by Mark Halliwell, Marketing Manager, Taggle Systems

Just like any purchasing decision in business or in life, when considering the digitalisation of your network, the first question you must always ask is: what do I actually need?

When considering modes of transport, you have a wide range of options which are quickly filtered when you analyse your requirements.

If all you need is something to get you to the shops and back, a bicycle, scooter or small car may be enough. On the other hand, you’d probably choose a semi-trailer if you want to ship pallets of groceries interstate.

It’s worth noting that there’s no one form of transport which satisfies all transport needs cost-effectively.

In the same way, choosing the most appropriate means of communication for your big data, smart city or internet of things (IoT) application requires careful assessment of the available technologies and their suitability for your particular application.

Important aspects that need to be considered include network availability, endpoint availability and lifecycle cost and the cost of managing the data acquisition system overall.

Of these, it is the endpoint that will most likely dominate the cost side of your big data project cost/benefit analysis.

Despite the ever-reducing cost of electronics, for IoT endpoints that do not have a local power supply, batteries are the most expensive component. Their size and cost are dictated by such things as communicating range, data-rate, frequency of reporting and whether or not two-way transmissions are needed.

If your application is to collect periodic pressure data from thousands of water pipes across your network, then you’ll need an endpoint that features medium-to-long range, one-way communication at low data rates on a Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) network like Taggle’s.

On the other hand, if you want minute-by-minute control of a small number of strategically located pressure reducing valves, then a more expensive 3G modem using a major carrier’s mobile network might be the best choice.

While there is a growing number of Low Power Wide Area networks in Australia, none of them will suit all of your needs.

Like the transport analogy, you’ll need to consider your requirements, the options available and be open to the possibility that you may need to use a number of communications networks to cater for the different types of field devices in your network.

Remember, the objective is to provide data for analysis and that the method of acquisition is just a means to that end.

Taggle Systems’ network, the most widely used LPWA network in Australia, uses a proprietary technology which is best suited to collecting small amounts of data from large numbers of field sensors distributed across wide areas. It’s currently used by more than 20 water utilities across the country to collect data from a range of sensors.

While we offer the most cost-effective wide area data acquisition service in the country, we recognise that our customers will want flexibility and choice for their smart city or IoT activities.

So, where they see value in using LoRaWAN, NB-IoT or other IoT communications technologies for more demanding applications, we will make them available as part of our ongoing commitment to providing a long-term, low-cost managed data acquisition service.

By providing multiple communications technologies under the Taggle banner, we offer our customers a single point of engagement and a single data delivery platform to make it easier for them to manage their smart city or IoT projects.

This partner content is brought to you by Taggle Systems. For more information, visit www.taggle.com.au.

Lauren brings a fresh approach to content. While she’s previously written for publications as diverse as Australian Geographic, The Border Watch and Girlfriend, she’s found her true passion in her current role as an editor in the world of energy and infrastructure trade magazines.

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