With agriculture forecasted as one of the top five markets for IoT growth, the long-range, low-power LoRaWAN-based network should help grow Australia’s smart agriculture industry.
Semtech Corporation announced its collaboration with National Narrowband Network Communications (NNNCo), a provider of commercial-grade, low cost narrowband network connectivity for the Internet of Things (IoT), to build a nationwide rural Internet of Things (IoT) network to bring high-tech agriculture solutions to Australian farmers.
The LoRaWAN™ open standard developed by the LoRa Alliance™ is expected to help transform Australia’s farms, giving farmers real-time data on soil moisture, rainfall, crops, water levels, and livestock through a network of in situ low-cost wireless sensors. One of the key comptabilities of a LoRaWAN is that it enables users to communicate bi-directionally with sensors on an individual or group level. The sensors use limited power and can operate ‘in the field’ for years without the need for intervention. The farmer will be able to make intelligent, sound decisions to drive multiple functions, including irrigation, livestock feed stations, water pumps, and emergency signals.
The LoRaWAN network will immediately cover one million acres of farmland across rural New South Wales (NSW) which will encompass dry land crops, horticulture and livestock and a number of rural towns. Within 18 months, the plan is to extend broadly across Australia.
“Semtech has been extremely successful in taking its unique LoRa® devices and wireless RF technology (LoRa Technology) to the global market through the LoRa Alliance, which is one of the fastest growing industry alliances in history. The open nature of this technology and the ability to truly innovate with it has allowed NNNCo to drive the right partnerships in the right industries, such as agriculture, to enable proliferation of sensors and devices over carrier-grade networks at a price point that can support volume,” said Rob Zagarella, Chief Executive Officer at National Narrowband Network Communications.
“The NNNCo LoRaWAN network should rapidly increase the adoption of smart agriculture and revolutionize the farming industry,” said Mike Wong, Vice President for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group.
“With IoT device installations in the agriculture industry expected to increase by up to 60% in 2020, there is immense growth and opportunity for LoRa-enabled sensor applications.”