Tasmanian ISP and data centre services provider, Tasmanet, is gearing up to be a full IoT services provider by rolling out a Sigfox low-power wide area network in Tasmania.

The result of a new partnership with Australian Sigfox licensee Thinxtra, Tasmanet’s new service combines the network’s connectivity with an IoT platform that’s supported by its data centre. Tasmanet and Thinxtra will both sell services on the network.

The company announced the partnership with Thinxtra in May, saying it would provide Sigfox coverage of 95 percent of Tasmania’s population by year-end and make Tasmania “the first state to be IoT ready.” 

Tasmanet managing director, Joel Harris, told IoT Hub an initial 35 Sigfox base stations would be installed, giving locations within the coverage area access to three base stations for redundancy and enabling triangulation-based location. 

Tasmanet will also look at extending the network to service mining and agriculture customers in more remote areas. “Once we understand the market more, we are happy to keep investing,” Harris said.

He said the reason for the partnership had been to drive the uptake of its cloud services. “We wanted to sell more back end systems but we did not have a network to enable people to gather information from sensors. This plugged a gap for us.”

Tasmanet is now in discussions with potential customers for backend IoT services. “We have started having discussions with local industry that are going very well, particularly agriculture but also for traffic management,” Harris said.

“We are working to develop an IoT platform as a service and hope to be able to make some announcements in the next month or two.”

Tasmanet is looking closely at the HPE Universal IoT platform and also at others for specialised applications. “HPE has a good service provider model that enables multiple platforms to plug in and become an aggregator,” Harris said. “We see that taking a lot of the complexity out of things for companies.

“We also have a couple of partners on our cloud platform that specialise in building dedicated platforms for more specialised markets. We are trying to create an ecosystem with partners.”

Tasmanet is also exploring other communications technologies. “We are not wedded to a single technology,” Harris said. “The Sigfox network is good for cheap large-scale deployment to gather information. We are also working on designs for specific use cases using LoRaWAN. It is a much better technology for building a private network.”