Wellington will get a new wireless network for the “Internet of Things” in the next three months. Startup company KotahiNet is rolling out a purpose-built wireless network for connecting sensors and other smart objects to the Internet, the so called “Internet of Things”, nationally with an initial launch in Wellington.
KotahiNet’s founder Vikram Kumar says, “Given Wellington’s goal of being a “smart city”, it’s a logical choice for launching our network. KotahiNet’s wireless network will offer cheap, ubiquitous and secure connectivity with carrier-grade reliability and scalability.”
The wireless network is based on a globally leading open specifications model called LoRaWAN. It is specifically designed for the low data rates that are typical of the Internet of Things. The network allows battery operated sensors a battery life of 5-10 years. Connectivity is provided via gateways. Each gateway can handle up to 20,000 sensors over a radius of 2.5-3 km in dense urban areas and 10-15 km in rural areas.
Vikram says “The low power, long range segment of the wireless market is expected to grow rapidly. We are building for connecting millions of “smart things” nationally. I see it as complementary to existing connectivity choices such as wifi and cellular.”
“By choosing to operate in the 864 to 868 MHz band, KotahiNet is using unlicensed radio spectrum. As this frequency is also the EU standard for the Internet of Things, New Zealanders will be able to access hardware at global scale and prices.”
“KotahiNet has successfully tested the network in Wellington and is offering six months of free connectivity as an introductory offer. We want to help grow the Internet of Things ecosystem in New Zealand. KotahiNet’s own focus will be on business and civic services such as smart agriculture, environmental monitoring, smart cities, logistics, infrastructure, retail, and smart products.”
“An additional opportunity of immediate interest to people building smart services and apps is location tracking. Whether that’s pets, bicycles or business assets, KotahiNet will provide a cheap and easy way to get real-time location data. Currently, location based services are either constrained by smartphone range or high cellular costs.”