Launceston becomes first city connected to Telstra's new IOT network

Partnership: Key stakeholders David Adams, Bridget Archer, Albert van Zetten, Brian Hillier, Craig Perkins and Michael Ferguson. Picture: Neil Richardson
Partnership: Key stakeholders David Adams, Bridget Archer, Albert van Zetten, Brian Hillier, Craig Perkins and Michael Ferguson. Picture: Neil Richardson

Launceston is the first city in Australia to be connected to Telstra’s narrowband Internet of Things network.

The network can be used to enable everyday devices, such as agricultural or industrial equipment, to connect to the long range network, allowing businesses to better record and manage data.

The announcement came on Friday as a part of the $3.6 million Greater Launceston Transformation Project with the Telstra, City of Launceston, the state government, the University of Tasmania, the Meander Valley, West Tamar George Town councils.

The goal of the project is to turn greater Launceston into a “smart city”, according to Telstra enterprise mobility director Brian Hillier.

Mr Hillier said the smart city partnership was a “lighthouse project” at Telstra and an Australian-first.

“What a smart city will do is it will generate a lot of data, which you can then analyse to help make good business decisions for you citizens and for the productivity of the regional city,” he said.

An Internet of Things lab would be created in conjunction with Enterprize Launceston as a part of the smart city partnership, along with the creation of a Tasmanian agritech start-up accelerator. 

IT Minister Michael Ferguson said the new partnership showed that Launceston was “well ahead of the pack”.

“This is another step in the transformation of this city, greater Launceston, and the nearby regional communities,” he said.

“There’s going to be a lot of innovation in this space, a lot of job opportunities will help businesses and people to be independent.”