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NZ gets another Low Power Wide Area Network

Aotearoa/New Zealand gets another Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) option.

Papaioea/Palmerston North, Aotearoa/New Zealand <19 February 2018>

New Zealand’s first Weightless Internet of Things (IoT) wireless network has launched. In order to support the economic aspirations of Iwi in the Manawatū, First Tree Growing Ltd is providing local Māori farmers hands on access to a range of emerging technologies in smart agriculture including the low power, wide area network technology called Weightless. One of the first projects to benefit from the newly established Weightless network is a Māori Future Farm initiative. The aim is to pilot technologies that will help small farming operations to be more sustainable and competitive while delivering on their commitment to the environment and local community.

First Tree Growing is in the process of deploying 300 IoT sensors exchanging data using the new low power, wide area (LPWA) wireless technology called Weightless. The decision to use the new technology Weightless over the well-known LoRaWAN has garnered attention from the IoT community. Graeme Everton points out three major drawbacks of using LoRaWAN that was key in making his team’s decision.

1. LoRaWAN bears risk of transmission collisions between end devices
2. LoRaWAN class A for battery operated devices cannot support Firmware-Over-The-Air
3. LoRaWAN uses substantial amount of spectrum

Weightless has addressed these critical issues by implementing a time-based synchronized network so end devices transmission does not collide. This also allows reliable and efficient downlink to support firmware-over-the-air, system control, and security patch updates. In addition, a Weightless base station is using just 100kHz for 8 channels; 10 times less spectrum than LoRaWAN.

“After really diving into the technical limitations of LoRaWAN, we were in search of a more future-proof technology to introduce to the New Zealand IoT community,” explains Graeme Everton. “The increase in reliability, data rate, and scalability will open new doors to innovative solutions for our ecosystem of partners and provide a wider choice for critical applications.”


First Tree Growing has partnered with Ubiik, a Weightless technology vendor in Taiwan to continue to enhance the deployment effort and evangelization of the new technology. The main objective of the deployment site is to bring attention to the value IoT technology can bring to the New Zealand primary sector by demonstrating the unique capabilities of a long range, ultra low power wireless technology. Virtually any sensor can be made wireless by using Weightless. First Tree Growing has chosen to first deploy temperature, humidity and GPS sensors sending data every 5-10 minutes to a base station located multiple kilometres away.

The First Tree Growing team is motivated by the lack of initiatives aimed at catering to the specific needs and profiles of the Māori primary producer given that Māori are significant investors in the sector.

First Tree Growing invites the New Zealand IoT community to reach out to acquire additional information about deploying Weightless LPWAN networks.


About First Tree Growing Ltd

First Tree Growing’s Innovation Lab located in the Manawatūis committed to introducing cutting-edge technology to New Zealand’s primary sector. First Tree Growing works along side of IoT device makers, system integrators and educational institutions to make innovations around IoT accessible to the New Zealand market.

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