NNNCo swipes former BigAir CTO

Appointing former BigAir CTO Tony Tilbrook will assist in 'the expansion of NNNCo's network and solutions', according to the company's chief executive.

The National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo) has appointed former BigAir CTO Tony Tilbrook as its new chief technology officer.

According to NNNCo, Tilbrook had been "responsible for network design, logistics, and infrastructure" at wireless network provider BigAir, which was acquired by fibre infrastructure company Superloop back in 2016.

NNNCo CEO Rob Zagarella pointed towards Tilbrook's expertise across network infrastructure and design, as well as in developing enterprise platforms and services.

"In 2018, we're driving the expansion of NNNCo's network and solutions, and Tony has extensive experience in operationally building, deploying, and managing these types of networks in production," Zagarella said.

"His technical, electronics, and solutions background also gives him the deep capability necessary to deliver the solutions aspect of our business and strategy."

Tilbrook said joining NNNCo would enable him to help drive the expansion and adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) industry in Australia.

"NNNCo is in a strong position to build and accelerate network adoption and interoperability in Australia, and we're working with major partners in cities, utilities, agriculture, and logistics to build platforms and solutions that meet their business needs," Tilbrook said.

"We're very much focused on solving problems and driving new efficiencies and business cases for enterprises."

NNNCo had last week announced winning a contract to build out a commercial-grade IoT network across Newcastle to enable smart cities applications, after being chosen by Newcastle City Council at the start of this year after a competitive tender process.

The company will spend the next six weeks deploying a long-range wide-area network (LoRaWANTM), for which the New South Wales government kicked in AU$4.98 million in funding.

"Working with Newcastle will enable us to guide other cities to transform their services and infrastructure through carrier-grade LoRaWAN IoT networks and enable these networks to grow across the country," Zagarella said last week.

"LoRaWAN's capabilities are extremely well suited to smart city requirements, and the technology is already used in cities across Europe and the US, where it's proven to be reliable, secure, and affordable at scale.

"Being a global open standard technology also provides the capability to build an ecosystem over time rather than a silo solution."

City Council Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the project will "confirm" Newcastle's smart city leadership after adopting a strategy in July last year, with NNNCo's network to enable the connectivity of smart parking, lighting, transport, and waste-management systems.

NNNCo 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.

This followed trials of LoRaWAN technology with Ergon Energy in Queensland back in 2016, with NNNCo in June last year also announcing a joint-venture company called Connected Country to construct and manage a nationwide LoRaWAN IoT network in partnership with Discover Ag.

NNNCo then signed an operator agreement with LoRa IoT provider Actility during Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2018 in Barcelona in February, which will see NNNCo run its network core in Australia using the Actility ThingPark IoT software platform and wireless solution.

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