Thinxtra completes NZ IoT network rollout

Friday, 06 April, 2018

Thinxtra’s New Zealand IoT network is now complete. 94% of the population is said to be within coverage, including all major cities and regional cities, including Hawera and Invercargill. Thinxtra is currently focusing on expanding out the Sigfox network in rural and remote areas by the end of the year, to support NZ agriculture exporting to Australia and worldwide.

The Sigfox network was built by Kordia, Thinxtra’s preferred network partner in New Zealand. It is however monitored by Thinxtra’s Network Operation Centre to provide 99% SLA (service-level agreement) to the company’s customers and partners.

The Sigfox network is already enabling commercially deployed smart city and agriculture projects, including monitoring waste bins in Christchurch, monitoring speed and school signs in North Island, water tank level monitoring in farms in Waikato, and monitoring temperature of Paua tanks.

Aaron Olphert, chief digital officer at Kordia, has been involved in the rollout of Sigfox’s low-power network from the very beginning and believes it will fast-track the adoption of IoT solutions over the coming year. He said, “With previous barriers to adoption — namely cost and power consumption — now removed, our customers are starting to get more and more excited about what IoT can do for them. The conversations our team has been having in the past few months alone have been incredibly positive and there’s certain sectors, particularly agriculture, local government and logistics, where we’re seeing a real step change in attitude towards IoT solutions as a business enabler. Kordia is proud to be involved, and we look forward to bringing Sigfox solutions to the market and helping local businesses make the most of this incredible technology.”

Datacom, another strong partner, detailed the strategy behind partnering with Thinxtra. Josh Little, the company’s GM software and integration, said, “Datacom has been engaging with Thinxtra over the past 12 months for the integration around Sigfox data streams into a customised Datacom IoT platform and joint go-to market strategy. Datacom sees IoT as a significant growth opportunity across ANZ for the next decade, and Thinxtra’s Sigfox network as a leading LPWAN which is highly compatible with Datacom’s activity and as the only commercial, widely available IoT network in the region to date.”

Another company experiencing significant growth creating innovative IoT solutions in the agriculture sector in New Zealand is Knode. Managing Director Richard Wildman said, “The Sigfox network in New Zealand has enabled us to offer smart, cost-effective solutions to Kiwi farmers and other New Zealand businesses. Prior to Sigfox, the devices on offer were quite expensive with a limited battery life, and the farming community faced challenges of little to no cell coverage. For example, with the Sigfox NZ network, Knode is able to provide full end-to-end solutions for monitoring farm assets — this includes monitoring water flow, checking for leaks, measuring tank levels and an increasing host of other data points on farm, including soil moisture and weather data.”

Thinxtra NZ has its head office in Auckland but is expanding its presence in Christchurch, recognising the the growth opportunities in South Island.

Thinxtra is also working closely with many overseas partners and solution makers from Europe, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and the US to launch its Sigfox-ready solutions on a full-scale network with early adopters in New Zealand, ahead of introducing those solutions to the rest of Asia Pacific. 

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