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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 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

Team Uses Sigfox to Win the”Future Realities” Auckland Hackathon

New Zealand, May 15th 2017 – How IoT and the Sigfox NZ network could save people lost in the bush?

The Auckland Hackathon, part of the Future Realities AR/VR/IoT event,  ran over two days and called on tech developers, students, creatives and ideas people to mash up technology to connect the real world to the virtual world. Future Realities organisers were after bright minds with great ideas to make the hackathon an outstanding event.

This new breed of hackathon was an opportunity to dive into problems in teams of 3-5 individuals formed around a project, such as building a new data visualization or collaboratively solving a problem with AR/VR/IoT technologies.

The hacking began with each participant presenting their potential project to invite members to join their team.
The winning idea, named Rescue the lost ones”, was proposed by Junwoo Chang. The idea came to him when he and his family got into a car accident on a day trip in the woods, and since they were out of cellular coverage and couldn’t call emergency, they had to walk a few hours till they were able to call the police. He mentioned he had experienced quite a stressful journey. Mr Chang, fearing for his life, resolved to find a solution to prevent this kind of situation.

The solution would involve an emergency device to call for help. To achieve maximal signal range, Sigfox LPWAN connectivity proved to be the most suitable: the network covers a large portion of New Zealand, is very long range, the use case does not require sending a lot of data and the device must last a long time – requiring very low power consumption/infrequency recharges.

The user would simply press a button to send the alert and the geolocation.

The alert message is received on the Sigfox Cloud and transferred via API to IBM Bluemix platform. The  platform then processes the data and displays the info on a simple monitoring dashboard.

The hardware used for the prototyping was a Pycom SiPy, using Sigfox connectivity and MicroPython programming language. A rotary encoder allows the user to select the kind of alert to send, using a colour code displayed by LED.

At the end of the event, a wrap-up session gave each project a chance to demonstrate their accomplishments and the “Rescue the lost ones” project using Sigfox LPWAN won the event.

We would like to thank Peroze Irani and Joris Mangel from Thinxtra New Zealand for supporting this event and providing Sigfox knowledge and their own experiences to assist the winning team.


About Future Realities
Future Realities is a leading event in the #Techweek17 NZ program, in partnership with IBM BlueMix. It is run by John McDermott of the IoT Auckland Meetup.
More infos:
Auckland Hackathon – Future Realities
Event pictures and info
IBM Bluemix


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. Thinxtra’s Sigfox network currently covers 71% of the population in Australia and 89% of the population in New Zealand and will start deployment in Hong Kong by June 2017. It will cover 95% of the population of those countries by the end of 2017.
Thinxtra was founded by IoT and network experts who share a common passion for connecting things to improve business processes and people lives. It is backed by NZX-listed high-tech company Rakon Limited, which has a history of innovation in communications technology going back some 50 years.

For more information, contact:
Renald Gallis – VP Marketing and Ecosystem
renald.gallis@thinxtra.com +61 404 894 960

Sigfox Makes For Happy Pãua in New Zealand

New Zealand, May 3rd 2017 – Sigfox IoT Network for the New Zealand Aquaculture Industry
New Zealand is one of the largest and most efficient exporters of lamb, beef and dairy products in the world. It has a strong reputation for the development of advanced techniques in the optimisation of primary industries and many of these techniques are highly prized in overseas markets. But there is another comparatively new primary industry climbing the ranks showing rapid year on year growth.
With 14,000 Kilometres of coastline making it the 10th longest in the World, New Zealand also has a large and thriving aquaculture industry, with major players including Sanfords, Sealord and Aotearoa Fisheries. The aim of all New Zealand fisheries is to provide long term sustainability – thereby not increasing the stock take but to increase production in a smart and sustainable manner.

A long range, low power, low cost network built just for IoT
Thinxtra has deployed a New Zealand wide Internet of Things (IoT) network with its partners Kordia utilising Sigfox technology, now covering 89% of population in NZ. It is an ultra-low power, low cost and long range network that is particularly good over water with messages delivered as far as 150km out to sea. This makes it ideal for connecting assets that previously had no option but to connect to an expensive satellite system and in many cases, the lack of a local power source made this simply impossible. The new network could have a significant impact for the Aquaculture industry, enabling increased yields by smart means and allowing operators to act on real time information.

Joss Birss Moana paua

Joss Birss – Moana’s pāua expert with his happy pāua. Behind him the Sigfox monitored Hot Water Heat Pump.

Sustainable Fisheries are adopting IoT technology
One of the first NZ fisheries to take advantage of the innovative Sigfox IoT network is Moana New Zealand. Moana is the largest Maori owned Fisheries Company in New Zealand with a long term view to ensure sustainability of their fisheries for generations to come.
With pristine New Zealand coastal seawater, Moana harvests some of the highest quality pāua (known globally as blue abalone) in the world on their commercial farm on the East Coast of Northland.
Pāua is a large edible mollusc, with a unique deep blue colour shell. It has a subtle taste and firm texture. At over USD 100 per kilo it is also a very valuable shellfish.
Pāua requires very specific conditions to grow well, ideally with seawater temperature between 17.5˚ to 18˚C. Although they can tolerate colder temperatures, they are very susceptible to warmer temperatures. Last summer, Moana lost valuable stock at the Northland pāua farm, due to a heat wave. Moana Nursery Team Leader Joss Birss is pleased to be able to introduce technology to assist them to act on real time data.
“There are so many variables you can’t control in this industry, particularly with the weather, so we continually look for ways to improve on the things we can control.” Birss says. With a number of the breeding stock lost with the higher temperatures as well as the possible economic impact of losing important genetic variation, this was a situation which Moana had to avoid in future years.

Industrial Monitoring
Moana engaged with Auckland based Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd to control the temperature of the seawater to the majority of the brood stock pāua tanks. The variable capacity heat and chill unit controls the seawater temperature to a steady 17.5 ˚C to all tanks allowing for optimal growth and consistency for the brood stock pāua.
“Since the industrial heat pumps were installed we have not lost one pāua, and we are seeing increased rates of conditioning and growth which will only increase our productivity.” Birss explains.
The heat pump units were recently upgraded to provide remote connectivity to constantly monitor and control the equipment via the nationwide Sigfox network. Hot Water heat pumps engaged with industrial IoT design company Motiv Industrial IoT Solutions to design and implement a SIGFOX-RS485 Din rail mounted transceiver, which connects directly to the heat pump control circuitry using a standard Modbus protocol.

Preventive Maintenance
Kevin Trigg, Sales and Marketing Manager at Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd was delighted to discover Motiv and the Sigfox technology they specialise in. “When we engaged with Motiv, it just made sense for such important control equipment which is responsible for such a high value product that we should have constant remote control and monitoring of the unit. Before now, we had no easy way of providing simple connectivity to our -out of the factory- assets that just worked. We didn’t want to rely on our customers WiFi systems to connect our assets and 3G systems were too complicated. We now know if there is problem with the heat pump before our client does and we can react before any performance issues occur.”

This isn’t the first unit Hot Water Heat Pumps have provisioned with Sigfox technology. It is also being used to monitor commercial swimming pools. Mike Day, Service Manager at Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd was pleased they could be alerted to a problem and that a service agent could be sent before a problem was noticed by the client.

“Before the Sigfox network was implemented, if there was a problem on one of our pool heat pumps, it might not be noticed immediately leading to temperature changes and a delay before repairs were carried out.  We can now turn up on site with the correct parts and disruption to services is minimised.  It dramatically changes our service model and sets us apart from our competitors.”

“The solution presented to us by Motiv ticked all the boxes. The combination of low hardware and operational cost was a must. We don’t want to add this cost burden to our customers so it had to be a level we would accept while adding a point of difference. The hardest part was creating a SIGFOX-RS485 transceiver that fitted into a single DIN rail mounted enclosure, which fits seamlessly within the limited space of our units existing control circuitry. Motiv really delivered here and as far as I know, fitting it all into such a small unit was a world first. Finally, the ease of which the unit is setup to connect and display monitoring data to our service team made it a simple choice.”
Kevin believes they have taken a big step forward in customer service by being able to offer IoT technology to their clients:
“In fact, we have been so impressed with how easy it was to make this change to our products, we plan to offer Motiv’s Sigfox transceivers as an option on all commercial heat pumps leaving the factory and we are even upgrading some of our commercial heat pumps that are already in service”.


About Moana Paua farm
Moana New Zealand is the largest Māori–owned fisheries company in New Zealand. They fish and harvest solely from the coastal waters of Aotearoa. One of the world’s most pristine and sustainably managed fisheries. Connecting customers to the taste of a true and pure place. Bringing to customers New Zealand’s most sought after species of blue abalone, wild abalone, fin fish, lobster and oyster. Seafood as good as it can be, brought to market with a lightness of touch that preserves and protects its pure taste and rare magic. They have a deep sense of responsibility and respect for their kai moana, honouring the taonga they have been entrusted with. Taking a long term view in everything they do, they work in harmony with nature to ensure the sustainability of their fisheries for future generations.
For more information, moana.co.nz contact: Lynette Suvalko


About Motiv
The team at Motiv has been providing bespoke, engineered solutions in the data acquisition and control field for many years. Their solution architects take an end-to-end systems approach to hardware, firmware, software and web specification, design and integration.  They have established a strong capability in wireless telemetry for Internet of Things applications, based on a range of communication channels such as Wifi, Sigfox and GSM connectivity. This has enabled them to help their clients maximise their data aggregation capabilities and better utilise and manage their assets. As they put it: “we take care of the bits and bytes, allowing you the time to take care of your business.”
For more information, motiv.io contact: Ben Birch


About Hot Water Heat Pumps Ltd

Hot Water Heat Pumps has a history of timely product innovations, which saw the introduction of high-tech corrosion resistant tubing within the heat exchanger of its swimming pool heat pump range during the late 1980’s. The advancement came after HWHP’s Don Trigg identified a problem the standard grades of tubing used at the time. These had a tendency to fail when proper pool balance wasn’t maintained, causing considerable damage to the heat pumps refrigeration system. In over 35 years of operation, Hot Water Heat Pumps have developed a solid reputation as a high quality producer and distributor of heat pump water heaters and water temperature control solutions to residential and commercial customers across New Zealand and abroad. Their commitment to service and their belief that customers should have access to the very best water heating technology at highly competitive prices has driven their growth since the beginning.  Today, Hot Water Heat Pumps operates a network of over 80 Dealers, offering a broad range of water heating equipment and services that spans water heaters, underfloor heating systems and industrial water heating and chilling solutions.

For more information, waterheating.co.nz  contact: Kevin Trigg


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. Thinxtra’s Sigfox network currently covers 71% of the population in Australia and 89% of the population in New Zealand and will start deployment in Hong Kong by June 2017. It will cover 95% of the population of those countries by the end of 2017.
Thinxtra was founded by IoT and network experts who share a common passion for connecting things to improve business processes and people lives. It is backed by NZX-listed high-tech company Rakon Limited, which has a history of innovation in communications technology going back some 50 years.

For more information, contact:
Renald Gallis – VP Marketing and Ecosystem
renald.gallis@thinxtra.com +61 404 894 960

SIGFOX IoT network reaches 51% NZ population coverage

The opening of a major new site in Hamilton last week pushed the outdoor coverage of the network to 50 per cent of New Zealand’s population. In addition to Hamilton, the network is available in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. It will be deployed in Dunedin, Palmerston North, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Napier and Hastings in the coming months.

Darren Robinson, who heads global sales and marketing at cornerstone investor Rakon, says the significant milestone validated the Kiwi tech company’s decision to invest with Thinxtra.
“The Hamilton site ensures comprehensive coverage for the Golden Triangle region of Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty. This area is home to some of New Zealand’s most important primary producers, as well as the country’s most important logistics hubs. The IoT has the potential to revolutionise these industries and turbocharge the contribution they make to New Zealand’s economy, and we are delighted to play our part in realising that potential.” Says Mr Robinson

The network also racked up an unofficial world record for the longest transmission on a SIGFOX Internet of Things network, with data sent 212 kilometres between a Kordia site in North Canterbury and another in Wellington.

“Right now the SIGFOX IoT network is deployed in four major cities reaching 50 per cent of the population. We have the biggest IoT coverage available in New Zealand and with the rollout well ahead of schedule, in around 14 months the entire country will be covered,” says Aaron Olphert, Kordia’s CTO. Kordia is Thinxtra’s preferred partner in NZ for the deployment of a SIGFOX network and has Official Channel Partner status to resell connections and solutions on this network.

SIGFOX networks are designed and built specifically for the IoT. As a dedicated wireless network, it provides the infrastructure to connect millions of low-energy industrial objects (which can include water meters, environmental sensors and tracking applications) which need low-cost connectivity and emit small amounts of data. Gartner, Inc. estimates that the IoT will support total services spending of $235 billion in 2016, up 22 percent from 2015.

“With this infrastructure in place, New Zealand companies can start deploying IoT applications and benefiting from the ability to track just about anything, record information accurately with unprecedented frequency and gain information-driven insights to improve efficiency and performance in a range of industries,” says Olphert. “In other words, now that the network is in place, the IoT can move from talk to action.”

Loic Barancourt, CEO of Thinxtra, SIGFOX Network Operator (SNO) for New Zealand and Australia, notes that SIGFOX is an international standard, which means the network is fully compatible with other deployments around the world. “This is important particularly for exporters and any organisation with an extended supply chain, as it means their IoT sensors will deliver information from anywhere on the planet. With the rollout progressing rapidly, we’re looking forward to seeing the industry embrace the IoT.”

Shaun McBride, Thinxtra New Zealand deployment manager, adds that Thinxtra has formed partnerships with a number of tertiary institutions including the University of Auckland, Massey University and ARA Technology Institute to become leaders in the study and development of new IoT applications. He also says there is significant interest from New Zealand technology companies adapting and creating new devices which work on the SIGFOX network, which delivers the low cost, low power consumption, long range, simple and secure data transmission required for IoT applications.

About Thinxtra
Thinxtra is empowering Australia and New Zealand’s Internet of Things by deploying SIGFOX world-leading LPWAN connectivity as well as building a full eco-system of IoT solutions & services to enable the non-connected to connect, to increase productivity, accelerate decision making, improve quality of service or simply solve problems in an economic & connected manner.
Thinxtra was founded by IoT & Network experts (who share a common passion for connecting things to improve business processes and people lives) and backed by NZX-listed high-tech company Rakon Limited (which has a history of innovation in communications technology going back some 50 years).
Visit library.web.thinxtra.com and follow us on Twitter @Thinxtra.

Thinxtra Contact:
Renald Gallis – VP Marketing & Ecosystem
Renald.Gallis@thinxtra.com
+61 404 894 960