agitators are stirring that milk will come back to us in real time,” said McPherson. “[This is] a lot of data pinging off 10,500 vats every five minutes, but it gives us a real-time picture that may even potentially stop us picking up milk that we otherwise wouldn’t want.”

But it still needs to be kept cool when it is being transported. Fonterra put some sensors on the tankers that came back with results that they didn’t expect.

“Our tankers are not refrigerated and our storage factories are not refrigerated. It is critical that we try and get that milk temperature down on the farm as soon as possible and keep it there before it gets processed. Where we measured the temperature in transit we used these little sensors which were very cheap,” he said. “We measured all different points of the tankers. The top, where we thought there would be the most impact from a heating perspective with regards to the sun. It turned out it was the heat coming up from the road – it was the bottom of the barrels that were getting the most heat between the pipework and the cab and the barrel and the truck.

“Once we found these hot spots, we worked with a couple of companies on coatings we could put on the tankers to eliminate the heat. We’ve had about six different coats sprayed onto a number of tankers and using sensors we are starting to see some great benefits, which has led to zero increases in temperature,” said McPherson.

Some farmers are even going one step further by monitoring the cows with wearable sensors. “[Farmers] can tell when [the cows] are drinking or eating, how long they are spending standing up eating,” he said. “It also tracks their temperature, which will give warning signs of when the cows are getting sick – all of these things affects productivity of the farmers.”

A lot of companies are also looking at condition monitoring, otherwise known as predictive maintenance, as it relates to the IoT. Fonterra spends about $180 million a year on maintenance of its manufacturing plants. Given the seasonal nature of its business it has a 100% of the company’s assets running at 100% of the time for a couple of months a year at peak. Then it becomes less intensive.

“Our maintenance programme is usually done in winter and we pull every pump, motor and valve and replace bearings just because we’ve done it for years,” said McPherson. “With the IoT sensors, we should be able to save a lot of money by finding out if we actually need to do it in the first place. For us, to be able to predict the failure and then allow downtime in our plants to do the maintenance means we don’t have the overhead of a huge number of people working across our manufacturing facilities in the off-season.”

Other areas where the IoT is making an impact is in the supply chain and dry storage. Again, temperatures have to be measured in the storage areas, and with New Zealand summers becoming hotter, it is increasingly becoming an issue. The company also has small magnetic devices that are fitted in the hinge of containers. When it is closed and turned on it is sending out GPS coordinates of the location of the container, temperature inside the container, humidity and whether there is light getting into the containers.

“You get real-time alerts when these containers are being opened somewhere along the supply chain,” said McPherson. “Sometimes along the customs borders. Sometimes when we don’t really want them to be by someone who has stolen a container. Sometimes, we’ll get a customer complaint before it turns up damaged. These sort of devices are allowing us to track wear and tear in the supply chain where that might happen.”

The company recently did 200 trials of a random number of containers going to various places around the world. The containers were pinging out data giving locations and other information that was captured at the same time. It’s helped Fonterra identify issues that were going on that it otherwise wouldn’t have known about.

“For example, we’ve had containers sitting in Chicago in the winter time in -9 degrees and customers have complained about what that has done to the product,” said McPherson. “Other scenarios where we’ve had damages to containers or pallets where they have opened it up and bags have burst or the pallets are damaged and customer complaints have come through quite regularly. That is a great little device that gave us a head’s up when there was a problem.”

Fonterra is an example of a company that less than three years ago, had hardly heard about the IoT, or what it would mean for its business. Now, the IoT has become part of its everyday life of doing business.

And what of the future? “Increasingly the challenge for us now, and a lot of companies, will be across the supply chain where you are pulling data through these IoT sensors to these third-party cloud solutions,” said McPherson. “The real challenge will be how we integrate it back into our systems.”

And what is McPherson’s final word on the IoT and what it means for doing business? “A lot of this is around changing business processes, taking people on the journey, getting them to understand the reason why traceability is important,” he said. “A lot of people think it is a Big Brother thing. In reality, it is just the future of what we have to do with this traceability across our food chain and that, in the long run, is a good thing.”

Extracts and interview from: www.foodmag.com.au; March 5, 2019


Fonterra cow iot LPWAAbout Fonterra
New Zealand-based Fonterra is a dairy co-operative born in 2001 when the country’s two biggest co-ops – Kiwi Co-operative Dairies and New Zealand Dairy Group – merged with the statutory body, the New Zealand Dairy Board.

Fonterra is the biggest dairy company in the world with impressive stats: owned by 10,500 farmers, employs 1600 tanker drivers, and 22,000 global staff, 85 million litres of milk picked up daily, 22 billion litres of milk processed every year, $17 billion in revenue. Fonterra is at the forefront of NZ’s global exports for over 50 years, and make up 25% of NZ’s exports.

More info at www.fonterra.com/


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

Sigfox opens radio specifications for connected objects

To celebrate the 8th World Radio Day, under the patronage of UNESCO, Sigfox, the world’s leading IoT service provider and first global 0G network operator, has publicly released the specifications of its radio protocol for connected objects.

Impact of Open Radio Specifications

By putting the specification in the public domain, everyone can now create their own Sigfox object. The release of these specifications will allow open source implementations, and more opportunities for developers and manufacturers of connected objects. As soon as all the tests are done, the manufacturer will only have to register its object on the Sigfox network to benefit from it.

Sigfox expects a boom in the number of objects connected to its network as new players in the IoT space take advantage of this opportunity, with global full support from Sigfox. The Sigfox ecosystem will expand further, as they democratise the technology beyond device makers.

The Sigfox standard

This move will apply to connected objects, rather than Sigfox’s base stations and infrastructure, as those are protected by patents. Until now, the specification of objects was shared under NDA upon request, while Sigfox wanted to control the number of objects applying to connect to its network.

The opening of the specification has always been part of Sigfox’s ambition and we’re excited for the thousands of new use cases that will emerge. Our partners all over the world are looking forward to being part of this development” says Christophe Fourtet, co-founder of Sigfox. (View the whole interview on youtube)

In the IoT market more generally, this opening is a so-called “classic” step in the establishment of a standard, like Bluetooth for example. This means that tomorrow Sigfox’s 0G network, in addition to the B2B markets already addressed to date, will also become a reference on local or more consumer-oriented use cases.

With more than 30 years of expertise in radiocommunication, particularly in defined by software and cognitive ones, Christophe Fourtet, invites the academic community and the research community to seize this opportunity, for the next generation of engineers to participate in the coming evolutions of the protocol.

To access the specification : build.sigfox.com/sigfox-device-radio-specifications

By opening its radio specifications to the public, Sigfox strengthens its position as the global provider of 0G connectivity


About Sigfox
Sigfox is the initiator of the 0G network and the world’s leading IoT (Internet of Things) service provider. Its global network allows billions of devices to connect to the Internet, in a straightforward way, while consuming as little energy 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.

Today, the network is available in 60 countries, with 1 billion people covered. Surrounded by a large ecosystem of partners and IoT key players, Sigfox empowers companies to move their business model towards more digital services, in key areas such as Asset Tracking and Supply Chain. Founded in 2010 by Ludovic Le Moan and Christophe Fourtet, the company is headquartered in France, and also has offices in Madrid, Munich, Boston, Dallas, San Jose, Dubai, Singapore, Sao Paulo and Tokyo.


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

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

Sigfox network coverage reaches 90% of Hong Kong territory

Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong .

Internet of Things (IoT) service and solutions provider Thinxtra, announces Hong Kong’s first IoT network reaches full deployment covering more than 90% of the territory.

With its powerful, practical, small messaging IoT gateways installed across the territory, Thinxtra’s Sigfox IoT network now enables business, government and Hong Kong citizens to connect without the costly, complicated, insecure and risk of obsolescence that comes with private network deployment and integration.

Sigfox is the first global cellular IoT network fully dedicated to connected objects, forming a key infrastructure to support industry 4.0 and smart city solutions.  As the exclusive Hong Kong network operator of Sigfox and the first wireless IoT license holder here, Thinxtra has built a cost-effective, secure and extensive IoT-enabling network. The Thinxtra LPWA gateways will allow the Hong Kong-wide adoption of IoT solutions, in logistics, construction, smart facility management, health, household, industrial machinery and smart-city.

“The widespread implementation of IoT devices will help enhance Hong Kong’s economic competitiveness and quality of life. Since launching in Hong Kong late last year, Thinxtra has been focused on two important tasks: nurturing the local IoT ecosystem to stimulate innovation and rolling out the network to make such innovation possible,” said Murray Hankinson, Managing Director of Thinxtra Asia. “Devices can also roam freely without extra cost to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the USA with the whole of Asia expected to be covered by 2019.”

Hankinson says “we have been working with HKBN (one of the largest residential broadband and telecommunications service providers in Hong Kong) to accelerate the deployment of our LPWA network. HKBN is a like-minded organisation, keen to bring and enable innovation to Hong Kong.”

Joe Sun, General Manager of Thinxtra’s Hong Kong Operations added“We are delighted to announce the network has reached near full coverage and solutions can now be connected, across Hong Kong, for as little at HK$20 per year”. “ We continue to support practical IoT solutions and innovation in Hong Kong, Thinxtra continues to collaborate on IoT R&D with the HKSTP, working with the SCC and other local partners on the design of devices, sensors and solutions.”

The Hong Kong Thinxtra network connects this growing IoT ecosystem to Thinxtra networks in Australia and New Zealand, as well as other Sigfox networks and IoT ecosystems in 48 countries around the world, providing access to a population of around 803 million people.


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

Media Contacts:
Thinxtra: Renald Gallis +61 404 894 960 renald.gallis@thinxtra.com
FleishmanHillard Hong Kong: Patrick Yu  +852 2586 7872 patrick.yu@fleishman.com


Some clips from the press about this PR:

Money magazine: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Etnet HK: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Telecom Asia: Thinxtra completes Sigfox rollout in Hong Kong

Quam Net: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

IT News HK: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Finance ET HK: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Pacific News Taiwan: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

PRN Asia: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Field China: Thinxtra宣布成为香港首个物联网(IoT)网络覆蓋率高达90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Life Taiwan: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Yahoo Finance: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Times: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Chinese World Net HK: Thinxtra宣佈成為香港首個物聯網(IoT)網絡 覆蓋率高達90% (Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong)

Asia One: Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong

TMC Net: Thinxtra announces Hong Kong’s First IoT network deployed with coverage of 90% of Hong Kong

CDO Trends: Thinxtra to Switch On First Cellular IoT Network in Hong Kong

ReadIT Quik: Sigfox Network Reaches Full Deployment in Hong Kong

Telecom Paper: Sigfox network coverage reaches 90% of Hong Kong territory

Meet Joe Sun, General Manager of Thinxtra Hong Kong

Thinxtra has appointed Joe Sun as general manager of its Hong Kong operations as it continues the buildout of its territory-wide Internet of Things (IoT) network and accelerates the local development and implementation of IoT solutions.

The exclusive Hong Kong network operator of Sigfox, the world’s most mature IoT low-power wide-area (LPWA) network, and Hong Kong’s first wireless IoT license holder, Thinxtra is building the infrastructure for cost-effective IoT connectivity in Hong Kong. At the same time, it is investing to nurture a local ecosystem of IoT businesses and researchers.

Mr. Sun will draw on more than 20 years of experience in the technology and telecommunications industries to lead Thinxtra Hong Kong at this critical time. A veteran of CSL’s mobile solutions development team and Hutchison Telecom’s corporate sales team, Mr. Sun has a sharp focus on building effective ecosystems and delivering innovative solutions.

“With our Sigfox network in place, we are now preparing for an upsurge in IoT development activity and the mass implementation of IoT solutions in Hong Kong. Joe is ideal to help us make a difference for our customers and partners in this fast-paced environment. He has a proven track record in business development, strategic partnerships and revenue generation in the tech and telco sectors. We are delighted to welcome him to our Hong Kong team,” said Murray Hankinson, Managing Director of Thinxtra Asia.

“IoT is a game changer for Hong Kong businesses and a vital enabler of our future as a competitive smart city with great quality of life. I am excited to join Thinxtra, Hong Kong’s most exciting IoT trail-blazer, with a mission to bring world-class IoT solutions to Hong Kong enterprises and accelerate Hong Kong’s development as an IoT hub for Asia and the world,” Mr. Sun said.

IoT is a foundational infrastructure that allows users to connect everything from wearable health devices and household appliances to industrial machinery and urban infrastructure. Deploying Sigfox technology, Thinxtra is building the only truly fit-for-purpose and territory-wide IoT-enabling network in Hong Kong. Secure and open, the Thinxtra LPWA network provides cost-effective, long-range, low-power connectivity to enable businesses, research institutions and government organizations to capitalize on the rise of IoT. Devices on the Thinxtra network can be connected for as little as HK$20/year, with a battery life of up to 10 years.

Sigfox is the first global cellular network fully dedicated to connected objects. Thinxtra’s Sigfox networks in Hong KongAustralia and New Zealand are part of a global Sigfox network that spans 45 countries and territories to provide access to a massive worldwide ecosystem of IoT innovators and a market of more than 800 million people.


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by deploying the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as building a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services to enable the non-connected to connect, to increase productivity, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life, and 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.

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

First Ultrasonic Water Meter Sigfox Ready for Australia

Watergroup released -during OZ Water show 18– the first and long awaited Sigfox ready ultrasonic water meter (by HZ metering) for the Australian market.

WaterGroup, one of the largest integrated water savings companies in Australia, and global metering manufacturer HZ Metering (aka Huizhong in China) have officially announced a partnership to distribute this new smart water meter in the Australian market.

Called the Sigfox-NUmeter, this meter is the first commercially available ultrasonic smart water meter to have an IoT Sigfox module fully integrated into it.

Thinxtra provides the nationwide Sigfox backbone LPWAN coverage to make it easy to connect the NUmeter wirelessly to any platform used by Utilities, either be SCADA system or dedicated IoT platforms based on Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services or else.

“The NUmeter will enable WaterGroup to help tackle two of the major challenges facing Australian utilities,” says Guenter Hauber-Davidson, the Managing Director of WaterGroup.

“First of all, each year, utilities deliver about two billion cubic metres of potable water every year – but about 10-12 per cent of this water is lost each year. This loss of water equates to over $400 million in water production costs every year. With the NUmeter we can provide utilities, with a cost-effective way to truly understand, in near real time, where the water is going – and where it is lost – in their water distribution networks.”

The second major challenge facing utilities was the major population growth predicted for Australia’s largest cities. This growth in population will drive growth in water consumption which in turn will mean that smarter management of water will become a must for major cities.

“We are seeing water and wastewater utilities across the globe implementing IoT smart water meters to access real-time information – that will help their decision making around planning of and investment in water infrastructure to meet the population growth challenges of the future and to become smarter cities,” said Mr Jianguo Dong, General Manager of HZ Metering

Renald Gallis, VP Ecosystem at Thinxtra added to conclude “With Sigfox network already covering most cities and regional councils, it becomes very simple to connect wirelessly the NUmeters for a very low cost. Many Water Utilities and Councils in Australia have been waiting for it to implement their smart water projects. This is opening the valve for better monitoring this scarce resource.”


About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering the Internet of Things in Asia Pacific by deploying the world-leading Sigfox LPWA network as well as building a full eco-system of IoT solutions and services to enable the non-connected to connect, to increase productivity, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service and quality of life, and 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.

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

Meet us at the Australian Smart Communities Conference 2018 in Melbourne

Thinxtra is a Gold sponsor of the event and will be exhibiting on booth S02 and showcase smart councils IoT solutions from the devices to the Sigfox network to platforms. As a council, come visit us and see how we can provide free Sigfox coverage to your council.

We will also introduce the first Ultrasonic water meter Sigfox ready for the Australian market: HZ NUmeter

Regis Berdaa, Smart Councils Manager at Thinxtra will also be speaking about this opportunity for councils on Thursday 10th at 2:40pm in the technology session of the Stream B | Innovation & Strategy. 

About The Australian Smart Communities Conference:
It is the ultimate event for people and organisations spearheading moves to make our communities more liveable, more sustainable and more technologically empowered.
By using smart solutions, smart communities become more efficient, increase the capability of existing infrastructure and services, and improve the quality of life for their citizens. The Australian Smart Communities Conference provides the platform to showcase these smart solutions, celebrate the successes of our smart communities and share stories with members and the broader community.

View full agenda and register here

Electronics Symposium – Hong Kong on April 16th 2018

The Electronic Division the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers is holding the flagship programme “Hong Kong Electronic Symposium 2018 (HKES2018)” on 16 April 2018 in Hong Kong Science Park.

The theme of the Symposium is “Smart Cities – from Cliche to Digital Transformation”. The topics of interest in HKES2018 cover V2X, Big Data, Smart airport, Electrical Vehicle infrastructure, Smart Energy,LPWAN & IoT.

4pm: Anthony Lai, Ecosystem manager at Thinxtra HK, will present Sigfox and its applications in Smart cities.

View full agenda and register here for HKES 2018