19 July 2016

A strong coalition of industry and Government stakeholders designed to seize the opportunities presented by IoT – has been launched as an independent, not-for-profit entity.

The IoTAA was formally launched by Federal Shadow Minister for Communications, Jason Clare, at an industry function in Sydney.

More than 200 individual experts and more than 100 organisations – including leading technology companies, regulators, Government entities, industry groups (representing more than 60,000 Australian businesses) and academic institutions – have been drawn to participate in the work of IoTAA.

Six work streams are making progress on a range of fronts, including spectrum availability and a new way to manage it, network resilience, industry verticals, data sharing and privacy, and how to foster IoT start-ups.

The Internet of Things Alliance Australia (IoTAA) grew out of an IoT Think Tank created by Communications Alliance in early 2015, which aimed to shape the regulatory and collaborative framework to garner IoT-related benefits for Australian industry and the wider economy.

The IoTAA will be initially hosted and supported administratively by the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Broadway Campus in Sydney.

IoT gathers real-world information and converts it to digital form. Complemented by the looming power of 5G technology, IoT seems certain to transform sectors and economies by revolutionising industry methods and supply chains, unleashing analytical power undreamt of until now, and enhancing our ability to predict and control the future.

Mr Clare commented that IoT harbours both massive opportunities and significant risks.

“If we don’t get our skates on we will be left behind.  A lot of countries are already ahead of us when it comes to IoT.  If we don’t turn this around we will miss out on a lot of new jobs, more investment and new businesses,” Mr Clare said.

Already more than 14 billion devices are connected to the internet world wide and the trend line suggests a move to about 26 billion installed units by 2020 and – some forecast – 1 trillion by 2035.

Earlier this month SK Telecom in South Korea launched a suite of Internet of Things offerings, based on the open-source LPWAN LoRa technology, that are priced at one-tenth the cost of its LTE-based IoT services.

SKT completed the LoRaWAN infrastructure rollout at the end of June – six months ahead of schedule – and now covers 99% of the country’s population with the service.

In Australia these types of network are also being developed. The University of Wollongong Innovation Campus and Australian solution provider Meshed have launched a publicly accessible LoRaWAN network in Wollongong and are soon to launch a similar network in Sydney.

Left to right: Michael Lee, Chairman Comms Alliance; Frank Zeichner, Creator Tech; Jason Clare, Shadow Minister for Communications; Catherine Caruana-McManus, Giant Ideas.