Kordia — the company rolling out the Sigfox low-powered wide area IoT network fo Thinxtra, the Australia and New Zealand licensee — says it has now reached coverage of 50 percent of the New Zealand population, following commissioning of a new site in Hamilton.
Kordia is also a channel partner and resells connections and devices for use on the network.
Kordia claims also that the network has racked up an unofficial world record for the greatest distance over which data has been transmitted on a Sigfox IoT network to date: 212 kilometres between a Kordia site in North Canterbury and another in Wellington.
Kordia CTO, Aaron Olphert, said this transmission surpassed a previous distance record of 195 kilometres, between the Pyrenean Mountains and Toulouse in France.
Olphert added: “Right now the Sigfox IoT network is deployed in four major cities reaching 50 percent of the population. We have the biggest IoT coverage available in New Zealand and with the rollout well ahead of schedule, in around 14 months the entire country will be covered.”
The network is available in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Kordia says it will be deployed in Dunedin, Palmerston North, Tauranga, New Plymouth, Whangarei, Napier and Hastings in the coming months.
Shaun McBride, Thinxtra New Zealand deployment manager, said Thinxtra had formed partnerships with a number of tertiary institutions including the University of Auckland, Massey University and ARA Technology Institute for the study and development of new IoT applications.
He said there was significant interest from New Zealand technology companies adapting and creating new devices that work on the Sigfox network.
Loic Barancourt, CEO of Thinxtra, claims that Sigfox is an international standard, which means the network is fully compatible with other deployments around the world. It is however a proprietary technology developed and owned by Sigfox and one of several LPWan technologies vying for the IoT market.
Rival LoRaWAN – backed by multiple vendors — is also available in New Zealand, a network is operated by Kotahi.Net, which also claims 50 percent population coverage.
Another, proprietary, technology is Ingenu (formerly OnRamp Wireless). IoTOz has rights for Australia, New Zealand and a number of Asian countries. According to the LinkedIn page of CEO and founder, Rick Somerton, “Work has already commenced in a number of countries with access points present in Taiwan, Thailand and New Zealand.” The company’s web site, however, is presently only a single page with the company’s logo.