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  • Nick Dragan 4:52 PM on 04/01/2018 Permalink | Reply  

    The place of Wi-Fi and the rise of LPWAN technologies 

    LPWAN or low power wide area networks represents a new wave of technologies. This has been coming for a while. The novelty consists in the plethora of devices working directly on these networks. They are generally sensors, tags, small data packet senders which don’t need large bandwidth. One other excellent advantage is the fact that LPWAN devices use little power. Therefore they can be powered for months if not years with a single battery and utilising low power solar installations is really useful.

    If you do a search on the internet for any of the technologies available in this family you will find a real buzzing community. And the products keep coming. Furthermore, there is a huge number of city-wide networks being deployed and everyone is posting almost weekly a new signed agreement with a city or town.

    It is natural then to ask: what is the future of traditional Wi-Fi networks and is there a role for them in the new emerging trends ?

    I personally think that Wi-Fi has a pivotal role. Sure, you can use new low power networks to aggregate data from various sensors but there is a commercial reality. Many of the cities around the world have deployed in the past excellent Wi-Fi networks meant to cover high density areas and wide geographical spaces.  Installing new gateways is fine in a small area to collect information  from the surrounding sensor grid but carrying that information to the processing head end might be a commercial challenge.  This can be easily resolved by utilising existing infrastructure. A Wi-Fi link can connect gateways and nodes hundreds of metres away and even kilometres. There is no need for multiple hops. If there is nothing in between points other than a wide open space, then placing repeater nodes can be difficult.

    Existing mesh networks already deployed in places like universities, campuses, industrial estates and even residential communities can quickly solve the data transport challenge. The investment is already in place and quite often operators of such networks are unaware of the spare capacity. It is therefore extremely simple for example to create an air quality monitoring, irrigation and water level monitoring system by utilising local sensors with localised LPWAN gateways. Once the basic data collection or control equipment is in place, the gateways can be then attached to the already installed Wi-Fi network. No need for expensive extra power outlets, more radio infrastructure or co-location fees.

    Existing technologies are not , generally speaking, obsolete. Financial controllers and those who oversee investments will be very happy to re-use the systems in place while upgrading and increasing the data density for minimum cost.


  • Nick Dragan 11:44 AM on 30/10/2017 Permalink | Reply  

    NBN- Understanding Reality 

    Many stories – disaster or blessing ?

    For some time now I have read many stories and reports regarding the NBN. If you trust all that has been written so far, you would think that the Australian Governments of many colours have done nothing but bury billions of dollars into something that is in a state of total disarray.

    Is it true ?

    If we are to believe everything it has been said so far, we would rise like the eagle and really rally in front of the Government House to get our money back.

    But let’s use a little bit of our nature given intelligence.

    The mathematics behind statistics

    Most of us would have had some work done at our houses at some point in time. How would you feel about complaining that the toilet is not functional while the plumber is installing a new one ? What about complaining that the driveway is not useable while the brick paver works on it ? That would seem a little silly, wouldn’t it ?


    When the NBN started, say we had 1000 consumers connected in one suburb. Of the 1000, 2-3 experienced some sort of trouble. After that, we connected 100.000 consumers over several suburbs and the complaints went from 2 to 50. This is 25 times more

    Enormous ! Outrageous ! Skyrocketing ! Words of the media….

    But let’s not miss the point..

    The NBN is NOT finished ! The NBN is in construction. Now we have nearly 10 million subscribers on a network in construction and perhaps a few thousands complains on performance.

    I have personally went through troubles briefly with my NBN connection (fibre-to-the-node) and I solved it with my provider. No need for a big whinge.

    Perhaps we should take a step back and really understand what is happening.

    I personally believe that consumers are too much into the “I want it now, I deserve it now” attitude. You can’t drive your car when the wheel is out. You have to wait. Similarly, the NBN will experience sometimes dropouts and reduction in speed temporarily. It will pass.

    I am sure that when it works nobody calls to say ” Thank you NBN for making my internet faster”.

  • Nick Dragan 5:29 PM on 12/09/2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Technical solutions = The outcome of collaboration 

    Great technology Solutions come from open and honest collaboration between hardware suppliers, service providers or integrators and customers. The intersection of these three realms represents the outcome.



    What are your thoughts ? Is this your experience ?

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