Newcastle smart city moves forward with standardised data platform

A standardised data platform for all IoT applications across Newcastle’s smart cities program will be implemented by NNNCo.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor on

The City of Newcastle has signed up to a single smart cities Internet of Things (IoT) enterprise platform from the National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo), the company has announced.

"The city standardised on the middleware platform as it prepares to roll out and scale multiple smart city applications," NNNCo said.

"The deal between NNNCo and Newcastle City Council includes an agreement to run thousands of IoT devices through the platform for multiple city use cases."

As part of the Newcastle City Intelligent Platform implementation, NNNCo will also provide its N-tick device certification program across all devices being deployed across the city.

NNNCo CEO Rob Zagarella called the use of one platform and device certification program for an entire city a "breakthrough in the IoT market".

"For the city, it means simplifying the integration of upstream systems and the standardisation of devices," Zagarella said.

"By normalising and harmonising all the data from devices, N2N-DL removes the need for complex systems integration and sensor integration, driving down the cost and risk of IoT."

Newcastle Smart City Coordinator Nathaniel Bavinton said having a common data platform with centralised control also increases security for the city, as well as not locking it into one technology, system, or vendor.

"The middleware saves organisations having to create database systems to ingest data from each type of device," CTO Tony Tilbrook added.

"It sits between networks and visualisation and analysis applications, and converts IoT data into a single restful API."

The announcement comes a year after NNNCo first announced its deal with Newcastle to build out a commercial-grade IoT network to enable smart cities applications.

NNNCo in August also announced that it would be building out an IoT network for the City of Gold Coast that covers more than 1,300 square kilometres, and had plans to use the connectivity for digital water metering, waste management, and support for parks and fields.

"We're developing a secure, scalable, commercial-grade IoT network that will enable infinite use cases by businesses, enterprise, and the council," Gold Coast chief innovation and economy officer Ian Hatton said.

"We chose LoRaWAN technology because it supports large-scale deployments securely, reliably, and cost effectively. NNNCo have been engaged because of their proven ability to build the network and bring commercial solutions that have the potential to significantly add value to Gold Coast residents and businesses."

NNNCo is similarly building out an IoT network across Lake Macquarie to enable smart city applications such as smart street lighting and water meters.

It has previously worked on IoT trials with Melbourne's metropolitan water utilities to test coverage, data delivery, and battery life of digital water metering for City West Water, South East Water, and Yarra Valley Water.

In December, it also revealed that it would deploy a 3 million-hectare IoT network for cotton farmers sometime in 2019.

The publicly available LoRaWAN network, being built in partnership with Goanna Ag, is aimed at enabling IoT-powered irrigation solutions for the cotton industry.

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