Actility, founded in 2010, has developed an IoT platform specific for LoRaWAN, ThingPark, that it claims underpins more than half the national LPWA network rollouts globally.
ThingPark is described as “a central IoT management service to connect sensors to applications with bidirectional interactions … a data analytics and control framework which exposes data from connected things to applications [that] connects with cloud platforms, and also offers off the shelf IoT industrial applications.”
Ergon Energy trial nearing completion
NNNCo said the move followed a trial for Ergon Energy being undertaken in conjunction with Actility that was approaching completion in preparation for a full-scale commercial rollout. “NNNCo is now in the final stage of the Ergon Energy proof of concept, which includes 50 production-ready DREDS (Demand Response Enabling Devices),” the company said.
NNNCo founder and CEO Rob Zagarella said the company was now getting ready to access Actility’s network platform for commercial rollout. “Throughout our PoCs NNNCo has had a great working relationship with Actility from a development perspective, to ensure we’re prepared for the commercial deployments such as smart cities, utilities, water and agriculture. … The big use cases in Australia are water, agriculture, energy monitoring and control, soil moisture, rainfall detection, cattle tracking, building management and people movement.”
In October 2015 NNNCo called on the Government to spend $800m to build a LoRaWAN network covering 2.5m square kilometres to support IoT applications for Australian agriculture.
Focus on key verticals
NNNCO says it is working with some of the world’s leading energy and water utilities, technology providers and innovators to roll out large-scale, carrier-grade networks. It claims that, over the past 12 months, it has become “a world-leading organisation in understanding the scope, and the limits, of LoRaWAN.”
It says its approach has been to focus on a number of key verticals that it believes will have the biggest impact, including energy, water and smart cities. It says it has “gone in deep on those verticals with end-to-end solutions.”
Zagarella said: “Given Australia’s size and climate, we’ve also had to design in various architectures and gateway solutions to handle many different types of topographies and densities, from built-up urban centres to rural landscapes.”
• NNNCo has second thoughts on “first nationwide” claims
IoTAustralia questioned NNNCo’ press release announcing the Actility deal, received under embargo and headed: “NNNCo and Actility ready to begin rollout of Australia’s first nationwide IoT network.” The company subsequently re-issued the release with a new heading “NNNCo and Actility ready to begin rollout of Australia’s first industrial IoT network”.
Marketing communications manager, Fiona Day, explained: “We don’t plan to make claims about population and landmass because claiming that a signal from a gateway reaches a device X kilometres away and hence covers X percent of the population doesn’t mean much to a customer. What is more relevant is a detailed RF design and coverage with gateways placed in such a way that the operator can guarantee service for the use cases that are important to the customers paying for the service.”
She added: “We have focused our efforts with Actility to ensure we have the back end infrastructure ready to rapidly deploy the various network deployment architectures in alignment with sensor deployment. This is a very different model to other LPWAN network deployments. … This level of detailed RF planning only occurs when there are real customers willing to pay for a service that has to be architectured to support it, as opposed to building a sparse network, making claims of coverage and then hoping for customers to connect.”