Thinxtra and APC by Schneider Electric bring IoT solutions to Coffs Harbour

Says it's the first IoT regional city deployment in Australia

Telecommunications service provider, Thinxtra, together with APC by Schneider Electric, have brought IoT solutions to Coffs Harbour.

Thinxtra and Coffs Harbour City Council mentioned that the regional city has been fully covered by SigFox base stations, with the organisations saying it makes Coffs Harbour the first regional city in Australia to receive full coverage for IoT.

Thinxtra partnered with SigFox in April this year to roll out IoT in A/NZ with SigFox’s Low-Power Wide-Area Network (LPWAN) connectivity solutions, and build a full ecosystem of IoT solutions and services to enable non-connected areas.

The company started the deployment of the live SigFox public network, with installations of antennas on top of the tallest buildings in Australia – Sydney Tower Eye and Melbourne Eureka Tower in April.

Thinxtra CEO, Loic Barancourt, said the latest deployment aims to bring numerous benefits, enabling applications such as infrastructure monitoring, waste management, asset tracking, and environmental monitoring, as well as enabling educational and community initiatives using and teaching IoT.

He also said both companies picked Coffs Harbour due to the city’s avid engagement with IoT and the cooperation of the council to achieve a quick deployment.

“Coffs Harbour, being a centre of strategic growth and having a burgeoning business and innovation centre, was a perfect choice for us to demonstrate how IoT can help boost regional economy and business.

“We are eager to cooperate with Coffs Harbour and Schneider Electric in creating test beds and use cases showing how IoT can improve businesses and quality of living, as well as spark innovation,” Barancourt said.

According to Barancourt, the SigFox network in Coffs Harbour took less than a week to install, and now enables the entire city and its surroundings to be connected to its LPWAN network, providing the infrastructure to connect millions of low-power devices such as water meters, environmental sensors, and asset trackers.

APC by Schneider Electric process automation director, Brad Yager, said it is great to be working with Coffs Harbour Council to further this push and for it to embrace the benefits that IoT can bring.

“Schneider Electric has had a close partnership with Coffs Harbour Council in the industrial automation and wide area telemetry space for more than 15 years. Coffs Harbour has always been a progressive council, especially in the digital technology space.

“We look forward to providing innovative solutions in conjunction with Thinxtra to the council, and region,” Yager said.

Coffs Harbour City Council business services director, Andrew Beswick, mentioned that the economic significance of being early IoT adopters is apparent, and cited a McKinsey Global Institute report, which estimated that IoT will improve the global economy by $3.9 trillion to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025.

“Coffs Harbour is a city noted for its enthusiasm for forward-thinking technological innovation. The SigFox network is a major step forward which will make the city even more attractive to new business, as well as helping improve community services and the quality of life for our residents,” he added.

The council deployment is part of Thinxtra’s new Partnership Program for Smart Councils, which provides SigFox network coverage within four weeks at no cost to the first 50 selected councils in Australia. The $5 million program includes free installation, free development kits for incubators, and free connectivity for smart council application developments.

Barancourt added that the network rollout in A/NZ has commenced and is on track to meet its target of covering 95 per cent of the local population with SigFox connectivity by the end of 2017.