Tuesday, 19 December 2017 21:54

Qld gets new IoT testing, certification centre Featured

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Queensland’s James Cook University and Enex TestLab have inked a partnership agreement to build Australia’s first testing and certification centre for Internet of Things devices, monitors and sensors.

The JCU/Enex agreement, supported by Chinese telecoms giant Huawei, will see the development of a new Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) testing and certification centre established on the JCU Cairns campus.

Enex, a Victorian headquartered testing laboratory, says the connection of data, devices, people, processes and things to the internet is creating unparalleled opportunities for Australia and the world, and IoT will allow individuals, businesses and governments to collect information to make better and more informed policy decisions, driving economic efficiencies and productivity.

Enex TestLab managing director, Matt Tett said the certification lab was an exciting addition to the growing IoT environment, and a unique opportunity for Australia.

“Globally IoT solutions, networks and products, are being deployed rapidly, ahead of the certification and security processes," he said.

“The lab is critical to ensure testing policies and assurances are developed to build compliant, safe and secure NB-IoT environments.”

NB-IoT is a narrowband radio technology designed for the Internet of Things, which enables new applications and business models, and focuses specifically on broad coverage, low cost and long battery life.

The technology is now the only global IoT standard endorsed by the International Telecommunications Union, and enables a wide range of devices and services to be connected using cellular telecommunications bands and infrastructure.

Working with independent certification experts Enex TestLab says it will enable JCU to certify devices under an independent assessment program endorsed by the National Association of Testing Authorities.

The agreement means that companies manufacturing NB-IoT network devices will be able to engage the JCU centre to have their products independently tested and certified, allowing users to be confident they meet the current industry standard.

“This partnership places Australia at the leading edge of NB-IoT development and implementation, and enhances JCU’s IoT leadership both nationally and globally,” JCU’s head of IoT Engineering, Professor Wei Xiang, said.

JCU vice-chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the certification centre was an exciting opportunity for JCU and for Cairns.

“JCU researchers are already using IoT networks in the field with great success, so we’re very conscious of the potential for industries in our region, and across the tropics worldwide, to use this technology to enhance their productivity and sustainability.

“We have embraced the Internet of Things because we’re preparing our graduates for the jobs of the future. JCU was the first University in Australia to offer a specialised IoT degree accredited by Engineers Australia, and we’re continuing to lead in this field.”

Huawei corporate affairs director Jeremy Mitchell said: “Organisations and individuals procuring devices for a NB-IoT network can be assured the products tested in the JCU centre are certified to the global standard by skilled and independent assessors."

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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