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NetComm Wireless launches industrial IoT device


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(Image: NetComm Wireless)

Australian communications equipment company NetComm Wireless has announced the launch of a new industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) device enabling 4G LTE connectivity for low-power, low-bandwidth things.

The NetComm NTC-100 integrates duel LTE by connecting to both Cat M1 and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) networks, and is designed to help monitor, track, and compile data from smaller applications that were previously too expensive to connect.

It also means businesses can connect via LTE networks rather than needing to rely on proprietary, unlicensed networks, the company explained.

“Whether it’s to find an economically viable means of monitoring environmental conditions, such as ocean levels, improve smart metering, monitor the farm, or introduce smart city applications such as road signage, parking meters, and bin collection, a growing number of devices can now leverage LTE networks worldwide,” NetComm said.

“The device also features remote management capabilities to query status information, run advanced diagnostics, troubleshoot, and execute commands via SMS … the advanced remote management allows for a wide range of automation and monitoring features to avoid unnecessary truck rolls.”

The device has also been designed to withstand extreme temperatures and vibration to support its use in industrial, automotive, and commercial environments.

The announcement follows NetComm in March unveiling a 4G Cat 6 IIoT router, the NTC-400, which it said was “specially engineered to connect and manage some of the most bandwidth-intensive industrial and in-vehicle IIoT applications”, including 4K displays, fleet management, and surveillance.

The router comes with dual-band Wi-Fi in addition to its 300Mbps LTE speeds with support for multiple spectrum bands, as well as a cloud-based remote device manager (RDM) platform that allows for real-time analytics, monitoring, profile updates, inventory reports, and reporting on failed tasks and connections.

“The NTC-400 series is engineered to increase operational efficiencies and reduce some of the costly environmental and downtime risks that industrial IoT sectors deal with,” NetComm Wireless COO Timo Brouwer said at the time.

“And our cloud-based remote device management platform adds another level of efficiency, with live visibility and smart network management.”

The company earlier this week also announced an extension of its contract to supply the National Broadband Network (NBN) company with equipment for its fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) network.

Under the extension, NetComm will supply an initial 10,000 eight- and 16-port variants of its reverse-powered distribution point units (DPUs) in addition to the four-port versions currently being delivered to NBN.

This higher port count DPUs will enable higher-density premises, like apartment blocks, to receive FttC connections, NetComm explained. They also run vectoring combined with G.fast technology for higher speeds.

NetComm last week recorded FY18 net profit up 545 percent year on year to AU$8 million, with earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) up by 472 percent to AU$20.5 million on revenue of AU$181.7 million, which was up 69 percent.

NetComm made AU$25.2 million in revenue from broadband, and AU$156.5 million from its telecommunications infrastructure equipment and IIoT segment.

According to NetComm, the majority of the AU$66 million revenue being generated by supplying network connection devices (NCDs) for the NBN FttC rollout will be mainly delivered during FY19 following delays caused by pit remediation.

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