Newcastle using middleware to simplify city-scale IoT

Published: January 20th, 2020

Converting data to tackle ingestion challenge.

The City of Newcastle will use National Narrowband Network Co’s (NNNCo) middleware and device certification program to simplify IoT rollouts across the city.

The City recently secured a deal with NNNCo allowing it to connect thousands of IoT devices to the middleware, which is called the N2N-DL Data Platform. The City of Gold Coast and Dantia, the economic development arm of Lake Macquarie Council, also use the platform.

The platform is designed to make it easier to connect IOT data to multiple applications, explained NNNCo Founder and CEO Rob Zagarella recently revealed.

“What we’ve seen over the past 24 months is that enterprises often have a device, the means for transmission and an application platform but the protocols and their platform won’t talk to each other natively,” Zagarella stated.

“Connecting one or two devices and decoding and decrypting the data from them is relatively simple, but when this becomes hundreds, thousands, or indeed millions of devices a new solution is required.”

The middleware saves organisations having to create database systems to ingest data from each type of device, said NNNCo CTO Tony Tilbrook.

It sits between networks and visualisation and analysis applications and converts IOT data into a single restful API.

“Our goal is to build a library that’s accessible to as many people as possible,” Tilbrook said.

The technology gives the City of Newcastle the capacity to scale its IoT deployments to “millions of devices and millions of messages across industry sectors,” Tilbrook said when the City of Newcastle piloted the middleware in 2018.

This will help the City of Newcastle avoid being tied to one IoT technology, stated Newcastle Smart City Coordinator Nathaniel Bavinton.

“It negates the need to be locked into one technology, vendor or system and opens up a wide variety of potential solutions, competitive pricing and continuity of supply,” Bavinton stated.

He said the platform’s multi-tier, multi-tenanted architecture will also help secure IoT data.

NNNCo is now firmly embedded in Newcastle, after rolling out its Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) in the city last year.

The network has been used to connect soil moisture sensors at Newcastle’s No. 5 sportsground.

The City’s IoT plans also encompasses smart parking, lighting, bin collection and better integration of transport services.

The City also intends to allow businesses and community groups to connect to the IoT network for free to collect data.

See published article.