The installation this month of three more gateways for the Digital Living Lab means the Southern Wollongong region is now covered by a network of low range radio receivers provided free to the public.

The new LorRaWAN gateways are located at Mount Warrigal thanks to Warrigal Care, the Rural Fire Service station at Farmborough Heights, and at the NSW Maritime tower on Hill 60 in Port Kembla.

These gateways are in addition to gateways already in place at the University of Wollongong campus, and on the Telecom tower on Mount Keira.

The Digital Living Lab’s co-ordinator, Benoit Passot, says the Mount Keira gateway has proven effective coverage, listening to a device 50 kilometres away. But the greater the distance, the greater the possibility for drop-out.

‘We can now provide some overlap so we can provide denser coverage, but also more reliable coverage,’ he said.

‘If one gateway is not working, or becomes congested, a neighbouring gateway can pick up the slack.’

He said the location of the new gateways meant that applications were now possible across Lake Illawarra, and – importantly – throughout the industrial and maritime areas of Port Kembla.

‘We are looking to explore new projects around Port Kembla for the ships and the port,’ he said.

‘The gateway at Mount Warrigal, gives us the possibility to research applications for areas around lake Illawarra’

The Digital Living Lab is already proving hugely successful, enabling a range of applications from predicting the likelihood of sharks at Illawarra beaches to using a sensor on beer kegs to show temperature, location and volume of liquid, which is already receiving keen interest from some of the world’s largest brewers.