A new network aimed at sensing and controlling the physical world has been launched in Rarotonga, Cook Islands.
The purpose-built public wireless network for the Internet of Things is a result of Bluesky Cook Islands working with New Zealand’s KotahiNet, in a bid to run network in the north of Rarotonga before covering the entire island.
“Cook Islands can greatly benefit from being able to get real-time data about the physical world with cheap and ubiquitous connectivity,” Bluesky Cook Islands country manager, Phillip Henderson, said.
“There are a large variety of potential uses- from smart electricity monitoring to better understanding the environment to knowing the location of everything.
“To help people understand the benefits and opportunities this new technology provides, there will be no charge for testing or connecting a few sensors to the Internet.
“We are happy to work with KotahiNet on setting up the public wireless network. They bring experience and skills of value to the Cook Islands.”
KotahiNet has been operating a similar network in New Zealand for about a year and currently covers over half the country’s population.
“The vision for KotahiNet is to help unlock the benefits of smart products and services that operate in the physical world,” KotahiNet director, Vikram Kumar, added.
“These services use real-time data, collective intelligence, and analytics. In addition, we are building connected products that demonstrate the benefits of this new technology.”
For Kumar, the opportunity to work with Bluesky Cook Islands brings the benefit of wireless connectivity for real-time data quickly and economically to Rarotonga, leading the way in the Pacific Islands.
“Using the open network model from the LoRa Alliance, called LoRaWAN, is particularly well suited,” he explained. “It allows sensors and other smart devices to communicate over long distances, yet the battery life can be typically 5-10 years.
“By operating using the LoRaWAN specification for the European Union of 868 MHz, it allows buying sensors and other smart devices off the shelf. This means Rarotonga can tap into global suppliers and take advantage of scale economies.”