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NNNCo to fight COVID-19 with proximity monitoring solution

16 Apr 2020

The National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo), Australia’s longest-running LoRaWAN network operator, has established a partnership with Belgian applications and solutions provider, WMW, to bring new Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to Australia, including those that can assist in the fight against COVID-19 spread.

The companies have been working together for over 18 months, with NNNCo integrating the WMW-built applications into its enterprise data platform N2N-DL to enable seamless data aggregation and ensure network readiness.

A Private Proximity Monitoring solution is being fast-tracked for use across different industries due to its potential to help workers and community members maintain social distancing and reduce the spread of the virus without compromising personal privacy. 

“We’ve been working on this solution with WMW to enable worker safety on construction and mining sites,” says NNNCo CEO Rob Zagarella.

“These sites often need to maintain isolation zones around particular objects or areas. The proximity monitoring solution alerts the individual and site manager or enterprise when the worker gets too close to danger or an out-of-bounds area.

“It can be applied to a number of situations we’re seeing now with COVID-19 including keeping essential workers at safe distances from one another, whether on construction sites or any other essential workplace. It could also apply to proximity monitoring for staff and vulnerable people in hospitals or aged care facilities.”

Personal privacy is maintained because the solution alerts people carrying a device when they get too close without identifying the individual or storing location data.

WMW will provide the application with NNNCo providing the Long Range Wide Area Network (LoRaWAN) connectivity needed to deploy the solution on the ground. 

“Over the past few weeks, we've focused our attention on applications, derivatives of the 97 apps we've already built, that can handle various impacts and observations around COVID-19,” WMW CEO Bert Vanaken adds.

“Our resellers worldwide are close to their customers and governments and this allows us to draw global conclusions. We’re very happy to be partnering in Australia with NNNCo which has built a strong position as the country’s leading enterprise LoRaWAN IoT operator. Their National Narrowband Network for IoT is expanding rapidly which opens up more opportunities for enterprise to deploy these solutions quickly and effectively.”

NNNCo provides a range of network solutions including Network On-Demand services that enable the company to roll out network to specific sites in less than three days. 

“As essential industries continue to operate during this situation, and as people and companies return to work in time, it is important to be able to quickly deploy solutions that protect employees,” Zagarella says. 

“We’re working with a number of device manufacturers across the world to bring wearables and other devices to the market. Our aim is to ensure these solutions are ready to bring deploy quickly as they’re needed.”