This article has been updated with additional information following the formal launch of the network
Sydney IoT company, Meshed, in conjunction with University of Technology Sydney and the Amsterdam-based Things Network, has launched what it says is Sydney’s first public access IoT network, using LoRaWAN low powered wide area network technology. It follows the launch of a similar public access LoRaWAN network by Meshed in Wollongong.
The Things Network provides the servers that enable access over the Internet to the LoRaWAN base stations that are part of its network.
Meshed says: “The Sydney Community IoT Network will enable any-one within range of the Sydney gateway/s to connect their device to the internet for free, without the use of cellular, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless technologies.”
The Things Network’s web site shows seven base stations in the greater Sydney metropolitan area: Meshed’s UTS gateway, one in the Hills District (operated by Meshed), and others in Chatswood, Bronte and in the central area of Sydney.
Meshed founder and technical director, Andrew Maggio, said that these were all operated by individuals or organisations that had joined the Things Network, but not necessarily publicly available, and in some cases had not been installed so as to provide wide area coverage
The Things Network started in October 2015 with funding from a Kickstarter campaign and the mission to build an open, free and decentralised IoT network. It claims to have crowd-sourced a complete city-wide LoRaWAN network for Amsterdam in six weeks and says it is planning to repeat this in every city in the world.”
It now has LoRaWAN gateways operating in several cities around the world, inclcuding Amsterdam, New York, Zurich, Madrid, San Francisco, San Paulo, London and Singapore.
Meshed’s director of strategy and sales, Catherine Caruana-McManus said free-to-use, community IoT networks were “democratising the internet of things by enabling communities and city and industry leaders to get real-time data about the things that matter most to them in order to take action faster.”
UTS deputy vice-chancellor (research), professor Glenn Wightwick, said the opportunity to work with Meshed to enable connectivity for an Internet of Things innovation platform for developers, entrepreneurs and businesses had been too good to miss.
“UTS’s involvement commenced with extensive discussions between ISF [the Institute for Sustainable Futures at UTS] and the Faculty of Engineering and IT research staff and Meshed colleagues,” he said. “The outcomes benefit not only local business, but also students and researchers installing, receiving feedback and publishing data from low cost sensors to support smart city, precinct and campus applications.”