When completed, the network will enable the use of devices such as smart meters, temperature probes for aquaculture, GPS trackers for agriculture assets and complete development kits with free connectivity for most schools.
Under the partnership Thinxtra, which is deploying a nationwide wireless network dedicated to IoT using Sigfox technology, has committed to deploying up to 55 communications towers across Tasmania by the third-quarter of the year.
TasmaNet managing director Joel Harris said Thinxtra was approached, as many of the company’s customers in the aquaculture, farming and education spaces want to deliver solutions via sensory networks, “but the lack of a suitable network has been holding back their projects”.
“We invited Thinxtra to work with us to approach these markets, and the results are spectacular,” he said.
Sam Sharief, Network Deployment Director for Thinxtra, said the IoT network would cover all major cities, from Hobart, Launceston, Devonport, to Burnie and Ulverstone, making it the first Australian state to become fully IoT-ready.
He said Thinxtra would also support TasmaNet for additional coverage in regional projects throughout the state.
“Our low cost, low power, long range IoT network is perfect for deploying simple solutions to make cities smarter, agriculture more sustainable and industry more cost efficient. It can also be used for better monitoring of the exceptional Tasmanian environment, and provide solutions to reduce bush fires or control the quality of water in lakes and rivers.”
Harris said that information from countless IoT devices around the State would “turn up in the company’s Hobart data centre, ready for use by customers”.
“I cannot understate how big this is for Tasmania – it’s going to be huge.”
Under the partnership, technology will facilitate the use of automated power meters and Harris says he also saw devices working with community support establishments, where care givers could wear devices to pick up information about patients’ whereabouts, well-being and distress.
And he foresees TasmaNet putting in free or low-cost equipment in schools, so they can do coding and develop their own sensors for any purpose they choose.