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NNNCo builds LoRaWAN in Sydney – from North Shore to Blue Mountains

Australian IoT operator National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) has turned on a city-wide LoRaWAN network in Sydney, Australia, stretching north of the city along the Upper North Shore and west of the city towards the Blue Mountains.

NNNCo said the infrastructure, covering 2,700 square kilometres, provides broad “canopy coverage” for Greater Sydney, going beyond its suburbs. It is the largest LoRaWAN network in the region, it reckons, reaching 80 percent of the local population, plus local government areas including Parramatta, Liverpool, Blacktown, Bankstown, Ryde, and the Hills District.

The network coverage has been established with multiple LoraWAN gateways in different parts of Sydney including a recent major tower installation in Horsley Park, Western Sydney.

Tony Tilbrook, chief technology officer and chief operating officer at NNNCo, said: “This canopy coverage in Sydney provides the foundation to accelerate IoT adoption and deployment with enterprise, government and solution providers serving those sectors.

“It provides confidence for councils and businesses to develop their IoT plans knowing that the core infrastructure is there and ready for further expansion as needed. NNNCo will work with local and state government bodies as well as enterprises to extend and deepen coverage in line with market growth and provide full coverage for enterprise-grade IoT deployments.

Tilbrook added: “LoRaWAN provides reliable, secure and low-cost connectivity that enables IoT solutions across multiple sectors to deliver significant productivity and sustainability benefits. This is an important step in ensuring business and Councils across Greater Sydney can benefit from the maturing IoT market that is ready to scale and deliver those promised outcomes.”

In July, Australian electric utility Tasmanian Networks (TasNetworks) appointed NNNCo to build a LoRaWAN network in the island state of Tasmania, off the southern Australian coast. The IT and telecoms division of local government-owned TasNetworks, 42-24, will re-sell IoT connectivity and services off the back of the network to local businesses.

NNNCo called the agreement an “unprecedented partnership” between a regulated utility, unregulated utility business, and a licensed telecommunications carrier. TasNetworks and NNNCo are building the network with LoRaWAN gateways deployed on the utility’s assets across Tasmania. TasNetworks will explore opportunities to use the network to connect IoT devices for its own use cases such as grid safety, street lighting, and digital metering.

Meanwhile, the state government in Victoria is funding the rollout of LoRaWAN for 600 farms and 5,000 square kilometres of farmland in the state. Its department for agriculture, Agriculture Victoria, has appointed NNNCo to handle deployments, for four ‘On-Farm IoT Trial’ regions, around Maffra, Tatura, Serpentine and Birchip.

The project will see “thousands of sensors” connected on LoRaWAN. They will provide “real-time” data about crop, livestock, and environmental measurements. The networks could also support other uses in the community, the government said. The On-Farm IoT Trial is part of the Connecting Victoria initiative, which includes better regional mobile coverage, regional rail connectivity, mobile black spot projects and public Wi-Fi.

Last year, NNNCo signed a strategic investment agreement with global energy and environment company Enzen Group. The $8 million deal is geared towards driving LoRaWAN adoption in Australia “at scale”. The pair said they are in position to help industries to “deliver usable data from infinite applications”, using LoRaWAN connectivity and data management tools.

The Enzen Group is headquartered in India with projects in over 20 geographies and offices in seven countries. It has an Australian head office in Adelaide, plus sites in Victoria, New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland. Enzen Australia is focused on energy, water and cities.

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