Four regional areas in Australia, covering approximately 600 farms and 5,000 square kilometres, are set to benefit from the new networks being funded by the Victorian State Government as part of its trial to test Internet of Things (IoT) technology on farms.
Early this month, Australian LoRaWAN operator National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) has been awarded a major tender by Agriculture Victoria to roll out new LoRaWAN networks for Victorian farmers located in the On-Farm IoT Trial regions surrounding Maffra, Tatura, Serpentine and Birchip.
“We are funding IoT network connectivity in the trial regions to address a lack of connectivity which is often a barrier to farmers realising the potential of IoT and other emerging digital technologies,” said Minister for Agriculture Jaclyn Symes. “This is an important step forward in supporting Victorian farmers to harness digital technology to improve the productivity, efficiency and sustainability of their businesses.”
Funding the delivery of IoT network connectivity to each trial region is an important part of the On-Farm IoT Trial to ensure reliable network coverage to farmers participating in the trial.
The network also has the potential to support other uses in the community, so that everyone in these regions can enjoy improved connectivity and the benefits of Victoria’s digital economy.
Thousands of sensors will be rolled out
NNNCo will work in partnership with Agriculture Victoria to deliver LoRaWAN networks that will allow for thousands of sensors to be reliably and securely connected and provide users with real-time data on measures to help improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability.
“Farmers now have a broad choice of devices and applications from the growing global IoT ecosystem, including irrigation management and control, and real-time monitoring of soil health and rainfall, cattle movement, farm assets, worker safety, and water tank levels so that they can proactively respond to the needs of the farm,” said NNNCo founder and CEO, Rob Zagarella.
NNNCo is a leading Australian IoT network provider with experience deploying and managing networks to support cities, utilities, logistics and agriculture.
The new networks in Victoria will be an extension of NNNCo’s growing regional and urban coverage which includes regional networks built in partnership with Goanna Ag to cover approximately 60% of Australia’s cotton belt.
“By providing coverage to every farm with our network and data aggregation platform, we can ensure that farmers have access to this important information every day, at their fingertips,” Zagarella said.
The funding of the LoRaWAN networks by a State Government is a significant development in the expansion of Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWANs) in Australia.
“LoRaWAN has become the defacto standard for IoT in agriculture, as well as smart cities, utilities and other vertical markets globally,” said Donna Moore, chairwoman and CEO of LoRa Alliance.
“This major deployment in Australia is further proof of that,” Moore added. “Providing reliable, secure and low-cost LoRaWAN connectivity to enable IoT solutions will deliver significant productivity and sustainability benefits to farmers and help them to meet the future needs of agriculture.”